Home improvement is a great way to increase the value of your home, make it more comfortable for you and your family, or just to update and make it more functional. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you take on any renovation project.
1. Avoid over-personalization.
Adding extras to your home, such as fancy light fixtures or unique furniture, is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when it comes to home improvements. While it’s tempting to personalize a space, too much customization can actually decrease your home’s value.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from professionals when you’re unsure of what should be done in your home.
While you should always ask for recommendations, it’s also important to be clear about your budget and expectations. Many home improvement contractors can help you set a plan that will meet your needs and save you money in the long run.
3. Be sure to get a contract with the contractor.
New York state law requires a contractor to provide a contract with a timeline for work, payment schedule and as many specifics about the project as possible. The contract should also include an estimate of what the total costs will be, and any required inspections or certificates of occupancy.
4. Ensure that the contractor is licensed in your area.
Most states require a contractor to be licensed in order to do home improvement work, and in Bergen County you can obtain a license online by visiting the Bergen County Home Improvement Program (HIP) at One Bergen County Plaza. The HIP application process is quick and easy and can save you time, money, and stress when it comes to your next home improvement project!
5. Look for a referral from someone you trust.
If you have a friend or family member who has had home improvements completed, it’s likely they can recommend a qualified contractor. You can also use the New York State Home Improvement Program to find a licensed contractor in your area.
6. Consider a home equity loan or line of credit to finance your projects.
A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, is an installment loan that can be repaid over 5-30 years via fixed monthly payments. These loans can be used for a variety of reasons, including home improvements, college, debt consolidation, and long-term medical care.
7. A home improvement project should be a long-term investment.
Whether you’re planning to sell your house or live in it for years, you should take the time to consider what your goals are for your home renovation. Ideally, you’ll create a renovation plan that will add value to your home and save you money in the long run.
The good news is that the home improvement industry is booming in the U.S., with spending on home improvements growing more than 50% in the last five years. The growth has been driven by a lack of new housing, and by the desire among older homeowners to make changes that improve their quality of life.