Home Renovation Ideas You May Want to Rethink

Before you pick up a hammer, check this list of the worst home renovation advice you might be tempted to try

It’s no secret that home renovations and remodeling can seriously boost the value of your home. Home renovation television shows give homeowners big ideas about how they can spruce up their property. There’s a ton of terrific, true, and essential home improvement advice out there, but some of these projects can open up problems for owners whose big remodeling dreams may not have been well thought out.

So before you pick up a hammer, make sure to check this list of the worst home renovation advice you might be tempted to try. Then slowly back away from the toolkit and think twice! Maybe even three times:

Tearing down walls

While some walls may not look like they’d be any big deal to tear down as a cheap and easy way to open up tons of space – even, say, a half wall – they actually may be providing more support to a home than homeowners 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 your municipalities building code requires.

Update to what’s “trendy”

Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your needs or to the needs of potential buyers if and when you decide to sell. And what’s in vogue now, may not be tomorrow.

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 re-modelers make. While completely updating an older home may appeal to certain homeowners, those changes may result in a house whose interior style doesn’t match the exterior, or that doesn’t match the character of the neighborhood. This makes it “a market outlier” and might drag down the value of the property and the speed of sale.

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.

“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

While some pricey renovations can improve a home’s value, outrageously expensive renovations will rarely pay off. For example, finding a nice granite for $35 to $50 instead of marble for $100-plus a square foot. In the eyes of the appraiser and the next buyer, there isn’t much difference. When considering upgrades to a home you plan to sell in the future, understand what value the market places on those upgrades.


Sources: “Renovation ideas that owners may want to rethink,” Florida Realtors; “The Worst Home Renovation Advice You Might Actually Try,” realtor.com