Home improvement or home renovation is the process of upgrading an existing home. The project can include interior and exterior work. The upgrades can be cosmetic, like painting or flooring, or structural, like repairing a roof or adding an addition. Home improvements can also include installing new appliances, such as refrigerators or dishwashers. Another common home improvement project is updating electrical wiring or fixtures. The cost of these projects can be high, but they may also increase the value of the home.
There are few certainties in life, but one of them is that your home will need some form of maintenance or remodeling. This is especially true as the house ages and your needs change. Whether it’s fixing a leaky roof or replacing outdated kitchen cabinets, some home improvement tasks simply can’t wait. Luckily, there are many financing options available for homeowners looking to complete home improvement projects.
According to the Census Bureau, American homeowners spent an estimated $522 billion on home improvement in 2017. That’s a $72 billion increase over the previous two-year period, and it’s the highest level of spending in more than a decade. The most popular projects among homeowners were sparkling bathroom overhauls, followed by big-ticket kitchen and basement remodels.
These types of projects typically produce the best return when it comes time to sell, but there are other ways you can improve your home’s value. For example, adding outdoor living space is a great way to add curb appeal and increase the amount of living space in your home. A screened-in porch, deck or patio is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
A common mistake homeowners make when performing home improvement is choosing expensive materials without considering the costs involved. This can quickly add up and lead to a budget overrun. Moreover, if you’re not careful, your contractor might not honor any warranties or guarantees provided by the manufacturer. This can leave you with costly repairs that you weren’t expecting and a project that takes longer to finish.
While some home improvement projects can be done by the homeowner, it’s often better to hire a professional. This is especially true for jobs that involve complex electrical or plumbing work. Also, be sure to check your contractor’s license and insurance coverage before hiring them for any job.
Depending on the scope of your project, you might need a permit to start work. A permit is a legal document that shows you’ve complied with local building codes. The permit is usually issued by a city or county agency, and it may require inspections during construction to ensure the work meets safety standards. A permit can help you avoid expensive fines if your work is not up to code. It’s also a good idea to get a written contract for any work performed on your home, including a detailed estimate of the total cost and a schedule for when the work will be completed.