Home improvement, or home renovation, is the process of upgrading or altering the interior or exterior of a house. Home improvement projects can be undertaken for a number of reasons, including improving comfort and safety, adding functionality, or increasing aesthetic appeal. Regardless of the reason, home improvements are usually expensive and may require professional help to complete. However, with proper planning and smart choices, it is possible to get an excellent return on investment from a home renovation project.
A good home improvement contractor is licensed and insured, and passes a background check and screening for serious criminal convictions. They also must pass a test on home improvement law and general business competency before being permitted to perform work. The contractor will typically provide a written contract that contains details of the work to be performed, as well as payment terms, deposit amounts and estimated completion dates. The contract should also contain any warranties or guarantees provided by the home improvement company.
Overlaying a fresh coat of paint or re-grouting tile are low-cost home improvement projects that can instantly improve the look of any room. Additionally, these simple improvements can add significant value to a home when it comes time to sell.
According to the Cost vs. Value Report, the most popular home improvements in 2022 are replacing windows and doors (44%), insulating their homes (41%), and updating their HVAC systems (35%). Other top projects include a new front door (14%), a remodeled kitchen or living room (12%), and a bathroom or bedroom (11% each).
While it is tempting to make all sorts of home improvements in hopes that they will increase a property’s resale value, the truth is that many renovations do not provide a positive return on investment. This is because what homeowners perceive as an improvement, a potential buyer may not see the same way. In addition, renovations that make a home stand out from its surrounding neighbors may have the opposite effect, driving down resale value. For this reason, it is important to consider a home’s location when making improvements.