Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, or remodeling of residential real property. This includes any work done to improve the structure and other parts of a home, such as adding new rooms, upgrading the kitchen or bathrooms, or replacing the roof. It also includes the addition of a swimming pool, landscaping, and fencing in the yard.
It’s a safe bet that most homeowners will undertake at least one home improvement project during the life of their house. Some will even take on multiple projects at once. While many homeowners are motivated by the desire to increase their home’s resale value, others simply want to make it a more comfortable place to live. But no matter what the motivation, it’s important to know which projects will actually produce a good return on investment and which ones will cost more than they pay off.
One of the most popular home improvement projects is a kitchen or bathroom remodel. In fact, these projects are so popular that they account for more than half of all home improvement spending. Other popular projects include adding a deck or patio, installing a new driveway, and upgrading the home’s electrical system.
Home improvements can be costly, so it’s important to plan accordingly and choose a contractor with a track record of quality work and excellent customer service. It’s also a good idea to get bids from several contractors and compare their qualifications before choosing one. Home improvement projects should be accompanied by a written contract that specifies the scope of the work, the timeline for completion, and payment terms. It should also contain any warranties for materials and workmanship.
Often, the contract will require that the contractor obtain permits and inspections before beginning any work. This protects the homeowner by ensuring that the contractor is following all state and local codes. In some areas, the contract may also contain a dispute resolution procedure in case of a disagreement.
In recent years, the popularity of television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and Design on a Dime have helped to fuel a boom in home improvement. Similarly, the rise of the do-it-yourself movement has made it easier for many people to tackle home improvement projects on their own. However, some projects are too dangerous or complicated to be handled by the average person and should be left to professionals.
Some home improvements, such as a new roof or replacement windows, can be expensive but will save money in the long run by lowering energy costs. Other projects, such as a basement remodel or adding a deck, may not add much to resale value but will increase usable living space. Regardless of the type of home improvement, it’s important to consult a professional to ensure that all requirements for permits are met and to get accurate estimates before starting any work. Additionally, homeowners should always update their home insurance policy after any renovation to ensure that they have the appropriate coverage.