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While most home improvement projects yield generally positive results—increased home values, more usable spaces, improved enjoyment of the property—there are never any guarantees a project will work out the way you hope. While bad execution—the wrong materials or finish, for example, or hiring the wrong contractor—doesn’t mean the project itself was a bad idea, there are a few so-called “improvements” that you will probably regret no matter how well-executed they are.

Touchless faucets

The appeal of touchless faucets is obvious: Instead of smearing dough or grease all over your nice fixture, you can just wave your hand imperiously and water magically pours out for you. Plus, there’s at least an hour-long period after you first install it when you’ll have the most fun you’ve had in a long time pretending to have magic powers.

The benefit of a touchless faucet is real, but it’s also minor—and they come with too many drawbacks:

  • You will accidentally turn it on all the time. You will also get caught in a loop of waving at it, getting impatient, and waving fruitlessly again.

  • These faucets require power, either from an outlet or a battery, which leaves the possibility of not being able to run your water in the event of a lengthy power outage.

  • If you need to adjust the temperature of the water, you’ll have to actually touch the faucet, negating its sole benefit.

Ceiling height cabinetry

It’s considered trendy to have kitchen cabinets soar all the way to your ceiling, and there are seemingly good arguments for it. For one thing, having your cabinets go all the way up eliminates the dusty wasteland that otherwise forms on top of your cabinetry, and, we’re told, tall cabinets look sleek and elegant and can make small kitchens look larger.

But those enormous cabinets also have one other feature: Uselessness. Unless you intend to have some sort of ladder permanently installed—or you don’t mind climbing up onto a kitchen chair on a regular basis—you will either never actually use those cabinets or risk your safety doing so.

Pot fillers

If you close your eyes right now and imagine a swanky, expensive kitchen, you’re probably including a pot filler in the vision. Pot fillers are the sort of little extra that just seems luxurious—imagine not having to carry a heavy pot to and from the sink! It’s exactly the sort of rich-person detail we love, because it costs a lot of extra money to eliminate a tiny amount of effort.

Actually, they barely do even that much, because you probably have to carry your pot of water back to the sink when you’re done cooking anyway, so it doesn’t eliminate the chore so much as cut it in half. And pot fillers have downsides you will regret:

  • They’re challenging to clean. Between cooking grease, food splatter, and dust, a pot filler can be tough to keep looking spiffy.

  • They provide one more place where water can betray you and ruin part of your home.

  • Depending on how often you use it and how hard your water is, they can rust and get clogged with mineral scaling.

Built-in tech

There’s something magical about having all the wires and ugly boxes involved with home entertainment systems and other technology hidden behind walls or inside custom installations. It can make your home feel cutting edge to have a TV rise out of a cabinet, or have surround-sound speakers wired in.

The regret comes later, when it’s time to upgrade. Custom installations may make it very hard to move up to a larger television, for example, and things like speaker systems that were current less than a decade ago can be useless with modern smart home systems. You can’t stop the march of progress, but updating your tech is a lot easier when you don’t have to open the walls or adhere to very specific specifications to replace components.

Enormous kitchen islands

If you watch home improvement television shows or follow renovation social media, you know that everyone is crazy for kitchen islands. So many folks on these shows walk into perfectly fine kitchens and lament the lack of an island; it’s easy to believe that a kitchen without an island is no kitchen at all.

And a kitchen island can be a perfectly useful and beautiful addition—if you have the space for it. And even if you have a large kitchen that could make good use of the extra counter and eating space an island provides, there are two ways to end up regretting your choice:

  • Too large. Having an island that’s too big will reduce the usability of your kitchen and make even a large kitchen feel small.

  • Inhibited workflow. Having an island that includes an oven, dishwasher, sink, and/or storage is great—unless they’re positioned on opposite sides and you have to run around it to accomplish anything.

  • Cleaning. A huge island may look impressive, but when you have to climb on top of it to clean that countertop, you will experience what scientists call regret.

Garage conversions

If you need more square footage in your home, a garage conversion can get it for you at a relatively low price. And you may be very happy with the new office, bedroom, or living space you create out of it. But even if you enjoy the new space, you’ll likely have some regrets later—especially when it’s time to sell:

  • Layout. Garages aren’t placed to be used as living spaces, so your new home layout is probably going to be a bit strange—like having a bedroom just off the kitchen.

  • Curb appeal. A sealed-up garage can look pretty awkward from the street, which can inhibit your ability to attract buyers when you want to sell the house.

  • Loss of … garage. People like garages for their cars. That’s why homes with garages are worth more (on average about $23,000 more, but in some areas, like Chicago, that number doubles).

Spa/Jacuzzi tub

Another detail that gets house hunters excited on TV and social media channels is the spa tub. And in theory this makes sense: You can imagine yourself luxuriating in one as jets of warm water massage your aches and worries away.

But spa tubs are made for future regret. Even assuming you use it as much as you think you will (you probably won’t), there are several reasons you’ll probably regret installing one:

  • Price. These suckers can be expensive, with an average cost of $3,000 to install. As with all things, you can buy cheaper models … but those come with their own set of regrets.

  • Durability. Unlike regular tubs, whose sole job is to fill with water and not leak, spa tubs are complex machines. They have all kinds of moving parts and other components, which means they require maintenance and upkeep that most tubs don’t.

  • Cleaning. Keeping your jetted spa tub clean is a constant battle. Aside from the usual issues of residue and rings left behind, you have to ensure the jets are kept clean to keep them working (and to stop mold from growing in them).

Of course, the real value of any home improvement is your enjoyment of the final result—if you love what you’ve done, you won’t have any regrets. But if you’re making improvements in response to trends or because you expect a bump in your home’s value, do a little digging (and introspection) before assuming it will all work out.

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