Home renovation television shows give home owners big ideas about how they can spruce up their property. But some of these projects can open up problems for owners whose big remodeling dreams may not have been well-thought out. Realtor.com® recently spotlighted a few renovation plans that often turn out badly:
Tearing down walls: While some walls may not look like they’d be any big deal to tear down – even, say, a half wall — they actually may be providing more support to a home than home owners realize. The walls may be holding up floors or framework. Also, those walls may contain electric and plumbing. Always ask a professional the implication of tearing down any wall and check what is required by your municipalities building code.
Modernizing a historic home: Removing some of the historic appeal or character of a home – such as removing original woodwork, built-ins, or claw-foot bathtubs – can be one of the worst mistakes remodelers make, says Matt Forcum, a real estate pro with Century 21 Realty Concepts in Effingham, Ill. The interior may no longer match the character of the exterior, and thereby bring down the value of the property.
Replacing worn-out wood floors: “Unless you’ve had significant water damage, it doesn’t take much to replace hardwood flooring,” says Luis Leonzo with TableLegsOnline.com. Tearing out old floors could potentially lower your home’s value too, Leonzo adds. “The older the home, the higher the quality of hardwood, which might have cost $20 a square foot when it was built. Replacing the flooring with laminate or carpet at $1 a square foot is like reupholstering your leather couch with canvas!”
Using the highest priced materials: Some of the priciest renovations rarely pay off at resale. For example, Morgan Franklin with United Real Estate Lexington in Kentucky suggests finding a nice granite for $35 to $50 instead of the marble for $100-plus a square foot. “In the eyes of the appraiser and the next buyer, there isn’t much difference,” Franklin says.