Home improvement refers to any work performed on a residential property that enhances its function, appearance or both. Home improvements may include adding or repairing walls, floors, ceilings and roofs; remodeling kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms; installing new lighting, appliances and fixtures; and constructing decks, patios and fences. Some home improvement projects require permits from local building departments, while others are exempt. Home improvements can be a great way to increase the value of your house or simply make it more enjoyable to live in.
According to the most recent data from the American Housing Survey, spending on home improvement projects is up sharply. It was up more than 50 percent since 2010 and is driven mainly by homeowners age 55 and older. But the return on these projects can be less than you expect.
Regardless of their size or cost, renovations should be well planned and executed to ensure a positive result. The best home improvements are those that add functional space and improve the overall look of your home. A poorly planned or executed project may not only add little or no value to your home, but it could actually decrease its resale potential.
Some homeowners have been reluctant to hire contractors during the coronavirus pandemic, but a recent NerdWallet survey found that about 3 in 5 homeowners have undertaken home improvement projects since March 1 of this year. Some of the most popular projects included putting in new flooring, painting rooms and updating the kitchen.
There are some home improvements that just can’t be put off, such as fixing electrical problems or replacing a damaged roof. These projects can be expensive, but they will likely increase the value of your home and reduce the risk of damage or injury from severe weather.
It’s important to choose a contractor with a good track record and whose services are backed by a warranty. The contract should also clearly specify the type of work to be done and the materials that will be used. The contract should also state the approximate dates when the performance of the home improvement will begin and when it will be substantially completed.
Contractors should be licensed in your state and insured against accidental property damage or personal injury. All contracts for home improvements must be written and signed before any work begins. The contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number should be preprinted on the contract. It’s also a good idea to check references before hiring someone for any job, whether it is a small repair or a major home improvement project.
A home improvement loan is a type of mortgage that lets you borrow against the equity in your home for funds to make renovations. This option can be an excellent choice for those who want to make improvements but don’t have the cash on hand. However, it’s important to remember that home improvement loans often have higher interest rates than other types of mortgages.