Before you go and spend your savings or obtain a loan to finance a significant upgrade to your home, review what homebuilders nationwide are no longer providing in their custom housing developments. Why? Either today’s buyers are no longer seeking these amenities, or these once very popular add-ons proved too expensive to maintain.

This message is not intentioned to influence homeowners away from an upgrade they desire, but to make them aware that every silver lining has a cloud, and they should be aware of the maintenance costs before committing to any major home projects.


A desirable amenity in the 1980s, be aware that even today, sunrooms are expensive to buy, raise property taxes, and are not inexpensive to maintain. Shades are costly to replace, and the glass itself can require replacement over time. Also, sunrooms are not insulated, making them unusable for several months a year in many parts of the country.

If your heart is set on owning one, consider a freestanding garden greenhouse which is less of a cost outlay, and does not carry the same obsolescence issues over time as a sunroom.

Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces

These can occupy a significant amount of backyard real estate. However they require upkeep. Is the backyard big enough to support other recreational elements such as a pool, play equipment, a garden, or just some grass?  Would a fire pit or deck off the kitchen serve the same purpose for far less cash outlay?

Media Rooms

Home builders cite WiFi as the reason the media room is no longer high on the wish lists of their prospects. Now that every member of the family can plug into their personal devices and make individual entertainment selections, the need for these once very popular amenities is fading. Also for media rooms with tiered flooring, it’s installation and future removal must be factored into the overall expenses. Instead, some families are repurposing their basements to provide a private suite for elderly family members and grown children still living at home.

For those who still want one, consider purchasing an attractive leather sectional instead of fixed reclining theatre seats, and a sound system, such as a Bose, which can be moved or used throughout the house and even outside.

There are many cost effective ways to upgrade any home without putting additional strain on heating and cooling systems, or even, the family’s finances. Especially if you are considering a costly addition to your property, engage a home inspector to ensure that the structure and systems will be able to support your ambition. For more information or to set up an appointment, give us a call.