Home improvement is any renovation, repair or alteration of a residential or non-commercial property that increases its value, comfort, appearance or utility. It includes work done to install heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; windows and doors; kitchens, baths, basements, roofs and fireplaces; paving; fences, porches, decks and patios. Some home improvement projects are essential and can’t be put off, such as electrical repairs or a leaky roof. Others may be more aesthetic in nature, like adding a new bathroom or kitchen, finishing a basement or replacing outdated carpeting and wallpaper.
A good home improvement project can increase a house’s value and make it more attractive to prospective buyers. However, not every project is a good investment, and some renovations can actually decrease a house’s value and appeal. For example, overly luxurious fixtures and finishes may be too expensive for most homeowners and could detract from the overall value of the house.
It is important to compare multiple estimates from contractors before hiring for any home improvement project. It is also recommended to check the contractor’s license and insurance coverage before signing a contract. Homeowners should also consider the company’s experience, reputation and length of time in business when making their final decision. A general rule of thumb is that larger, more established companies will typically be able to offer more competitive pricing.
Many people find themselves undertaking some type of home improvement project at one point or another. These projects can range from small repairs to major remodeling jobs. While some improvements are made for resale purposes, many are simply done to update the look and feel of a house. Whatever the reason, these projects can be costly and can often become overwhelming. Whether you are looking for a simple solution to an annoying problem or you want to add some curb appeal, we have all the expert tips and advice you need to get the job done right.
Depending on what state you live in, different types of home improvement projects are taxed differently. In New York for example, labor and material costs are tax-exempt if the homeowner has documentation that the project qualifies as a capital improvement. This can be done by obtaining a document from the Department of Taxation and Finance.
The number of home improvement projects undertaken by households has been on the rise in recent years, reflecting a desire to keep homes up-to-date and comfortable. In 2017, householders spent a record $522 billion on improvements, up from $510 billion in 2016. The categories showing the highest growth are those related to outdoor living spaces. These include deck construction, which has risen more than 275%, and fence installation, up almost 144%. These trends are likely driven by rock-bottom interest rates and a sense that improving the home is a good investment during unsettling economic times.