Styles That Last
Even when your remodeling job is an appealing improvement for most buyers, it adds little value if done to just your taste. "You might want a room in your house in the shape of a cat or a mouse, but can you find a buyer who wants it?" says Gopal Ahluwalia, director of research at the National Association of Home Builders. "You have to think in the back of your mind that you're going to have to sell someday."

If you're living in a Craftsman gem and want to tack on a family-room addition, for instance, keep the design in harmony with the original look and feel. That goes for the height of the ceilings as well as the style of the windows and moldings. "You don't want to lose the integrity of the house," says Bobbi Chasin, a real estate agent in Evanston, Illinois. "Putting a big box on the back of the house will spoil the entire appearance."

The same holds true for smaller projects, too. For example, when choosing kitchen cabinets, countertops, and flooring, aim for classic or neutral colors and styles. "Years ago, I had a client who wanted a purple kitchen, to match the purple grout on her fireplace," says Mark Scott, a remodeler in Bethesda, Maryland. Scott argued strenuously against it, but the homeowner insisted that she was planning to stay in the house for the rest of her life. If you can't make that kind of commitment, don't expect somebody else to pay for your unique and funky choices.
Ask TOH users about Kitchen

Contribute to This Story Below