7 Renovation Mistakes That Decrease Home Value

We're ready to unpack all the details on how to increase home value—or, at the very least, not decrease it.

Making home renovations that won't increase your house's resale value can be a waste of money and time. Even worse, there are some improvement mistakes that deplete the value of your home. We tapped Home Expert Bailey Carson, at Angi to share which home renovations you're better off avoiding altogether.

"If you're a few years away from selling and the change will help you enjoy your home for the rest of your time there—without hurting its value—then go for it," says Carson. Doing your research prior to any home remodel can help you save time and money down the road. When doing your home renovation, watch out for these seven mistakes that decrease home value.

Gray House with For Sale Sign in Yard


Home is what you make it. Unless you make it too much like you. "If you're considering selling your home at some point, try to steer clear of hyper-personalization, especially if it's hard to undo," says Carson. (Think: decorating with uniquely patterned wallpaper, tile, textured ceilings, or unique carpets.) "Prospective buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home, which can be hard to do if it's full of the seller's character. It also starts the buyers off with a list of projects they want to do to be able to make the house their own."

DIY Projects

We've all been there, scrolling through Pinterest looking for everything from small space home decorating tips to popular cookie recipes, but don't fall down the DIY rabbit hole when it comes to home renovations. "We found recently that over half of buyers would only trust small DIY projects done by a previous owner and an additional 15% wouldn't trust any," says Carson.

When potential buyers are looking at homes to purchase, they're also looking at the quality of work that has gone into any home remodels. "If a home project isn't done well, it isn't going to bode well for the seller. This also holds true for 'band-aid fixes' to issues," she says.

The moral of the story? Cut corners and buyers will beware.

Sacrificing Utility for Space

Pro-tip: Never skimp on closet space for a bigger room or a larger window. Storage and storage solutions are important factors to potential buyers. Our home expert informs that buyers like to see themselves realistically living in your home, and little closet space might be a deal-breaker.

Elaborate Landscaping

Curb appeal is a real thing. "Clean, manicured lawns are a great way to give a positive first impression to potential buyers. Elaborate landscaping, on the other hand, can do the opposite," says Carson.

Not everyone has a green thumb. While some may like excessive landscaping, it's best to keep things clean and simple for the next home buyer.

Bold Paint Color

A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to remake a room. Everything doesn't have to be white, and it shouldn't be. Bringing color into a space can be subtle. A kitchen can be a win with neutral off-white cabinets and an island that pops in brown-gray or blue-green. Too much bright color in a room can be downright overwhelming, though, and a turn-off to potential buyers if you ever decide to move, so stay away from reds and oranges.

Designs That Are Too Trendy

It may be tempting to jump on the latest Pinterest bandwagon, but some design trends come and go quickly. When renovating your home, stick with changes that will add value and impact your space. Barn doors seem fun, but do they fit with the style of the rest of your home? Patterned tile may look outdated after a few years, and it may be too personal to your tastes. Opt for classics, like solid tile colors that will last.

Ignoring Long-Term Needs

When renovating a room so it will function better for your needs, consider whether the changes need to be permanent. If you would get more use out of a home office than the guest room your third room is currently set up as, trade the bed for a desk. Instead of adding a permanent built-in desk and bookshelves for the transition, keep the structure of your space so you—or someone else—will have the flexibility to easily change it later on as family needs change. Whether you use the space for a craft room, a home gym, or an office, a room that's custom-made for single use could be a turn-off for buyers. Add equipment to the room without making the pieces permanent fixtures.

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