real estate

6 worst home fixes for the money

Home office remodel
Home office remodel
  • Cost (national average): $28,000
  • Return at sale: 48.9 percent

This is not your typical stuff-a-desk-in-the-guest-room office. When Remodeling Magazine priced out the project, it envisioned a professional-grade workspace loaded with super-durable commercial-grade carpet and floor-to-ceiling hardwood built-ins, says Sal Alfano, editorial director for Remodeling Magazine, who oversaw the study.

Harkening back to an age before portable coffee shop laptops and Wi-Fi, the estimated price also includes some heavy-duty rewiring and new walls.

And yes, even with professional work, you could definitely design an office for less, Alfano says.

At resale: Home offices don't sell houses, says Ron Phipps, principal with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., and past president of the National Association of Realtors.

"To spend money making more of the house office-driven -- it doesn't excite people the way a home theater might," he says. "Or redoing other rooms or updating the kitchen."

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