Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement refers to any type of renovation, modification or addition to an existing residential structure. This can include anything from replacing flooring to adding a room. Some projects may be completed by homeowners, while others require the help of a professional contractor. The goal of home improvement is to improve the appearance, comfort or utility of a living space. Home improvements can also increase the value of a house or help it sell.

Homeowners spent about a half-trillion dollars on home improvements during the two years before the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a possible recession and rising inflation will likely impact how much they take on moving forward. Fortunately, most homeowners are prepared to tackle some level of project, with interior painting and landscaping the top two fixes.

Some 73% of households plan to do a project in 2022, according to the 2021 LightStream Home Improvement Trends Report. The report found that after completing one remodel, 86% of consumers felt inspired to work on other areas in their homes.

Most homeowners are willing to do their own work, but when it comes to more complex tasks, such as wiring, plumbing and installing heat systems, experts recommend hiring a professional. This will ensure the job is done correctly and safely, which could save you a lot of money in the long run.

When choosing a contractor for a project, be sure to ask for references and speak with previous clients. You can also search online for reviews about the company. You should also check the contractor’s license and insurance coverage. If the company doesn’t have liability insurance or workers’ compensation, you could be held liable in the event of an injury on the job.

It’s important to remember that not all home improvements add value. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the future, it’s best to stick with upgrades that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. For example, adding a hot tub or expensive fountain to your backyard might impress some people, but other buyers might find it too extravagant for their tastes.

A reputable Realtor can help you make wise decisions about what types of improvements will add the most to your home’s resale value. They can also advise you on what types of projects will be the most cost effective. Generally, high-end upgrades like marble countertops and luxury bathrooms aren’t worth the investment for most homes. It’s also best to avoid projects that are too far out of line with the rest of your neighborhood. For example, a gazebo or in-ground pool might stand out in a neighborhood where most of the homes have above-ground pools. Lastly, be sure to consider the cost of materials, installation and any potential financing options before starting a project. If you’re planning to finance your project, factor in the monthly payment and interest rate into your budget. This will prevent you from getting into trouble with debt later on.