Which Home Improvements Are Least Likely to Add Value?

Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the near future or you’re considering investing a sizable amount of cash in a remodeling project, it’s essential to know which home improvements are least likely to add value. Every year, Americans spend $400 billion on home renovations, but not all of them are increasing the value of their homes. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading your kitchen or making a major addition such as a swimming pool or solar panels, you need to know how your project will affect your home’s value before you make the final decision to proceed. Here are some common home improvements that often don’t increase value.

Garage Conversions

If you’re looking to add space for a home office or an in-law suite, you might be considering a garage conversion. However, if you’re planning to sell your home anytime soon, you should think twice before converting your garage into an extra room. Garage conversions cost an average of $10,000, but unfortunately, they don’t usually add value to homes.

This is because most buyers would prefer to have a usable garage rather than a larger living space. A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders revealed 25 percent of homeowners ranked garage storage as “essential,” and another 56 percent regarded it as “desirable.” Most buyers also want to be able to store their cars inside garages to keep them safe and clean. If you need to expand your living space, a room addition is a type of home improvement that can have a major positive impact on your home’s value.

Solar Panels

If your goal is to save money on electric bills while reducing your carbon footprint, you may be considering installing solar panels, especially if you live in a sunny area like San Diego. However, solar panels usually don’t add that much to a home’s sale price, and the return on investment can vary widely according to the type of solar panels and the home’s location. Even with solar tax credits, the average cost for solar panel installation ranges between $11,000 and $15,000, while the average return for this investment is around 10 percent.

The value you’ll get from solar panels will also depend on whether you lease the panels or buy them. If you lease them, they’ll still belong to the solar company, so they won’t add value to your home. Conversely, buying solar panels may add to your home’s value. However, this additional value can quickly decrease as the panels get older and better models become available.

Swimming Pools

One effect of the COVID pandemic is that people are spending more time outdoors, and updating outdoor spaces has moved up on many homeowners’ list of priorities. In warm climates like Southern California, outdoor living is increasingly popular, and swimming pools add more value now than they did in the past. However, even though an in-ground pool is a feature almost anyone would love to have, installing one is very expensive ($43,000 on average) and offers a low return on investment (an average of $22,000, or only 51 percent of project cost). A swimming pool also requires spending money for year-round maintenance.

Wine Cellars

If you’re planning to sell your home anytime soon, it’s best not to invest in a luxury project like a wine cellar. Even the most fervent wine aficionados are unlikely to pay more for this bonus feature. Although a wine cellar can increase your home’s “wow” factor with a touch of elegance, with an average cost of $40,000, it’s unlikely to allow you to recoup most of the costs of building it.

Whether their home improvement projects involve a minor renovation or a whole house remodel, San Diego homeowners can rely on the team from Forever Builders for outstanding workmanship and exceptional service at affordable rates. From planning to completion, we’ll help you create the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of. To find out more about our exceptional renovation and remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.

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