Home Improvement – Adding Value to Your Home

Home improvement is a form of home renovation that is undertaken to improve the function and appearance of residential homes. It is a form of leisure activity and can involve a variety of projects, from painting and re-grouting tile to adding manufactured stone veneer to a house. It can be a big undertaking or a small one, but it is generally done in order to add value to a property, either for the purpose of selling or to make the residence more livable.

The increase in popularity of home improvement can be attributed to several factors, including rock-bottom interest rates and a growing population of older homeowners who are financially able to undertake renovations. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, spending on home improvement has increased 50 percent since hitting a low in 2010, with homeowners aged 55 and over being responsible for half of that spending.

Many people turn to television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces for inspiration when deciding on home improvement projects. These programs help to blur the distinction between what is perceived as a “masculine” hobby, involving carpentry work, and the more feminine sphere of interior decorating and design. As a result, more men are engaging in DIY activities and using tools such as saws and hammers to perform these tasks.

It is important to choose a reputable contractor when undertaking any home improvement project. A good place to start is by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations and checking references. Once you have found a potential contractor, it is advisable to obtain a written contract and to carefully read through it. It should include a detailed description of the project, the cost estimate and a payment schedule. It should also contain information on the contractor’s insurance coverage, as it is important that any damage caused during a project be covered by their insurance.

Home improvement projects can be as simple as replacing worn doorknobs or repairing cracked sidewalks, but they can also be as involved as adding a room or renovating an entire kitchen. The key is to ensure that any improvements are made in a way that will enhance the overall look and feel of the residence, rather than simply increasing its functionality. The best way to do this is by keeping in mind the needs and tastes of future buyers, as well as maintaining a consistent aesthetic throughout the property.

A popular trend in recent years has been to convert garages into extra living space, such as a guest bedroom or an office. This can be a highly worthwhile investment, as it will often increase the resale value of a property. Adding a finished garage can also be a great way to entice new tenants, as it will provide them with a comfortable and spacious living area that they can customize to their own needs.