Home improvement is any construction or renovation project that enhances the value, function, and/or appearance of a home. Such projects may include building additions, remodeling kitchens and baths, adding decks and porches, installing a pool or hot tub, and making other structural changes to a house. Homeowners usually perform such improvements to increase the value of their homes, but they also may do them for personal enjoyment and pride in their work.
Some homeowners who plan to sell their home in the near future may make major improvements with an eye toward recouping some of the cost when they eventually do sell the house. However, it is important to remember that not all home improvement projects will increase the value of a home. Homeowners should consider their own needs and desires first, and the potential return on investment second when choosing projects to undertake.
The popularity of home improvement continues to surge. According to a recent study by Houzz and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, spending on home renovations has increased over 50 percent since hitting a low during the recession. A growing population of older homeowners is a significant factor in this trend, with people age 55 and over responsible for half of all home improvement spending.
Regardless of the motivation behind any given project, the benefits of home improvement are many. Such improvements can add to the overall value of a house, improve its energy efficiency, and provide an increased level of comfort for its inhabitants. Improvements to a house’s exterior can also make it more attractive to potential buyers.
One common mistake homeowners make when undertaking home improvement projects is to overspend on materials. This can lead to a project that costs more than the house is worth, or even put the house into debt. It is therefore important to calculate the estimated value of a house before starting any major project, and always budget carefully.
There are a number of ways to save money on home improvement projects, including choosing less expensive materials and doing as much work as possible yourself. In addition, homeowners should take the time to find reliable contractors and avoid hiring those with a shady reputation. It is recommended that homeowners seek out contractors who are licensed and insured, and those with membership in a professional association or accreditation from a trade association.
While home improvement can be a fun and rewarding experience, it is important to remember that homeowners should never put their safety at risk in order to complete a project. Such risks can include working with electrical wiring, plumbing, and other dangerous elements of a house. In addition, homeowners should never attempt to complete a home improvement project that is too large for them to handle safely or properly.
Upgrading a home can be an excellent way to increase its value, but it is also important to keep in mind that any improvements made should match the overall aesthetic of the house. Too many mismatched upgrades can be offputting to prospective buyers and may cause the house to stand out in a bad way. Also, it is a good idea to update your homeowner’s insurance policy after any major home improvements.