Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Is Home Remodeling a Waste of Money? | Expert Opinion


As a homeowner who is considering a home remodeling, one of the things you most likely want to find out is if you’re not about to waste money. In this article, we address the question of if home remodeling is a waste of money. For further information, please visit

If you don’t plan to move out of your home in the next five years or more, you may want to invest modestly in the look and upgrade you desire. However, a different approach needs to be taken if the plan is to sell the house soon because it only makes sense that you, at least, get the money back.

Is the renovation worth the cost?

Before venturing into a remodeling project, you want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your aim? If your plan is to sell your home in a few years, it only makes sense that you recoup some of what you’ve spent on renovation. One of the things you want to do when remodeling your home is to find a balance between what you and what would mean much to a homebuyer. 
  • What are your options? You may need to engage an expert who can explain what remodeling options you have and the effect of those choices over time. An expert will also give you alternative options that can work for you.
  • What are the trends? Your home’s resale value can be increased by making sure that the remodeling you are about to do aligns with what homeowners in your neighborhood are doing. Of course, this is with the assumption that your home’s resale value is important to you. If you work with a professional contractor, they will let you know the trends in your area. You can also ask friends in your neighborhood or check out local home listings.
  • How much will you recoup? With the help of a professional, you can figure out how much value will be added to your home after doing your home improvement project and how long it would take to recoup the cost.

Is it worth remodeling an old home?

If you’re considering buying an old home because it’s cheap and with the faith that it will become a perfect house with some remodeling, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision. Adding remodeling to the equation of buying an old home can make things tricky. Below are some of the benefits and downsides of remodeling an old home.

The benefits

  • Buying an old house will cost you less. You’re likely to pay less for a true fixer-upper than you would for a new home. You can save as much as thousands of dollars with strategic renovations and the home will end up being a great investment.
  • Most old homes were built with solid materials, especially the building blocks. Although it may be necessary to update the electrical and plumbing part of the building, the home’s structure is usually solid and built to last.
  • Old houses usually have many parts such as old woodwork, quirky light fixtures, complex details in the moldings, etc. Even with the remodeling of all kinds, some unique features of the house will still be retained while upgrading it to your taste.

The downsides

  • The cost of remodeling an old home can sometimes be prohibitive, especially if the inspection before buying the house is not a thorough one. The most expensive aspects to renovate in the old house may include roof and foundation replacement, plumbing and electrical systems, etc. Therefore, a thorough inspection of the old house must be done before purchase to find out how much you may end up spending on remodeling.
  • Some of the common materials in old homes are asbestos and lead. These materials can make old homes harbor toxins of many different kinds and can quickly become health hazards if not properly dealt with. Having them removed by a professional will cost money, thereby increasing the cost of renovation.
  • It is common to encounter unexpected challenges during remodeling. This is even more common in old homes. When these unforeseen circumstances come up, many things about the remodeling project change including your plans, the cost, and the timeline. Most times, these issues are not for the better.

What renovations are worth doing?

The following is a list of some of the rewarding home remodeling you may want to consider:

  • Garage door replacement: The average cost is $3,907; the average resale value is $3,663, and the cost recouped is 93.8%.
  • Manufactured stone veneer: The average cost is $10,386; the average resale value is $9,571, and the cost recouped is 92.1%. 
  • Minor kitchen remodel: The average cost is $26,214; the average resale value is $18,927, and the cost recouped: 72.2% 
  • Fiber-cement siding: The average cost is $19,626; the average resale value is $13,618, and the cost recouped is 69.4%. 
  • Vinyl windows: The average cost is $19,385; the average resale value is $13,297, and the cost recouped is 68.6%. 
  • Vinyl siding: The average cost is $16,576; the average resale value is $11,315, and the cost recouped is 68.3%.

There are many other projects that can add real value to your home and there are some that are a total waste of money. A very good strategy is to start with small projects that will boost your home’s appeal and energy efficiency.

In the end, it is still your home. Make the home comfortable for yourself and your family while you’re still there. However, know that not all home remodeling projects will be recouped when it’s time to sell. You can visit the Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report to learn more about what you can expect to recoup on your home remodeling.

Bottom line

While remodeling your home is not supposed to be a waste of money, you want to do your research before embarking on such a project. It is important that you have a good understanding of what remodeling will give you the highest ROI.

Consider your budget and location because the cost of materials and labor will largely depend on your area.

Also, you need to keep in mind that the home remodeling that you might consider the best for resale might not necessarily be the best fit for you. Of course, adding personal touches to your home is important. At least, you should enjoy your remodeling while you own the home.