Home Improvement Myths Told by HGTV Shows That Are a Total Waste of Your Money

When you sell your home, you want to make sure the updates you make are well worth it. You want to be able to recoup the money you put into sprucing up your home by getting the best offers possible. If your goal is to get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to use caution when deciding on home improvements. That’s why you should be careful not to take everything you hear on shows like HGTV as gospel truth.

In order to help you out, we took a look at the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report to see which projects typically seen on HGTV aren’t worth the money. Here are home improvement myths told by HGTV shows that are a total waste of your money.

Myth: You should always do a major kitchen remodel

Chip and Joanna Gaines in kitchen

If your kitchen is in good shape a remodel might not be worth it. | Magnolia Market via Facebook

  • Average cost: $62,158
  • Average resale value: $40,560
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 65.3%

One popular project you’ll see on just about every HGTV show is a kitchen remodel. You might think a kitchen remodel is a no-brainer, but this isn’t so. First, it’s important to understand the difference between a remodel and a renovation. A renovation involves working on a part of your home that needs repair while remodeling involves changing the structure or form, according to the experts at Northfield Construction Company. If your kitchen is already in good shape, doing a complete remodel might not be worth your money. The average cost to do a major kitchen remodel will set you back about $62,150. However, the resale value is just $40,560. You’ll recoup just 65.3% of your investment.

Myth: You should always do a bathroom remodel

white bathroom with two sinks and big mirror

A bathroom like this doesn’t come cheap. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

  • Average cost: $18,564
  • Average resale value: $12,024
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 64.8%

Another area of the home that gets a lot of attention on HGTV is the bathroom. It’s common to see the show’s hosts mapping out the big plans they have for creating a completely new bathroom with additions such as a new vanity counter, new tiles, and new fixtures. However, you’ll likely lose money on a major bathroom remodel. The average cost is $18,564. However, the average resale value is $12,024. You can expect to recoup just 64.8% of your investment.  

Myth: It pays to add a master bedroom

bedroom

A master bedroom generally won’t give you a return on your investment. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Average cost: $119,533
  • Average resale value: $77,506
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 64.8%

A master bedroom addition typically includes a walk-in closet or dressing area, a soaker tub, a separate walk-in ceramic tile shower, and a double-bowl vanity with a solid-surface countertop. This update might look nice, but it really doesn’t pay to add a master bedroom.

You might see HGTV couples oohing and aahing over their brand-new master suite, but it’s generally not the best way to spend your remodeling dollars. A master suite addition will cost you an average of $119,533, however the resale value is just $77,506. You can expect to recoup roughly 64.8% of the cost.

Myth: Adding a new deck will be a profitable update

cleaning a deck

Decks cost money in upkeep. | BanksPhotos/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average cost: $17,249
  • Average resale value: $11,252
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 65.2%

New decks are often featured prominently on HGTV. The only thing is, a deck addition (specifically a composite deck) might not be worth it considering the costs and expected return on your investment. Expect to pay roughly $17,249 for a composite deck addition. The resale value will be about $11,252. At the end of the day you can expect to recoup just 65.2% of your investment.

Myth: A bathroom addition will add more punch

installing the bathroom floor

A bathroom addition could have a very low return on investment. | moman11/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average cost: $43,232
  • Average resale value: $23,283
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 53.9%

The only place you’ll see a punch is to your wallet. You might have been under the impression that any updates to the bathroom will yield the best results, but the numbers say otherwise. According to Remodeling’s Cost Vs. Value report, updates such as a bathroom addition yield the worst results. In fact, a mid-range bathroom addition has the lowest return on investment on Remodeling’s list, yielding a return of just 53.9%.

Myth: You should stretch your budget for a backyard patio

A patio outside a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'

You likely won’t recoup your investment. | HGTV

  • Average cost: $51,985
  • Average resale value: $28,546
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 54.9%

A backyard patio addition typically includes a gas-powered fire pit in the center of the patio in addition to a stone-veneer modular kitchen unit with gas grill, a mini-refrigerator, a sink, and storage. However, backyard patios don’t measure up when it comes to how much you can recoup. The average cost of adding a backyard patio is $51,985. The average resale value is $28,546. However, you can expect to recoup just 54.9% of your hard-earned dollars.

Myth: A family room addition will be worth the cost

boy in family room

The addition probably won’t be worth it. | HGTV

  • Average cost: $89,566
  • Average resale value: $62,055
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 69.3%

A family room addition costs roughly $89,566, and has an average resale value of $62,055. You can expect to recoup about 69.3% of the cost of your investment. Although a family room addition fares a little better than the other updates on this list in terms of what you’ll get back for your investment, you’ll still lose some money. Therefore, you might want to put this remodel at the bottom of your to-do list or skip it altogether.

Myth: A window replacement will pay off

installing windows

You might recoup only about three-quarters of the cost. | iStock

  • Average cost: $18,759
  • Average resale value: $13,691
  • Amount you can expect to recoup: 73%

High-end window replacements look great but might not always be the best use of your remodeling budget. A wood window replacement project will run you about $18,759. The average resale value is $13,691. You can expect to recoup about 73% of your costs. Although this isn’t terrible, you’ll still be short a few thousand dollars on your investment. When it comes to remodeling, your money is best spent on projects such as fiberglass insulation for the attic (you can expect to recoup 107%) and entry door replacement (you can expect to recoup 90%).

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