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Home Renovations: Vanity vs. Value

After an unsustainable housing market that embodied “more, more, more,” there is now a move toward pragmatism and modesty. More homeowners are actually living in the homes they own and there is less talk of investments and flipping those houses.

“I’ve been renovating houses or writing about them for almost 40 years, and I am seeing a definite shift towards a greater insistence on value in the renovation projects people are taking on,” says Michael Litchfield, author of In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats, adding, “Looks to me like the Age of McMansions is giving way to the Era of McModesty.”

Before renovating, homeowners may want to realistically assess their home, and decide whether future homebuyers will one day value these renovations. As contractor Dave Dillon puts it, “Sure, someone may want [your home] ‘as is,’ but they are the exception. The trouble is, everyone is looking for the exception when it comes time to sell their home.”

With that in mind, click ahead to see what renovations are working out well on the market, and which ones are not.

By Colleen Kane
Posted 22 Mar 2011

Photo: Patti McConville | Getty Images