Home improvement covers a wide range of projects, from replacing worn flooring to rewiring your house. Whether you’re a fan of DIY shows like Fixer Upper or This Old House, or you’d rather leave the heavy lifting to professionals, there are many ways to make your house a more comfortable place to live. But it’s important to understand which projects add value, and which can detract from your home’s resale price.
According to the definition of Home improvement in Maryland, it is the “remodeling, altering, painting, repairing, restoring, improving, upgrading, or adding to the structure and/or fixtures of residential or noncommercial property.” Home improvements also include the installation or replacement of driveways, fences, water heaters, heating and air conditioning systems, carpeting and wall-to-wall floor coverings, appliances, security devices, sprinkler system, plumbing and electrical equipment, hot tubs, swimming pools, central vacuum systems, solar energy systems, and other similar items.
The categories surging the most are those that relate to work outside the home, such as deck construction at 238% and fence construction at 144%, according to Anderson. He says that this may be a reflection of unsettling times, with homeowners seeking to make their homes more comforting and secure.
Despite the popularity of these types of renovations, not all home improvements will increase your house’s value. If you’re planning to sell your home within a few years, it’s important to think carefully about which projects are worth the money. It’s a good idea to get the advice of a real estate professional to ensure you’re not spending more than your home will return on the market.
In general, the home remodeling loans company RenoFi estimates that you can expect to see a 70 percent return on any investments you make in your home. But this depends on the type of project you undertake and where you live. A bathroom remodel is generally a better choice than a kitchen remodel, since it will provide more immediate cost-recovery.
Other important factors in determining a home improvement project’s resale value include its size and location. A luxury bath, for example, may appeal to you, but it might turn off a potential buyer. It’s also important to stay in line with the neighborhood, as a home that’s dramatically different from its neighbors will detract from their own resale value.
Before hiring any contractors, check that they’re licensed in your area and have a good track record. It’s important to read your contract closely, especially the sections that cover payment terms. You should never pay more than 1/3 of the total contract price as a deposit, and you should always receive a signed copy of the contract before any work begins. In addition, check that your contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number are preprinted on the contract. Finally, be sure the contract includes a description of the work and the materials to be used, and a schedule for when the performance will begin and be substantially completed.