Home Improvement Trends for 2011

Home improvement

Home improvement or home renovation is the process of remodeling or altering the interior and/or exterior of a house. This can include remodeling or adding rooms, refinishing wood floors, replacing old appliances with energy efficient models and updating kitchens and bathrooms. Home improvements are generally done for aesthetics, comfort, resale value or to make living spaces more functional.

Homeowners are pushed to start projects this year mainly due to their desire to add equity to their homes and increase the amount of time they can spend in them. According to Angi, a contractor search service and home improvement website, over half of all homeowners plan on undertaking some type of home improvement project this year. The top projects are a kitchen remodel, bathroom upgrade and bedroom revamp.

However, homeowners should consider the difference between “adding value” to a home and actually earning a return on their investment when it comes to renovations. According to Angi, a home addition or major kitchen remodel can cost up to $60,000 and only net a homeowner about 75 percent of that back when the property is sold.

Some home improvements, like a new roof or replacing the siding, can provide a higher ROI than others. But, even if you can get the money back when selling your home, the fact is that some upgrades simply don’t add value to a home.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a good home improvement project isn’t just about boosting your resale value or getting more out of your home than you paid for it, but it’s about enhancing the quality of your life and making your house a better place to live. A well-designed and executed kitchen, bathroom or bedroom can improve your enjoyment of the space, and can help you sleep more soundly at night.

Before starting any home improvement project, create a list of what you want to have done. Be specific and detailed so that contractors can give you accurate quotes and you can avoid any surprises later on. Be sure to specify what materials you prefer and the approximate dates when work will begin and be substantially completed. Lastly, make sure your contract contains an agreement on deposit amounts and payment terms, including the total cost of the project.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that as your home improves, you might need to update your insurance policy. Be sure to talk to a home insurance pro before you undertake any updates to make sure your policy is up to date and adequate. Also, remember to stay within your budget. You don’t want to overspend on a project and end up putting yourself in debt for years to come. It’s also a good idea to consult with a real estate professional before completing any big-ticket renovations, such as a new pool or hot tub, that may detract from your home’s resale value.