11 biggest remodeling mistakes

Expecting your project to pay for itself

Don’t expect your home’s value to increase by the amount you spend on the project, and you won’t be disappointed.

Remodeling projects never pay for themselves, let alone make money when you sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine. It says the average project recoups just two-thirds of its cost in the form of higher property values.

Even those improvements with the highest returns — replacing the front door and exterior siding, or adding a wooden deck — won't cover their costs when the home is sold.

Just remember that you'll get the biggest bang for your buck by keeping your project in line with what’s standard for your neighborhood. Resist the temptation to overimprove.

If selling is your main concern, fix any maintenance problems before you remodel. Buyers don’t want to spend money replacing missing shingles or repairing leaky faucets. If your home is seriously outdated, modernization projects might help it sell faster, even if you don’t recoup all of your expenses.

If you’re not moving, the real return on your investment will be an emotional one. Improving your house should make it a more functional and enjoyable place to live, a place you’re happy to wake up in each morning and come home to at night.