Home improvement is the process of making changes or repairs to a house. This includes anything that improves the look, function or value of a property, such as painting or landscaping. It can also include building a pool, fence or deck. Home improvements can be expensive and should be done with care. Homeowners should get estimates for the work before hiring a contractor. They should also verify a contractor’s license and insurance coverage, as well as check references. There is a large “grey market” of unlicensed contractors, and homeowners should be cautious.
In the US, the term home improvement refers to any repair, alteration, renovation, remodeling, or addition to a residential or non-commercial dwelling or its surrounding yard. This can be anything from repaving a driveway to adding a swimming pool, or it may involve major renovations like remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living room. Home improvement also includes the installation of energy efficient features such as new windows and doors, heating and cooling systems, and roofs.
The need to upgrade and maintain a house is one of the main reasons for the growth of the home improvement industry. Home improvement projects often have a high return on investment and can make a home more appealing to potential buyers. Adding a master suite or renovating the kitchen are some examples of projects that can significantly increase a home’s resale value. However, it is important to remember that not all home improvements will pay off at the time of sale, and some may even decrease a home’s value.
Many people take on DIY (do-it-yourself) home improvement projects to save money or because they enjoy the satisfaction of completing the project themselves. This trend has been fueled by the proliferation of television home improvement shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House, which began airing in 1979 and continues to this day. Homeowners can now find step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of home improvement projects online, in magazines and in books.
Increasingly, homeowners are combining home improvement projects with the goal of reducing their carbon footprint. This is often achieved by adding solar panels or improving insulation. In some cases, these measures can reduce utility bills by decreasing energy consumption.
While the swine flu pandemic boosted home improvement spending, it did not create a significant increase in the number of renovations completed. The National Association of Realtors reported that the majority of surveyed homeowners who renovated did so for functional reasons, such as replacing worn out surfaces, adding features and upgrading livability.
When deciding on home improvements, it is important to keep in mind that the best improvements are those that make a home more enjoyable to live in. It is also important to stick to a budget and avoid overspending. Going into debt to finance a home improvement project can lead to serious financial problems down the road. If you’re considering a major renovation, consider consulting a real estate professional to ensure that the project will add value to your home.