5 Bad Home Improvement Projects That Don't Yield a High ROI & Decrease Value

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Thursday, July 8th, 2021 at 8:15am.

Bad Home Improvements to Invest InOwning a home is a big investment, so many homeowners work hard to make their homes comfortable and efficient. As a bonus, home improvement projects often increase the value of the property. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that several home improvement projects actually don't yield a good return on investment. Here are five home improvement projects that can be costly with low returns or bring down a property's value.

High-End Kitchens

Installing high-end kitchens can add an incredible look to the home and enhance the culinary experience, but don't expect a good ROI. The return rate on the cost of a high-end kitchen is between 53% and 59%. If the project costs $100,000 or more, it won't change the home's overall value. Instead, opt for a few coveted features and go with simpler upgrades, such as counters, faucets, and smart appliances that make the home more efficient.

As you're updating the kitchen, beware of marble counters, which are beautiful to look at but pricey to install. Unfortunately, they won't yield a good return in the long run because they're more difficult to maintain and aren't as stain-resistant. Instead, opt for quartz or granite. These are more practical for daily use, which makes them more appealing to future buyers.

Home Offices

Despite the fact a growing number of people are working from home, home offices are not a feature most homebuyers seek. Building an addition to accommodate a home office will likely never see a good return, while losing a valuable bedroom can decrease the value of a home. Instead, if a home office is needed, look to convert a bedroom or other space that can easily be brought back to its original state. You can outfit your workspace with modern gadgets without spending a fortune on a big renovation.

Combined Bedrooms

Much like converting a bedroom to an office, it's usually not worth it to knock down walls to eliminate a bedroom and create an extra-large primary suite. Removing walls limits the home and can decrease its value. The high construction costs will likely never be recovered.

Bedrooms have a high value when it comes to selling. The more bedrooms a home has, the better price it can fetch in the long run.


Wallpaper is a trend that has endured, but the styles significantly change on a routine basis. While the latest wallpaper look may enhance a room, the appeal might not last. Chances are, future buyers won't like the style.

Instead, opt for a fresh coat of paint and replace the wallpaper ambiance with other stylistic components. It's far easier to recoup the paint cost than to reconcile the installation cost and, most likely, removing wallpaper.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs can add aesthetic appeal to any home. However, it's an expensive upgrade that can be hard to recoup. They are not a major selling point and, in many ways, can be a turnoff for buyers. 

Metal roofs can be noisy during rainy weather, are easily dented, expand and contract over time, lead to repairs, and be difficult to match color if repairs are needed. Anyone seeking to sell their home sooner than later is probably better off going with a more traditional roof.

Before doing any renovations, homeowners need to consider the costs and decide between projects that require a contractor vs. DIY. Modifications might seem like a good idea, but they can lead to huge financial losses in the long run. Always weigh the benefits of any upgrade and then see if these advantages are enough to justify the expense. If not, then always look at other viable alternatives.

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