Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

5 dumbest renovation fads

A remodeling trend may look good on paper, but it may not make your home more livable - or more valuable. These five alternatives from Money Magazine will.

Great rooms: The right way
Placing rooms next to (but not on top of) one another allows for a similar feeling of openness but lets parts of the house be closed off as needed.
Great rooms: The right way
How to Do It Right Instead of lumping public rooms into one vast open space, a better option is to properly arrange a group of normal size rooms (with normal-size ceilings).

With the cunning use of french and sliding doors, rooms can be closed off when needed - say, when one person is watching TV and another is doing the family's taxes - and opened up when you want a more spacious feel. In the end you wind up with as much square footage as in a great room but with a more intimate, livable feel.

The Payoff:

Typical great-room construction: $150 to $350 a square foot
Building a collection of normal rooms: $125 to $250 a square foot.
Bigger is better? No, bigger is more expensive.
Great Room Craze Great rooms - the right way Kitchens on steroids Kitchens - the right way Gaudy garages Garages: The right way Porches in the wrong place Porches: The right way Built-in lighting Lighting: The right way
It's gut-check time in Miami and Las Vegas. Plus: See the few bright spots. (more)
Shoppers finally have the upper hand. Here's how to maximize that advantage. (more)
Both have had their day, but which contender is the superior long-term bet today? (more)