6 home renovations that cost way more than they’re worth

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Maybe your home needs a little TLC before you put it on the market this year. Or maybe you love where you live and plan to stay put, but you need to freshen up the look a bit.

Don’t worry; you can accomplish either goal and do it on the cheap! Just be sure to avoid these pitfalls…

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6 home renovation pitfalls

BankRate.com has compiled a list of the six worst home improvement projects in terms of return on investment (ROI) at resale time.

All figures quoted are from the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Realtors.

Bathroom addition

  • Typical cost: $50,000
  • 52% recouped at resale

Master suite addition

  • Typical cost: $112,500
  • 53% recouped at resale

Closet renovation

  • Typical cost: $3,500
  • 57% recouped at resale

Bathroom renovation

  • Typical cost: $26,000
  • 58% recouped at resale

New wood-frame windows

  • Typical cost: $26,000
  • 58% recouped at resale

New fiberglass front door

  • Typical cost: $2,500
  • 60% recouped at resale

5 ways to freshen up your home’s look on a budget

Here are some simple improvements that really are worth the money…

Paint your front door

Want to spend the least amount of money for the most ROI on your home? Paint the front door! It’s the single simplest and easiest way to enhance curb appeal.

This is an easy fix that will cost you $40 on average. Just be sure to pick a conservative color; you don’t want to be the one homeowner in a traditional neighborhood who paints their door in some crazy color.

Touch up the high-traffic areas in your home

While you’re at it with your paint can and paint brush, be sure to paint high traffic areas in your home. They’re easy enough to spot — just look for the scuffs and dings throughout all the usual parts of your house.

Expect to spend between $40 and $80 for paint and supplies. And remember, when somebody comes to look at a home for sale, they are trying to buy their dream — not the reality where you scuffed up the house!


Get new curtains

If you’re happy with the quality and look of your curtain rods, all you need are some new curtains to transform the look of key rooms in your home.

While there are many styles and options out there, a lot of home-improvement bloggers seem to favor these Ikea curtains that will run you about $60.

Choose your kitchen upgrades frugally

Marble counters? Ceramic floors? New cabinets? They may sound like the makings of a dream kitchen, but these upgrades could be big mistakes.

Yet if you plan to sell your home in the near future, having a great kitchen is very important. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay big bucks to get a look you love.

Did you know it’s possible to pay as little as $20 for an LG stainless steel microwave if you shop at this store?

Don’t forget the backyard

Sometimes making your home into a place you love starts on the outside. If your grass is plagued by brown spots, consider Pearl’s Premium for your lawn. It’s a new blend of ultra-low maintenance seed that can save homeowners money and is environmentally friendly.

According to the product’s website, ‘Pearl’s Premium rarely, or never, needs watering; grows very slowly and thrives without chemicals. The secret: roots that can reach 12 inches deep, tapping into naturally-occurring moisture and nutrients to produce a healthy, barefoot soft lawn.’

You can get a bag of this seed for around $35, but you’ll save much more on mowing, watering and chemical treatments.

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