Home improvement is a broad term encompassing a range of improvements to a home. It can include things like renovating a kitchen, making additions, or even fixing up a garage. Some projects require a little sweat equity, but a lot of money is not needed.
A new front door, for example, can dramatically improve the look of a home for very little cost. However, a new kitchen range or marble flooring might not be a wise investment for potential buyers. Instead, a family might benefit from a more energy efficient refrigerator or heater.
Other important home improvement items to consider include landscaping, a new porch or deck, or a new roof. These may seem minor but can increase the value of your home in the long run. Also, the weatherization assistance program can help you upgrade appliances to use less energy and save your family money on heating costs.
When considering a home improvement project, you may want to check with your local building codes office to make sure the work can be done in your neighborhood. This will also ensure that any required permits are not overlooked. The right contractor will also be able to advise you on permits and inspections.
For smaller jobs, consider using a home improvement loan. Homeowners with good credit can take out a loan that allows them to pay off the mortgage, then use the money to fund the renovation. In some cases, the loan can be unsecured, but you will need to prove you have a stable income and sufficient collateral. Alternatively, you could get a personal loan, which can provide you with a low-interest rate but does not require collateral.
Another option is to go for a home equity line of credit, which can be repaid over five to 30 years. Generally, these are fixed monthly payments, and are a good way to finance home improvements. Depending on the lender, you might be able to take advantage of a 0% interest rate for an introductory period.
If you do choose to go with a home improvement loan, be sure to compare prices from multiple contractors. Make sure you have a detailed plan of the work that needs to be done. This will help you negotiate with the contractor and avoid getting stuck with a price that is too high.
Besides the cost of your upgrade, it is also a good idea to consider how the project will affect your resale value. While it might not be worth it to install a new kitchen range, upgrading your home’s insulation can help save you money on heating costs. Additionally, improved energy efficiency can help keep your family safe and comfortable.
Whether you are doing a major upgrade or just a few quick repairs, be sure to ask your contractor for a quote. Ask about the quality of his or her work, their references, and how they are insured. You can also ask a friend or neighbor who has used the same contractor and see if they can recommend any good options.