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.

Fad: The garage that ate your home
This house is more welcoming to cars than the people who drive them. So much prominence is given to the driveway that the residential wing seems like an afterthought.
Fad: The garage that ate your home
So now you have three cars. And you need somewhere to put them all. While the old one-car garage just isn't going to work anymore, beware the three-car garage in its traditional configuration (that is, three cars side by side). That's a lot of structure to put right next to your house, and it's not going to blend easily.

Remember:

Garages Shouldn't Hog the Spotlight What should be the focus: your house or your garage? Sadly, many garages are given pride of place in a yard and then compound the problem with their size. Three enclosed car bays lead to a gigantic box that dwarfs its parent building when the opposite should be true.

Big Doors Are Ugly Car-size openings mean gaping maws right at the front of the building. Garage doors are then either ominously blank panels or, worse, overwrought with detailing.

Proportion Matters You can add only so big a wing before it loses any connection to your original home. The things that give your house character (moldings, window treatments and the like) don't work on something the size of a small Costco.

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
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.