Biggest Money Wasting Remodeling Projects
You’ve made the decision to remodel your home, but haven’t quite decided where to start. Ideally, you’d like to combine adding value to your home along with prettifying the aesthetic, which doesn’t really narrow things down much. Before you pick up that hammer, though, read this article and learn what remodeling projects you should immediately strike off your list.


The only time installing your own swimming hole will add value to your home when it’s time to sell it is if everyone else in the neighborhood has pools, too. That’s it. Add one in any other circumstance, and you might as well roll up $100 bills and light them on fire. In fact, doing that (lighting money on fire) could actually cost you less than the installation and maintenance of a pool, saving you the 1.9 percent loss that comes along with a new homeowner deciding to scrap it.

  • Initial Cost: $25,000 to $50,000
  • Ongoing Maintenance: $2,000 a year for basic maintenance, several hundred to a few thousand for heating, insuring and repairing pumps and filters, plus about another $10,000 after the first decade for the inevitable cracks that’ll appear.

    Home Office

    It’s tempting to redo the spare room in your house into a home office, but skip this remodeling project. Not only will you be needlessly spending your hard-earned money on a project that just doesn’t promise a good return on investment, but it’s also one of the worst projects you can undertake. Ask yourself if you really need that extra room, or if a laptop and filing cabinet will suffice.

  • Initial Cost: About $28,000 for new drywall, custom cabinetry stretching from floor to ceiling, laminate desktop, industrial carpeting, and a complete rewiring (and this is working with existing space, not adding new space).
  • Sunroom

    When the days are nice and warm, having a room that specifically maximizes that niceness seems like a good idea…until the bill comes. Of course, you can reduce the price by using existing space ($8,000 less), not installing insulation (but then you can’t enjoy your sunroom when it’s cold), and skipping HVAC.

  • Initial Cost: If you’re adding a 200-square foot addition, be prepared to shell out an average of $73,546, and recoup very little of that.

    Extra Bathroom

    Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in the house, so it seems like it’d make sense to add another and increase the resale value on your home. Hang on, though: new bathrooms are big money-leechers and you’d just be better off remodeling an existing one if you want to add resale value. Plus, bathrooms are like cars in that they both depreciate as soon as someone picks them up, and bathrooms lose 50% of their value right off the bat.

  • Initial Cost: Even if you go super small and cheap, like a basic 6 x 8 bathroom, you’re still looking to spend at least $40,000.

    New Master Suite

    Just about every house comes with a master suite, but it’s understandable to want to add another one, or expand the existing one. What isn’t, though, is the huge cost you’ll be paying, as well as how little of that will come back to you when you move on from that house (only 59.2%). For the chance to have an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet as part of a bedroom, you’ll pay through the nose for it.

  • Initial Cost: Count your dollar bills until you reach $106,000, because that’s the minimum you’ll spend on a 24 x 16 master bedroom with a walk-in closet, whirlpool tub, 3 x 4 ceramic tile shower, and double vanity with a solid countertop.

    Amy Wright
    Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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