Home improvement refers to the repair, maintenance and restoration of residential real property. Generally, it involves the addition of functional improvements to a house or apartment. This can include renovating a kitchen or bathroom, or adding a deck, fence or shed. It can also involve painting or redecorating.
Homeowners are spending more money on home improvement projects than they did in the past. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, homeowners are remodeling and repairing their homes at a rate not seen since 2010. The increase in home improvement spending has been led by homeowners aged 55 and over, who have taken advantage of rock-bottom interest rates. Other factors contributing to the growth in home renovation include a general rise in confidence and an ongoing concern for the safety of their neighborhoods.
Many people choose to remodel their homes to add convenience and comfort or to reflect the style of their personal tastes. A well-planned and executed renovation can significantly enhance the value of a home. However, some projects may not provide a good return on investment. When choosing a contractor for your next project, be sure to get written estimates before work begins. The contract should contain a description of the work to be performed and the materials to be used. It should also contain the approximate dates when the performance of the home improvement will begin and when it will be substantially completed. If you have specific preferences for brand, color, size or style, be sure to include that in the contract. The contract should also contain the terms and conditions of any warranties on materials and workmanship.
Some projects that can significantly increase your home’s value are a new front door, replacement windows and a new garage door. In addition, landscaping is an inexpensive and easy way to improve your home’s curb appeal. Planting trees and bushes, mulching, and scrubbing your home’s siding to remove dirt buildup are simple but effective ways to make your home stand out in the neighborhood.
The popularity of home improvement television shows has contributed to the boom in the industry. Bob Vila’s This Old House, which followed the step-by-step renovation of an older house, helped to fuel a fascination with older construction techniques and building methods. This was accompanied by a rise in the DIY culture, which saw consumers buying products like Victorian-style molding and columns to historicize their suburban houses. However, if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, it’s important to remember that over-personalization can actually lower your resale value. Also, be careful not to go into debt; a lot of your home improvement costs will be financed with borrowed money, which you’ll have to pay back later. That’s why it is important to research and plan wisely before committing to any expensive upgrades.