5 Costly Home Renovations To Skip for 2024
sturti / Getty Images

sturti / Getty Images

If you own your home, you might be tempted to make some home improvements in the coming months. Some of these could be for your own enjoyment or to make your home feel more uniquely yours. Others could be for practical reasons, such as to boost the overall value of your property — a boon if you plan to sell anytime soon.

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But while some home renovations are worth doing, others can be more expensive than they’re worth. This is in no small part due to high inflation, labor shortages, supply chain issues, and similar factors keeping costs high.

Before you add on an entirely new room to your house or install that outdoor swimming pool, make sure it’s really worth the cost. If you’re not careful, you might not get as great of a return on your investment as you think — if you get any at all.

GOBankingRates spoke with real estate agents Erin Sykes and Omer Reiner about the top home renovations to avoid in 2024. Here’s what they suggested.

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In-Ground Swimming Pool

An in-ground swimming pool might seem like a great idea if you experience long, hot summers where you live. But this renovation project can quickly become costly.

“I would hit pause on adding an in-ground pool. Depending on the type of soil where you live, excavation costs alone stack up to tens of thousands of dollars,” said Omer Reiner, licensed Realtor, entrepreneur, and president of FL Cash Home Buyers, LLC.

Not only do you have to deal with excavation and installation fees, but you also have to consider maintenance and insurance costs with swimming pools.

“They don’t always make potential buyers later smile because of the costs to keep it up and the extra home insurance that would be needed,” added Reiner.

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Breakfast Nook

“The most impactful home renovations have changed over the years,” said Erin Sykes, chief economist, real estate advisor, and real estate agent at Nest Seekers International. “The ones that bring ROI include interior/exterior painting, adding a pool (in certain markets), and adding custom closets.”

But one expensive home renovation project Sykes did not recommend was adding a breakfast nook.

Having a breakfast nook can seem appealing, especially if you have a relatively small dining area. But if you want to build one into your bay window or off the side of your kitchen, expect to spend up to $8,000 on the project — depending on the materials used and the size of the nook.

While you might think that having a breakfast nook can add value to your home, there’s no guarantee that it will. And if the quality isn’t there, or if the aesthetic doesn’t match the rest of your living space, a potential buyer might be turned off by its existence.

Additional Square Footage

The median home size for single-family homes across the U.S. is 2,480 square feet. However, there are plenty of homes that are much smaller than that.

If you have a relatively small home, you might be tempted to add on an additional room or expand an existing one to make your home bigger. But this home renovation project might not be worth the cost by the time you’re done with it.

“Adding square footage in a sunroom or extra bedroom won’t find you recouping costs,” said Reiner. “While reconfiguring your current space can add appeal that could pay off later, the enormity of a room addition, especially if it just brings your home to a comparable space for your area, will be a financial loss.”

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of a single square foot can range from around $80 to $200 when you account for labor and materials. If you’re adding on to a second or third story, prices go up to $300 to $500 per square foot.

Say you want to add on a room that’s 100 square feet, which is roughly the size of a small bedroom. This addition could cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000. If your home value doesn’t increase by at least that much, you won’t recover the costs.

Garage Bay Addition

You might also want to avoid adding on another garage bay, said Reiner.

Although an additional garage bay can give you more storage space and protect your vehicle, a simple one can easily cost $5,000 to $10,000. Depending on factors like size, materials, and labor, you could be spending much more than that.

Not only that, but you’ll need to consider the layout of the addition. If, for example, the garage bay doors are on the side, you might need to reconfigure your driveway layout.

You might also need to get certain permits or meet zoning requirements before you can add one. This could mean having to pay more fees.

Built-in Entertainment Systems

If you love listening to loud music, watching theater-quality films, or hosting events at your place, you might be thinking about installing a built-in entertainment system or media console in 2024. But while this might be a good idea for personal use, it won’t necessarily help if you’re trying to sell your home in the future.

The cost of a built-in entertainment system can easily range from a few thousand to $10,000. Larger systems, such as floor-to-ceiling or custom-built ones, can cost even more than that.

“Built-ins like media consoles have become passé and will likely not add any value to your home,” said Sykes. Some potential buyers might enjoy a built-in system like this. But you also run the risk of losing prospects who want to do the customization themselves after purchasing your home.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering a home renovation project in 2024, think about the total cost and time commitment of that project. Ask yourself why you want to do it, and whether you plan to sell your home in the near future. Depending on your answers, it might not be worth the money.

And if you still want to make some changes, go with low-maintenance or eco-friendly additions that appeal to most buyers. Give your appliances a face lift, splash on a new coat of paint, or upgrade your curb appeal. These are the types of things that can add value to your home without the hefty cost.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Real Estate Agent: 5 Costly Home Renovations To Skip for 2024

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