11 home improvements that do not add value

It is predicted that UK homeowners spent a predicted £21 Billion on renovations in 2021.

So, if you’re considering a home improvement project, it’s critical to understand which improvements will actually increase the value of your home.

Not all projects pay off in terms of property value. So, before making any major decisions, consider how your project will affect the value of your home.

At lofti, we have worked out the numbers for you and compiled a list of eleven home improvement projects that are unlikely to increase the value of your home as much as you might think. 

We’ll explain why these common home improvements may not be worth the investment by breaking them down too so you don’t make silly mistakes that will hurt you in the future when doing renovations.

Getting rid of a bedroom

Have you ever considered repurposing a spare bedroom that you don’t use very often? Maybe you’ve thought about making it a second bathroom or extending another room. 

While this may appear to be a good idea, it’s important to remember that losing a bedroom can actually lower the value of your home.

It is always preferable to have more bedrooms, even if they are small, because it can significantly increase the value of your home as you can sell the house to an investor who will let the room out room by room. 

A 4-bedroom house with one bathroom, for example, will be worth more than a 3-bedroom house with two bathrooms. So, before you decide to repurpose that extra bedroom, think about how it will affect the value of your home.

a bedroom that is converted as home improvement

Building a custom extension

If you are considering building an extension, keep in mind that it should not only meet your needs but also appeal to potential buyers if you plan to sell your home in the future, unless of course, you don’t care about the resale value. 

While an extension can increase the value of your home, spending a lot of money on an extension that does not appeal to your potential buyers may be a waste of money. 

In fact, you might not even see a return on your investment. If you intend to sell soon, you should think about postponing major work such as an extension and obtaining planning permission for an extension can be a valuable selling point for potential buyers.

Adding large spaces

Adding too much space to a property may not add value because it can result in over-improvement, which means the cost of the improvements exceeds the potential increase in the property’s value. 

For instance, if you add an extension that is much larger than what is typical for the area, the cost of the extension may be more than what buyers in the area are willing to pay. 

Additionally, adding too much space can also make the property feel unbalanced or impractical, which can turn off potential buyers and lower the value of the property. 

Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider the potential return on investment before making any significant additions to a property.

Using high end paint and wallpaper 

If you’re thinking about redecorating your home to increase its value, you should know that not all improvements are created equal. 

While some home improvements can yield a higher return, others will have little impact on the value of your home. 

For example, while expensive flooring can increase your return, fancy wallpaper will not as the difference between the highest end wallpaper and west is very minimal.

It may be tempting to go all out and create a feature wall with costly wallpaper, but this will not help you see a return on your investment unless you are selling to a buyer who really cares about this. 

Most buyers will not be willing to pay more for the wallpaper once it has been installed though as they typically care more a. Similarly, using high-end decorating products such as expensive paint will make little difference.

Doing luxury landscaping

Most homeowners will not want to pay a premium on a home for some well looked after outdoor space so it is not often worth it to invest in landscaping. This is due to homeowners valuing their outdoor space differently, depending on the owner.

For instance, a homeowner who has a great appreciation for the outdoors may be willing to pay for this but the everyday person just wants a decent outdoor space where they can relax.

So sure, some trees can cost hundreds of pounds, and planting several of them may improve the appearance of your yard, but they will not necessarily add much value. 

Be strategic about what you plant and how much money you spend.

a luxury landscape that does not add value

Upgrades that don’t match the property

It’s easy to get caught up in fancy equipment and interior design when it comes to home improvement. However, one of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is spending money in the wrong places.

Sure, a complex and detailed heating system perhaps controlled by a tablet computer and installed within the wall of a home may appear impressive.

But if your home has single glazing, has a low Energy Performance Certificate rating and needs insulation, it is probably best to work on these areas of the property first.

Converting rooms

If you want to add a library or a home theatre to your home, you should think about how it will affect the value of your home if you take away valuable bedroom space. Instead, ensure that the room you convert is easily convertible if necessary.

Similarly, if you want to make a larger space by knocking down a wall between two bedrooms, proceed with caution. Losing a bedroom is more likely to decrease rather than increase the value of your home.

Converting a reception room to a garage

Most homeowners with a garage will consider installing a garage if they have the space in order to keep their car safe and have additional storage.

Having said this, it’s important to remember that, while garage extensions can be beneficial, sacrificing living space for a garage can actually reduce the value of your home.

Buyers are always looking for more living space, so sacrificing your dining room in favour of a garage may not be the best idea. Remember that living space comes first, and giving up a room for a garage may result in a lower house valuation. Instead, it is best to convert a garage into a room.

Creating unnecessary and complicated spaces

Have you ever come across a house that has been renovated but the changes were ineffective? It can be disheartening to see as the space almost seems ruined.

For example, added bathrooms that are too small to fit into, or narrow kitchens that can only open one cupboard at a time.

That is why it is critical to carefully consider any extension or major change to your home for practicality. You don’t want to make changes that will be more of a hassle than a help and deter buyers from being interested in a property, reducing demand. 

When it comes to home renovations, the function of a home should always be the priority over what looks nice or the aesthetics.

Doing too many improvements

Making improvements to a home is usually a fantastic idea, however, keep in mind that some houses on certain streets will never gain any additional value, no matter how many improvements you make.

That is why it is critical to understand the value of your street and whether your neighbourhood has a price ceiling. You don’t want to waste money on upgrades that won’t pay off in the long run. 

Instead, get ideas from your neighbours and make sure your budget is in line with the potential value of your home. Check out this article here on how this is able to be done even on the worst streets.

Adding a swimming pool

It is quite surprising that having a swimming pool may not be a selling point for your house? This is mainly due to the fact that they’re expensive to heat and maintain, and they’re rarely used enough to justify the expense.

Swimming pools are great on hot summer days, but if you want to make home improvements that add value, we recommend avoiding them. There are numerous other ways to increase the value of your home that will cost less in the long run.

In the UK, the climate is also not the best year round to justify having a pool that is outside. The chances are you will only use it for a few months of the year but still have to maintain it year round.

a swimming pool that does not add value

Final thoughts

To conclude, this article discusses the importance of understanding which home improvements will not increase the value of a home. While UK homeowners spent a predicted £21 billion on renovations in 2021, not all home improvements pay off in terms of property value.

Some of these include getting rid of a bedroom, building a custom extension, adding large spaces and using high-end paint and wallpaper – some of which you may think are beneficial.

So, homeowners should be strategic and carefully consider the potential return on investment before making any significant additions to their property by going over this list. 

Adding a bedroom is always preferable rather than repurposing an existing one as bedrooms are important to increase the value of a home. 

All in all, using a valuation from a qualified surveyor or from an online valuation tool should give you a good idea of what a home is worth so you can work from there.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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