Angie's List: Home improvement blunders you should avoid

Don't Waste Your Money

This time of year, homeowners are eager to spring into action and get started on home improvement projects.

But in order to increase your home's value, there are three home improvement blunders you should avoid.

Shortly after moving in to her new home, Heidi Birkey and her husband discovered a plumbing problem that cost her more than $500 to fix.

"The plumbing under the sink is really old, and it was all metal plumbing so when he took it apart it fell apart in his hands," Birkey said.

There are countless home improvement projects you can spend your money on.

But our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List say be careful: Not every project will add value to your home.

Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says mistake No. 1 is spending money on home cosmetics -- when your home has bigger needs inside its walls.

"Maybe you want a new deck, but you need a new furnace and only have money for one,” Hicks said. “Be sure you invest in those needs first because it will be a better return on your money."

Mistake No. 2: Over-investing in your home, compared with the rest of the neighborhood.

You wont get your money back at resale.

"But don't overinvest here,” Hicks said. “The goal is to keep up with the Jones, but don't be the leader in your neighborhood. If your neighbors all have two bathrooms, don't put three in your house."

Mistake No. 3: Going cheap to save money.

A project installed poorly won't add value to your home.

Hicks says hire a reputable contractor, even if it costs a bit more.

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