Remodels & Home Improvement Projects Homeowners Regret

By HomeAdvisor

Updated February 2, 2021

Between trying to save money and customizing a home to their exact lifestyle, homeowners can make some big mistakes. Whether they decrease resale value, go way over budget, or increase maintenance costs some renovations are just, well, awful. Here are seven projects that homeowners often regret.

1. Making A Bedroom Into A Closet

Full-size bedroom closet with dark stain.

Most of us dream of a big closet, but converting a bedroom into one will make your realtor cringe. First, removing a bedroom usually decreases a property’s value up to 15%. Second, installing shelves costs between $1,000 to $2,600. A better idea is to maximize the storage space you already have. Use pre-built racks and closet organizers to take advantage of your existing closet space.

2. Installing a Pool

Parents sitting next to pool with child

Pools have a few unexpected costs that people don’t always realize. Building a pool can increase the cost of homeowners insurance and property taxes. If local codes require pool owners to install a barrier, you’re looking at more than $2,500 in fencing costs. Installation is expensive, and the ongoing time and pool maintenance costs can also be steep. If you’re on a budget, a pool can easily become a regretful addition.

3. Springing for An Expensive Bathroom Remodel

Regretful bathroom renovation

High-end finishes, like time-consuming tile patterns, costly tubs and showers, and luxury faucets or fixtures can end up breaking your budget and falling short of your anticipated ROI. Getting rid of the rust and laminate and adding efficient features, is great. Just don’t go overboard. Set a budget in advance. A general guideline is to spend no more than 10% of the home’s value on a bathroom remodel.

4. Adding A Sunroom

Interior of fully furnished sunroom

According to Remodeling, sunrooms typically only return 48.5% of your initial investment. The average sunroom costs over $16,000. Unless you’re adding much-needed livable square footage to a small floor plan, building and furnishing a sunroom can drain your bank account and create less enjoyment than you hope.

5. Investing in Extensive Landscaping

House with full garden and landscaping

It’s easy to overdo landscaping. Too many trees, shrubs, and plants can detract from the natural beauty and curb appeal of the home. However, it’s a fine line between just enough and too much. Homeowners can end up spending thousands of dollars and plant too much. This effectively ties them to hours of yard work instead of enjoying their free time! Intricate landscaping is a choice most home owners wish they didn’t make.

6. Choosing Unconventional Colors

Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer

Loud, bright exterior paint or siding colors are a homeowner mistake. Not only does it irritate the neighbors, painting (and repainting) costs a few thousand dollars. The good news is, homeowner’s associations typically limit the colors that you can use, but not in every neighborhood. Plan ahead and choose one of these exterior paint choices to potentially improve the resale value for your home.

7. Anything with Inferior Craftsmanship

destroyed interior

From the smallest update to the largest renovation, it pays to choose better quality. It’s easy to end up with mediocre or regretful results when you accept the lowest contractor bid or go the DIY route. In the world of poor-quality construction, there are nightmare stories of contractors who demanded extra money to finish the job, used substandard or dangerous materials, or just stopped showing up all together.


  1. Anh, February 8:

    Yes, I totally agree! You should not spend all of your money on the bathroom and forget about the rest of the house. These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing.

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