Does Wood Paneling Decrease Your Home Value?

Wood paneling was a thing in the 70s, but it’s reemerging as a trend once again. It has received mixed reactions from the real estate industry. Some are positive, but some people are wondering, “Does wood paneling decrease your home value?”

Wood paneling won’t decrease your home value if incorporated properly. Having wood paneling in your home won’t increase its value by an exorbitant amount, but it will definitely be one of its main selling points. It will also help contribute to the property’s overall aesthetics. 

In the following sections, I’ll talk more about how wood paneling will affect your home value. I’ll also give you some tips to ensure you do proper wood paneling.

Does Wood Paneling Decrease Your Home Value

How Wood Paneling Affects Your Home Value

As a rule of thumb, home improvements that can be seen physically can increase your home value. Wood paneling is no exception to this.

However, wood paneling is a double-edged sword. Depending on certain factors like the buyers’ preference, wood quality, paneling design, and the like, wood paneling can either contribute nothing to your home’s value or tremendously increase it. 

It’s a given for wood paneling to give a better aesthetic to homes. Because of its vintage style, you can expect it to give your property a classic and timeless look. It can also open a lot of benefits, such as better insulation and acoustics. 

On the other hand, there’s little to no chance for wood paneling to decrease your home value. Possibly the only exception is when the wood panels are in bad condition; meaning, there is rotten wood, deformed panels, etc.

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of wood paneling to give you a clearer picture of how it may affect your home value.

Advantages of Wood Paneling

Because of the durability and practicality that comes with wood paneling, it comes with a lot of advantages. Take a look at the list below:

Wood Paneling Allows Better Insulation

Wood is one of the best materials for insulation. Due to this quality, homes with wood paneling tend to have a more regulated temperature. Wood paneling helps prevent the heat from seeping out and, at the same time, keeps the cold from entering. 

This benefit isn’t limited to just the room temperature. The insulation properties of wood paneling also apply to acoustics. Wood paneling enhances a home’s acoustics because of its ability to absorb sound. This makes it a good choice for homeowners who want to soundproof their home or simply reduce noise levels.

Wood Paneling Can Increase a Home’s Aesthetics

One of the main benefits of installing wood paneling in your home is the big boost in aesthetics. Although it will be on a case-to-case basis due to design preference, there’s no denying that wood panels can add a good vintage touch to your interior design.

Wainscoting, Board & Batten, and Beadboard are some of the most popular wood paneling options for aesthetics, but there are a lot of other styles to choose from.

Wood Paneling Is an Eco-Friendly Choice for Home Renovations

Wood paneling is a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for home renovation. This is mainly because the process uses wood, a renewable and biodegradable material. Consequently, it offers more benefits for the property, including a durable interior design and higher energy efficiency

In addition, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Wood Science concluded that wood can also affect a human’s physiological aspects. It mostly helped in reducing stress and blood pressure.

Disadvantages of Wood Paneling

No matter how good wood paneling sounds, it also comes with a number of disadvantages. Here are some of its drawbacks, a.k.a. reasons why your buyer might back out of a deal when they see wood panels:

Wood Paneling Can Come Off as Outdated

Let’s face it — the 70s era is far back in the past. Even if “vintage” and “traditional” designs are bouncing back, it’s still not everyone’s cup of tea

Some people may see wood panels as an outdated interior design and, thus, something that they need to spend more money and time on. It might not put your property in a good light since it will mean additional work for potential buyers.

Wood Paneling Is High-Maintenance

Wood panels require extreme care and maintenance in order for them to last several years. Apart from regular dusting, the panels will also need light washing and polishing. Things can get expensive for special wood finishings as they’ll need extra care and specialized cleaners. 

That said, there’s a big possibility that potential buyers may turn away since this means additional fees and responsibility. You can leave the wood panels bare to keep them from being high-maintenance, but it won’t be the best choice from an interior design point of view.

Homes With Wood Paneling Are Prone to Wood Rot and Deformation

If you’re selling an old home and its wood panels have been there for a long time, other downsides may include wood rot and deformation. This issue will normally happen once the woods attain more than 40 years. However, if they’re in a place that’s prone to moisture and wetness, it will take three years at most.

Now, when wood rot and deformation start to happen, the wood panels will need to be redone, replaced, or totally removed. This will depend on what the homeowner wants and the size of the damage. Unfortunately, again, this means more money spent on renovations.

Do Realtors and Home Buyers Like Homes With Wood Paneling?

Realtors and home buyers surprisingly have different views of homes with wood paneling. Some like the timeless look it gives to homes, while others feel it’s too outdated.

According to Apartment Therapy, real estate agents only have two possible reactions when they see wood paneling in a home. It’s either they like the aesthetic, or they cringe. They also added that some of the main factors that they consider are:

  • Type of wall paneling
  • Color scheme of wall panels
  • Quality of wood used
  • Uniqueness of the wall paneling design

While realtors use a more objective approach toward wood paneling, buyers simply rely on their preferences. Hence, figuring out their exact reaction can be difficult. Trying to please your prospects will be hit or miss.

All in all, just like with any other home renovation, the reaction toward wood paneling will depend on the buyer’s preference. It’s best to know your target market to determine if installing wood panels will bring your property’s value up a notch or if it will be the other way around.

Some Tips To Increase Your Home Value With Wood Paneling

The thing with wood paneling is it can be tricky to work with. You have to ensure that it will appeal to interested prospects and gain positive feedback from your realtors. Most of all, you need to ensure that it will increase your home’s value and you’ll profit greatly from it. 

All this can get overwhelming, so here are some tips on how to go about it:

  • Use high-quality wood. One of the most important things to remember regarding wood paneling is to use high-quality wood. No matter the type of panels you plan on installing, make sure your panels are sturdy, lightweight, and smooth. You also need to take the right measurements into account.
  • Play around with textures and colors. You don’t have to limit your wood panels to just one texture and color. If you’re knowledgeable in interior design or working with one, consider combining different styles and aesthetics.
  • Explore different types of wood paneling. As I mentioned in the previous section, wood paneling comes in many different types. There’s wainscoting, shiplap, tongue and groove, and a lot more; you won’t run out of options. That said, take it as an opportunity to explore the styles, combine two to three if possible, and look for what can give you the best aesthetic quality. Considering functionality is also a must.
  • Consider updating old wood paneling instead of doing a total replacement. If your wood panels are old and/or in bad shape, you should consider updating them instead of heading directly for a replacement. Not only will you be able to save more money, but it will also be better for your home’s structure since it won’t have to go through heavy construction processes. 
  • Avoid too much wood paneling. Wood paneling can’t be on every single wall in your home. You may find it looking “uniform,” but it will seem too much for potential buyers. Since wood paneling makes a room feel cozier, it’s best to limit it to a few rooms, ideally wide ones. 

Keep in mind that doing these things won’t guarantee a sale, nor will a good wall paneling prevent your leads from haggling. Still, you can rest assured that you’ll have a higher chance of making your home appear more appealing. You’ll also be able to give better justice to your property’s price.

Final Thoughts

Wood paneling won’t decrease your home value unless we’re talking about damaged wood panels or awfully designed ones. If you incorporate wood panels properly, you should expect them to affect your home value positively. This means using high-quality wood, using the right colors and designs, and carefully planning out their placement.

If you’re still doubtful, however, it’s best to consult with a professional interior designer or your real estate agent.

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