Who would want to keep up with the Joneses when you can outright blow them out of the water? That water, of course, being an indoor, Olympic-sized pool. If you’re a homeowner with loads of disposable income and no sense of shame, there’s really no limit to the sort of over-the-top home additions and add-ons you can get. Most of the amenities you feel the need to leave your abode for can simply be installed right under your roof if you’re capable of paying the big bucks.
Here’s a look at some pricey home additions that will add value to your home, if not your bank account.
Indoor Swimming Pools
If you have ample space behind your home, you might be contemplating a backyard upgrade that includes a swimming pool. Swimming pools can provide years of enjoyment for your family and friends, but they can also be time-consuming and a potential drain on your home value.
Pools come in all shapes and sizes and there are three main types, concrete, vinyl and fiberglass. Based on estimates from home improvement site HomeAdvisor, pools cost between $20,000 and $50,000 to build and install, with vinyl pools falling in the lower end. In terms of maintenance, the cost over ten years can be between $4,000 and $40,000, with fiberglass being the most economical to maintain.
If an in-ground pool isn’t enough, consider adding a waterslide. According to DoItYourself.com, although waterslides do require some maintenance, they can entice a potential buyer by adding a feeling of fun to a standard in-ground pool. And think about how much you and your guests will enjoy it. You can choose from modular, one-piece and custom designed slides. Prices vary widely, from about $740 for a simple slide with stainless steel ladder to a twisting slide with an optional closed flume for $18,630, plus installation.
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Is a lazy river more your speed? You may have thought that they were only for water parks, but they can be installed at a residence for a steep price tag. Based on estimates on HowMuchIsIt.org, lazy rivers can cost between $100,000 for a small river to $500,000 for a 400-foot river. Maintenance is also pricey, at an estimated $1,000 per month.
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If you grill outside, a logical backyard upgrade would be an outdoor kitchen. According to ThisOldHouse.com, cost estimates are between $3,000 for a basic setup with a decent grill to upwards of $15,000 for more bells and whistles.
A basic setup is probably fine if your outdoor kitchen is close to the house, but if it’s further away, you might want to consider a more complete setup, with mini fridge, sink, etc. The folks from Angie’s List caution that this upgrade might not dramatically increase your home value. Their cost estimate for an outdoor kitchen is between $5,000 to $50,000, with the higher price including TV’s and high-end countertops, but, if you and your family enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, this could be an upgrade you will get a lot of use out of.
Outdoor Entertainment Center
Wouldn’t it be nice to kick back and watch a movie in your backyard? Perhaps it’s time for an outdoor entertainment center. Vizxdesign.com suggests a pergola to cover the area ($450-$10,700 at Lowe’s), as well as an outdoor TV. They do say that an indoor TV will suffice, which would reduce that cost significantly. Vizxdesign also recommends speakers, fans and cabinets. Be sure to factor in labor costs for an electrician and a contractor. Your outdoor couch, loveseat and coffee table sets can be purchased in the $800 to $3,000 range at a home improvement store like Lowe’s.
If you play tennis frequently and are sick of having to fight for space in the local public courts, why not have your own? Quality Court Industries estimates that this luxury backyard upgrade will run you anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000. A few factors include how much work needs to be done to your land and what kind of fencing you select. The good news is that your tennis flooring can be used for other sports, like badminton and squash, so if your family members are into racquet sports in general, your court could get a lot of use.
Unfortunately, according to HomeInsurance.com, tennis courts don’t add a lot of value to your property, so make sure you will get a lot of use out of it before assuming this expense.
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Luxury Tree House
If you’re handy, you might be inclined to cobble together a tree house for your kids. If not, you could have one custom made, which, according to Treetop Builders, Inc. will cost between $10,000 and $30,000. Factors that affect the price include size, scope, location and height. If want a tree house that adults can enjoy, be prepared to pay $40,000 and up. Whether the tree house will positively or negatively impact your property value will depend on the quality, appearance and level of safety of the tree house.
If you live in a huge house with multiple stories and floors, do you really want to be limited to just stairs? Consider installing an elevator to your home, but be prepared to fork over a few grand.
The average cost to install an elevator is $4,325, according to HomeAdvisor. However, this figure doesn’t include the cost to get a professional to physically install it. And, there are other factors that affect the price, including adding luxury features, needing access to more than two floors and splurging for custom carpentry work.
You might have never imagined having your own ice rink, but if you have the space – and the budget – it’s entirely possible.
According to CustomIceRinks.com, a portable, residential ice rink can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the size. “Portable” means that it will remain in place for the winter and can be disassembled for the warmer months. Or, if you invested in that swimming pool or tennis court, a portable rink can actually be installed over that area.
