Home improvement is the act of making changes to improve the function, safety or appearance of a home or building. This includes anything from remodeling an entire room, to repairing a leaky faucet or painting a wall. Home improvements are popular among homeowners, as they can be a great way to make a house more appealing and functional for the owner. Home improvement projects can also increase a home’s resale value, which can make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Homeowners typically use savings to pay for most home improvement projects, though more expensive upgrades might be paid for with cash-out refinancing, credit cards, home equity loans or contractor arranged financing. Homeowners typically choose contractors based on their price, reputation and location.
Regardless of the type of home improvement, it’s important to understand how much you will spend on the project before beginning work. This can help you plan for unexpected expenses and avoid overspending, which is common in many home improvement projects. It’s also helpful to consult a professional when planning and carrying out home improvements, especially when the job requires specialized tools or skills.
The popularity of DIY television shows, like Bob Vila’s This Old House, has helped fuel interest in home renovations. It has also contributed to a growing trend of people buying and renovating older homes to capture a sense of history. Manufacturers and retailers have responded to this desire for historical elements, promoting cheap imitation molding or columns as a way to historicize suburban houses.
While renovations to kitchens, bathrooms and basements have the highest resale returns, other projects are surging as well. These include building decks and fences, which are up 275% and 144% respectively. Anderson says this surge could be due to people feeling safer spending time outside their homes during the pandemic, as well as a rise in interest in landscaping and yard work.
Before undertaking any home improvement project, it’s wise to talk with a realtor in your area about specific renovations that will add value to your property. They will be able to give you the best advice on which projects will provide the greatest return on investment. Additionally, it’s important to consider your own comfort and enjoyment of the home, as well as any resale goals you might have for the future.
Homeowners often receive a wide range of estimates from contractors bidding on the same home improvement project. When selecting a contractor, it’s important to compare all factors, including price, experience, reputation and length of time in business. Always select a licensed and insured contractor who will provide you with a written contract for the job. This should include a timeline for when the work will be completed, a payment schedule and a detailed list of materials and their cost. The contract should also specify that the contractor will withhold final payment until all inspections and certificates of occupancy are complete. This protects both the homeowner and contractor in the event of a dispute or dispute resolution process.