Home improvement is a multi-billion dollar industry and a key factor in the overall health of the economy. This is due to a combination of factors, including the desire of homeowners to improve their living space and the fact that home improvements often increase a property’s value. Home improvement projects include a wide range of work, from changing an old-fashioned kitchen to adding an entirely new room or addition.
Despite the economic slowdown, many homeowners have continued to invest in their homes. One reason for this is that remodeling often increases a home’s energy efficiency, saving the homeowner money over time. Another reason is that a well-planned home improvement project can make the home more comfortable and attractive, which can have an immediate impact on a homeowner’s mood.
The most popular type of home improvement project is a renovation or remodelling of the interior of the home. This work usually includes changes to the electrical and plumbing systems in the house as well as a complete renovation of the kitchen, bathrooms or bedrooms. Other common types of home improvement projects include repairing or replacing roofs, installing new windows and doors, painting, gardening and landscaping and adding decks and patios. Homeowners typically undertake these projects to update the look of their home, to make it more functional for their family or to add to their living space.
In the past, television home improvement shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces helped to expand the DIY culture of home improvement. These programs contributed to a rise in interest in old-looking homes that featured modern amenities such as central heating. Increasingly, consumers also sought to historicize their suburban homes by purchasing cheap imitation molding and columns. In addition, many people began to view home improvement as a form of entertainment and recreation, not just a chore or necessary repairs.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homeowners who are involved in remodeling projects report greater satisfaction with their homes than those who do not renovate. The NAR explains that this increased happiness with the home results in more enjoyment of the property and a higher likelihood of wanting to stay in the home. The NAR also reports that married couples with children are the most likely to pursue home improvement projects and spend the most on average.
The most common source of funding for home improvement projects is cash from savings. However, the survey shows that a significant number of homeowners use other sources to pay for their projects, such as home equity loans or contractor-arranged financing. Credit cards are also used to fund home improvement projects, especially by individuals with bad credit history. However, the NAR cautions homeowners to carefully research contractors before hiring them. They should always ask for references, obtain a license and insurance and perform background checks to avoid hiring unlicensed or incompetent workers.