If bowling is your thing and you want the alley all to yourself, how about building a personal bowling alley? In addition to a lot of space, you’ll need lanes, pinsetters, a scoring system, lighting and more. This insanely amazing home upgrade can cost nearly $91,000 for a bare-bones, one-lane bowling alley, and $334,000 for four lanes and loads of extras, according to Fusion Bowling, which focuses on home bowling alley installation.
Sure, your neighbors might seem pretty smug now with their snazzy pool or spacious tennis court, but come the apocalypse, you can really make your backyard the envy of the entire neighborhood by installing a fallout shelter — easily the most Kim Jong Un-derated home upgrade out there. Shelters from Atlas Survival Shelters start at a modest $34,999 for the basic round culvert and range all the way up to a whopping $546,999 for the concrete dome. Tip for the marketing department at Atlas: for over a half million dollars, you might need a better name than “concrete dome.”
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Why settle for an atrium with good natural light when you could get a Victorian greenhouse that has great natural light? Hartley Botanic has been producing hand-made aluminum greenhouses since 1938, which can add the perfect touch that says, “Hey, I might know the Queen.” Models from the Heritage Range start at $13,000, whereas the Victorian line starts at $20,000 and runs upwards of $155,000.
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Why settle for a pool you can swim in when you can get an elaborate marble fountain complete with birdbaths and detailed sculptures? There are definitely options for under six figures, but the priciest options go for as much as $150,000.
Everything else on this list is an addition to your house. But why settle for that when you can build another house? Clearly, there’s no limit to how extravagant you want to get, but the Vipp Shelter — a prefab cabin from a Danish home décor company — will run you about $580,000 and is designed to be placed anywhere.
Basketball might be a team sport, but heading down to the local park could mean facing competition that’s much, much better than you. With a private, indoor basketball court, not only can you pre-select friends you know are bad at basketball, but you’ll be shielded from any passers-by observing you throwing up brick after brick. The average cost nationwide is just $35,000, but that can range all the way up to $76,000 or more, depending on the “balls” and whistles you might want.
How can you make your pool cost more despite being much smaller? Try getting a swimming treadmill from Endless Pools, which are smaller pools that generate a current so you can swim in place. Models start at $23,900, but the company’s most expensive pool — the Elite Endless Pool — costs over $40,000.
Large Bronze Scuplture
Plenty of people install birdbaths or feeders in the hopes of attracting rare and beautiful ornithological specimens to their yard. But when you can simply install a large bronze sculpture of a bald eagle that won’t fly away before your family can come see it, why bother? The company Art of Bronze can make that dream a reality for just shy of $10,000.
One of the keys to making really good pizza is an oven that can get really, really hot. So, if your home oven isn’t up to the task (and it probably isn’t), you can go ahead and install a Bakers Price Il Forno Classico double-deck oven for just under $36,000. That price might seem steep, but it’s essential to the pizza lover. After all, where are you going to find a pizza place that delivers?
Really Expensive Bottle of Wine
One especially glamorous addition to any home might be a bottle of Grand Vin de Château Latour 1961. On its surface that might not sound like a home upgrade, per se. But at $13,500, there’s almost zero chance you’ll ever feel comfortable drinking it, so it should remain a part of your décor for the foreseeable future.
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Nothing compliments a really expensive bottle of wine like a really expensive place to keep it. No mere cabinet will do — you need to go big and get an entire wine cellar. The national average for installation is about $40,000, but an entire room with space for 3,000 bottles can run into the six figures.
Rock Climbing Wall
If you’re hoping to get a real leg up on the rest of the neighborhood and reach the summit of both elegance and utility, give your guests a solid alternative to the staircase by turning one of your boring, smooth, non-interactive walls into a rock climbing wall. An 8-feet-by-40-feet option can be had at a list price of $10,450 from OnlineSports.
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Your backyard is finally everything you want: you’ve got a lovely gazebo, some wonderful white fencing and, of course, that beautiful stainless steel grill for barbecues. There’s just one thing missing: Somewhere to park your helicopter. Lucky for you, you can build a heliport or helipad, provided you have the space. An aluminum rooftop pad with fire-suppression and snowmelt capabilities can go for a cool half million, per Business Jet Traveler.
Few things will come in as handy as a secret passageway in your home the next time your in-laws come to visit. Creative Home Engineering has a variety of five-figure options, with a sliding bookcase door starting at $15,000 or a rotating fireplace for as little as $12,000.
What’s more embarrassing than someone catching you bathing like a mere plebeian? Perish the thought. It’s not a worry, though, if you decide to get a hand-polished, 16-gauge clawfoot copper tub. One option from Barclay runs you about $15,000, and you can even opt to place it outside so that you can use it for fun pictures on social media and not very much else.
No dinner party is truly complete until you’ve reenacted the climactic scene from “Phantom of the Opera,” and you can really do so in style with a home-made crystal chandelier from France. One 48-light option from Baccarat Crystal is only $155,000.
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