Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of improving the interior and exterior of a house. This is done to increase the value of the home, make it more livable or functional, or simply to change its appearance. Home improvement may be done on a small scale, such as painting the living room or redecorating, or on a large scale, such as adding an addition or building a house.
Remodeling projects can be very expensive, but there are many ways to reduce the cost of a home improvement project. One way is to shop around and compare prices. Another way is to ask for bids from several contractors before making a decision. Lastly, be sure to get any contracts in writing before the work begins. The Maryland Home Improvement Law requires all contractors to have their name, address and MHIC license number preprinted on all contract documents.
The first home improvement boom began after World War II, when returning soldiers were enticed to become homeowners by government mortgage insurance programs. This boom led to the construction of new houses and suburbs, and to the expansion of existing homes through renovations and improvements such as paving and landscaping. Improvements were also made to public buildings, such as schools and roads.
Today, the home improvement industry is a multibillion dollar business that includes not only retail stores but also service providers, such as plumbers and electricians. The growth of this industry is being fueled by the need for renovations and upgrades to existing homes, as well as by the desire to personalize a living space. Homeowners are also seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes in order to reduce utility bills.
Almost any type of work on a house can be considered home improvement, but some of the most common projects include kitchen renovations and bathroom remodeling. These projects often involve the removal of walls, cabinets and appliances in order to upgrade the look of a room. They may also include installation of new flooring, paint and light fixtures. Other popular projects include replacing windows and doors and adding a patio cover or deck.
A common mistake people make when doing home improvement is going over budget. This is often caused by choosing expensive materials or by letting a contractor push them into doing more than they originally planned. The best way to avoid this is to have a clear idea of what is needed before starting, and to shop around for quotes from different contractors.
If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, it is a good idea to consult with a real estate professional before undertaking any major projects. They can help you determine what improvements will add the most to the sale price of your home. They can also help you decide whether or not a particular project is worthwhile from a financial perspective. In this way, you can avoid over-improving your home and losing money when it comes time to sell.