No. 1: Home office remodel
This home office remodel 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.
The estimated $28,000 price also includes some heavy-duty rewiring and new walls, harkening back to an age before portable coffee shop laptops and Wi-Fi. The estimated return at sale is 48.9 percent.
And yes, even with professional work, you could definitely design an office for less, Alfano says.
Home offices aren't exciting
Home offices don't sell houses, says Ron Phipps, principal with Phipps Realty in Warwick, Rhode Island, 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."