Home improvement is the renovation, repair or remodeling of a house or other building. It includes work on the plumbing, electrical, heating and ventilation systems, air conditioning, a roof, windows and doors, walls, stairs, ceilings, insulation, carpeting and other fixtures, as well as outdoor areas such as yards, driveways, pools, porches and fences. Some home improvements may be purely cosmetic, while others are intended to increase the safety and utility of the house. Home improvements can also make a house more energy efficient and save on utility bills.
During the housing boom, homeowners have gotten more interested in home improvement projects than ever before. The result is a large market for home renovation. However, some experts predict that spending on these types of projects will decrease in 2023 due to a number of factors.
In the United States, the term “home improvement” is often used to refer to the construction or renovation of any part of a residential dwelling. However, the term can also be used to refer to the construction or maintenance of a commercial or industrial property, including warehouses and agricultural buildings. It can even refer to a new structure built for a particular purpose, such as a greenhouse or a shelter for farm animals.
The popularity of home improvement shows on television has helped fuel interest in the industry. Shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces have shown people how to do basic repairs and improve the look of their homes. The rise in popularity of these programs has also encouraged many companies to market products specifically for DIY projects. For example, hardware stores have begun selling tools and supplies for do-it-yourself projects.
Despite the growth in the home improvement industry, not all homeowners are willing or able to do their own home renovations. According to the American Housing Survey, cash from savings accounts covers the majority of home improvement projects, but more expensive projects are paid for with financing sources such as credit cards, mortgage refinancing, unsecured personal loans, home equity lines of credit and contractor-arranged finance.
While certain home improvement projects can add long-term value to a home, some will only boost a property’s resale value in a short period of time. This is why it’s important for homeowners to research potential projects that will add the most value to their home before hiring a contractor.
Homeowners should also consider the tax implications of their home improvement projects. Generally, any improvement that adds to the cost basis of a home or extends its life can be added to a homeowner’s cost basis and deducted from their taxable income at the time of sale. However, the deduction is only available for qualified improvements that meet certain requirements.
In addition, the contractors who perform home improvement work must be licensed by the state where they operate. In order to obtain a license, contractors must pass background checks and obtain liability insurance. In addition, some counties require contractors to carry a bond. If a contractor is found to be performing unlicensed work, the homeowner can file a complaint with the licensing agency.