Thinking of converting your basement, garage or spare room into a home office? Think again. In terms of return on investment, home office renovations rank dead last among home improvement projects.
According to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2011-2012, home office remodels rank dead last in return on investment, in a list of the 19 most popular mid-range projects:
Converting a 12-by-12-foot room to a home office.
Job cost: $27,963
Resale value: $11,983
Cost recoup: 42.9%
Ouch! Across the country, you're expected to make less than half of your office investment back at resale time. Regionally, returns varied only slightly, with the highest rate of return, 50.5%, in the Pacific West, and the lowest, 32.4%, in the upper Midwest.
It's an interesting find, especially considering that in 2010, an American Insititute of Architects survey revealed that a home office space was the most popular special function room requested in new homes or additions.
Of course, many of us manage to find room for perfectly functional office spaces without spending $28K. Construction costs factored into the report include custom office cabinetry, a custom work surface, wall-mounted storage, re-wiring the room (for a computer, fax and multiple phone lines) and adding new floor and wall finishes.
The lesson here, dear reader, is to make sure that every penny spent in building your home office is spent with purpose and with an eye on your future needs and wants in the space. Because you sure aren't going to recoup your cash when it's time to sell.
Read More: Remodeling Magazine