Last updated on March 16, 2023

Whether investing in small projects with a Des Moines handyman, or going all-in on a whole home remodel, value is key. You should look for value both in terms of what you end up paying, and in what you can get back if you ever put your home on the market.

There are times when it can make sense to splash out on renovations that are unique and personal. However, if you are improving your home on a strict budget, there are specific features and concepts that you might want to avoid.

Here are four areas of renovation and home remodeling that typically return little value at resale.

A Purpose-Designed Media Room

While a media room might sound like the perfect home remodeling project for film and music lovers, it might just look like wasted space when your home goes on the market. If you plan to sell at any time in the near future, this is one of the projects that should be avoided.

Home buyers look for functionality first. A media room can be the perfect place to relax and entertain, but for a growing family, it won’t make a lot of sense. This room will become even less attractive if you sacrifice a bedroom to build it.

If you plan to live in your home for life, then, sure, this could be a great project to plan and execute. However, for 90% of families, it’s a luxury that won’t provide any meaningful return.

A Smart Kitchen Remodel

Kitchens are the most commonly renovated and remodeled spaces in modern homes. If you plan a kitchen right, you could get almost all your investment back at resale. However, there are many features that will add cost without giving you anything in return.

Appliances are the biggest risk in terms of wasted budget. Smart refrigerators, dishwashers, and even ovens might seem like great ideas today, but you risk spending up to $10,000 or even more for appliances that will be dated within five years.

Smart technology is no doubt impressive, and it can make life easier. However, it’s in its infancy, and this means that the devices you buy today will be outdated by the time you sell your home. Traditional appliances won’t make your kitchen feel dated. Smart refrigerators and other devices will.

A valuation on your home won’t take smart appliances into account. Modern appliances, whether smart or not, are effectively the same things to an assessor. These appliances will be bonus features for buyers, but they won’t command resale value.

Keep your appliances traditional and invest more in lasting features like cabinets, flooring, and countertops.

Extensive Smart Security Features

Home security is another area where going smart isn’t as good as it sounds. There are countless smart security products on the market today. The sad reality is that 90% of them are gimmicks. Do you really need wi-fi connected smart sensors on every window and door of your home? A high quality security system with standard sensors, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide sensors near gas appliances are all that most homes need.

There are even traditional security features that are mostly unnecessary, and irrelevant on the resale market. A panic room, hidden storage rooms, and similar features are great… for roughly 1% of the home buying market.

Home Renovations Focused on Niche Interests

Features based on niche interests will almost never provide a return at resale. You could have Des Moines contractors build integrated racks into a wine cellar in your basement, but they’re only going to be useful for buyers with a collection as big as yours.

A home library with integrated cabinets and shelves is another example of a niche improvement that will only attract a specific type of home buyer.

You should love your home and the features that are in it. Personalization is a big part of home renovation. However, if your end goal is to sell and move up, it’s best to avoid the projects that won’t appeal to the average buyer.

Plan a Better Home the Right Way

While there are no hard rules to home remodeling and renovation, there are steps you can take to ensure that your project remains within budget. Informed decisions will ensure that you spend only what you can afford, with a focus on comfort, beauty, and long term value.

HomeWorx Iowa is the place to start if you want to plan better projects that focus on value and marketability. From the smallest changes to full scale renovation and remodeling, we can manage your project from end to end.

Get help with design ideas, budgeting, material selection, and then have expert contractors come through to complete the job. Get the full potential from your home by talking to the premier Des Moines home renovation company.