• Melanie Evans

Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value (and What to Do Instead)

If you're considering selling your Waterloo Region home, you might be asking yourself what - if any - home renovations you should make to boost its value before putting it on the market. While there are numerous home improvements that can improve your home's appeal, it's crucial to understand which projects will boost the value of your home and which will not.


This article will begin to help you decide which home renovation projects are worth your money, from updating your bathroom to replacing your roof. When it does come time to sell your Waterloo Region home, you should also ensure you discuss the issue with your real estate agent, as the recent market experience they have (or should have) will be the best guide you could ever have to just what will - and won't - enhance the value of your home once it hits the market.


But, back to that list:


Adding Closet Space


Avoid: Taking square footage from a bedroom to make more closet space.


There is no doubt that home buyers love big closets, or at least closets with plenty of storage space, but stealing floor space from your Waterloo Region home's bedrooms is not something most sellers should even consider.


The number and size of bedrooms in your property is one of the most important elements in determining its worth. It's preferable to have a smaller closet in a bedroom than to have a large walk-in closet and lose square footage in the bedroom in the process.


Instead, look for compact closet storage alternatives.




You can make any closet more practical without adding more square footage. To make small closets more functional, consider installing closet organizers or adding storage options such as built-ins.


Replacing Fixtures


Avoid: Purchases of high-end fixtures should be avoided. Opting for basic, but good-looking alternatives is perfectly acceptable.


While replacing your current fixtures with expensive, high-end replacements may improve the appearance of your home, it is a home improvement that does not add value. Custom faucets, ceiling fans, and lighting fixtures may appear to be a simple way to elevate a room in your home, but they will not enhance the value of your property enough to cover the cost of purchasing and installing them.


Furthermore, potential buyers will not pay extra for a home simply because it has high-end fixtures. They might like the way they look, but they are not substantial enough upgrades to add to the price a buyer is willing to pay.


Install fixtures that are both inexpensive and of good quality instead. There are a surprisingly large number of decent options out there, though, many of which are easily available at local home stores.


If you want to upgrade your home's fixtures, look for materials that are long-lasting, high-quality, and affordable. This is an example of a home renovation that adds value by giving your home the facelift you desire without causing you to lose money.


Improvements to your Outdoor Living Set Up


Avoid: Expensive projects like installing a sunroom


Sunrooms are difficult to sell since some buyers adore them while others believe they are superfluous. Starting large-scale home modifications like enclosing your patio or deck to create a sunroom can be costly, and it's usually not included in the total square footage of a home. There's no guarantee that adding a sunroom to your property would boost its value because it won't be factored into the final assessment.


Instead, repaint and add vegetation to your deck or patio to freshen it up.




Make the most of your patio or deck by converting it into an additional usable space via simple renovations and staging. By re-staining or repainting your deck or porch, it can transform it into an outdoor oasis or give it a facelift. To make your outside space feel like an inviting haven, add plants and outdoor furniture to set that scene in the buyer's mind.


Repainting Your Home's Interior


Avoid: Using bold designs and vivid colors on the walls.


If you need to repaint your walls, it may be tempting to begin your home improvements by painting a statement wall with geometric designs or vibrant colors to make your home stand out.


Unfortunately, not everyone has the same taste, and some homebuyers may regard it as a wall that they will have to repaint if they buy the house. Many homebuyers are looking for houses that are ready to move into, and needing to repaint a wall may deter them.


Instead, repaint if necessary and stick to neutral colors.


Repaint the walls with neutral colors that will go with any color scheme. This is one of the best home renovations you can make to increase the value of your home, and it's simple to do. Repainting walls in neutral hues gives a blank slate for potential buyers and will make your property look modern and ready to move into.


Stay Away from Trendy Decor


Many homes on Instagram and in glossy magazines, include vivid wallpapers, elaborate tile, or mid-century furniture, and you may be tempted to incorporate these trendy characteristics to appeal to potential buyers. But, they, like any other trend, go out of style quickly and won't appeal to everyone in the first place anyway.


Instead, stick to classic and neutral elements.


Interior design fads come and go, but there are some timeless classics that will never go out of style. Choosing neutral paint colors, solid color tiling, and simple furnishings (think IKEA) will make your home appealing to any possible buyer, regardless of their taste.


Kitchen Upgrades


Avoid: Installing specialized, high-end appliances


Costly home upgrades, such as replacing obsolete equipment with state-of-the-art appliances, may improve the appearance of your kitchen, but you're unlikely to see a positive return on your investment. The appliances may appeal to some potential purchasers, but they are unlikely to significantly boost the home's resale value.


Instead, spruce up your kitchen by repainting cabinets or adding cost-effective accessories.


Consider repainting your cabinets, changing your light fixtures, or replacing your primary kitchen faucet to give your kitchen a new look. These easy alterations can increase the value of your property while also being cost-effective, and will make your kitchen more desirable to potential buyers.


Entrance Upgrades


Avoid: Investing in a high-priced new front door.




Apart from replacing your front door, there are numerous ways to make a wonderful first impression with your foyer. Front doors can be expensive, do not boost the resale value of your property, and may not improve the overall quality of your doorway in the way you hoped.


Repaint the door, swap out the hardware and add plants to the porch instead.


Try adding colorful plants and a welcoming welcome mat to your entryway to make it more appealing. If your front door is in need of some TLC, consider painting it to save money. Without spending a dime, these adjustments will greatly improve your curb appeal.


Replacement Flooring


Avoid: Using carpet to replace all of your floors.


If your home's carpets are in need of replacement, replacing the area with new carpet may not be the greatest solution. Many homeowners prefer homes with hardwood or tile floors, and you don't want to spend money on fresh new carpet just to find out that potential buyers prefer a property with hard flooring throughout.




Homes with mostly hardwood floors typically appraise for more than homes with a mix of hardwood and carpeted floors. In places that require new flooring, consider putting hardwood or a hardwood equivalent, such as tile. Install neutral and budget-friendly carpets if you want to stay with carpeting.


Planning to buy or sell a home in the Waterloo Region but have questions? Why not speak with an expert? Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.



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