One of the most common reasons people give when asked why they are improving their home is that home improvements increase house value. While this can often be true, it is by no means as universal as some people assume it is. When you're about to pay out lots of money for a home improvement, it's worth checking out whether the value of your house will increase by enough to pay for it – or, worse, whether it might actually force your house value down.
Let's start with bathrooms and kitchens. While well-maintained and nice-looking kitchens and bathrooms do add value to a home, there's nothing to say that they have to be the very latest thing. An older room that is well looked-after and was not a complete abomination to begin with can often help the value just as much as a newly-installed one.
Extensions, on the other hand, almost always increase the value of your home, as they make it bigger. A four-bedroom home can be significantly more valuable on the market than a three-bedroom one, as a larger family can live in it. However, you need to watch out for building too far out into your garden if you only have a small one: get rid of too much of your garden, and you could knock even more value off your home than you gain from the extra bedroom.
Although it may seem strange, this same rule also applies to garden features such swimming pools and ponds. While you might like them, not everyone does – and you've just taken a piece of garden that could be used for almost anything and turned it into a single-use feature. Also, swimming pools especially can be very expensive to maintain, which can put off potential house buyers.
Overall, it's a bad idea to make home improvements just to make money, as you will almost always fail. Instead, just make the improvements that you want, while avoiding any that will really hit your house's price.