Home Improvement Basics

Home improvement is the alteration, repair, replacement, or modernization of the structure and fixtures of a home, including the driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, fencing, porches, decks, roofs, interior and exterior painting, electrical and plumbing systems, heating and air conditioning, kitchens and baths, basements, and garages. It also includes the addition of a room or reworking existing rooms for another use.

Home improvements are not only a way to make your house more enjoyable and comfortable, they can also add value to your home. However, it’s important to think through your renovations carefully before breaking out the hammer and nails. Some renovations may cost more than they’re worth or even make your home less attractive to potential buyers.

It is essential to hire a licensed, insured, and reputable contractor when doing any home improvement project. It’s also a good idea to get a contract in writing that outlines the entire project, including how long it will take and all costs associated with it. In the event of a dispute, you will have proof that you were treated fairly and all agreed-upon terms were met.

A well-maintained lawn and well-placed shrubbery can increase your property’s curb appeal. In fact, a fresh coat of paint can improve your home’s overall appearance and boost its marketability.

Many homeowners are tempted to renovate during the pandemic, but it’s important to understand that not all upgrades will add value to your home. Choosing upgrades that are consistent with your neighborhood and appealing to the broadest number of buyers will help you recoup your investment when it comes time to sell.

It’s important to stay within your budget when doing any home improvement project, so it’s helpful to create a detailed plan and list all of the costs before you start working. A budget calculator can help you estimate the total cost of your project and determine which financing options are best for you. Home equity loans and lines of credit, personal loans, refinancing your mortgage, and credit cards are all common forms of home improvement financing.

When choosing a home improvement contractor, it’s important to find one with a strong reputation for quality work and excellent customer service. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, and always check references. It’s also a good idea for homeowners to get a quote from multiple contractors before making a decision.

Regardless of the type of project, there are some things that should never be done to your home. For example, adding a built-in home theater system is a luxury that will not add much value to your home. It’s also a good idea not to over-personalize your home, because this can deter some buyers. If you want to know which home improvements will add the most value to your property, consult with a real estate agent in your area before starting any projects. They will be able to tell you which renovations are most popular and will likely add the most to your home’s resale value.