Renovations that can add value to a home ... and those that can reduce it Whether you're thinking of selling your home or just want to improve its comfort value, there are inexpensive steps you can take to achieve either goal. They include adding ceiling fans; updating appliances to attractive, energy-saving units, applying a fresh coat of paint and replacing old-style light fixtures. Here are some renovations that will decrease the value of your home, according to Scott McGillivray, author of How to Add Value to Your Home. * Breaking down the wall between two small bedrooms to create a master suite. Buyers prefer three-bedrooms. * Converting an attached garage to living space. Sounds like a good idea, but many buyers won't even look at a home that doesn't have a garage. * Adding artistic touches to the home, like large wall paintings. They can be painted over, but most buyers prefer uncluttered walls, a blank space for them to fill in, not an example of the previous owner's tastes. * Painting walls dark colors tends to make home buyers think the rooms are small and unwelcoming. Light-colored walls make the rooms feel larger and friendlier, which is what home buyers want, even if they will paint the walls themselves. * Doing it yourself: Quoted in Bottom Line Personal, McGillivray says that unless you are a professional remodeler, skip do-it-yourself updates. When buyers, and the home inspectors they hire, see such work, they wonder what else you have done, such as working on the electricity and plumbing. Buyers are more confident when they feel a home has been professionally maintained. * Adding a chain-link fence in the front yard looks cheap and unwelcoming. And it give buyers a low first impression of the property.