Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, refers to any kind of work that alters the interior or exterior of a residential building. This includes kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, a living room or basement, and other rooms or spaces within the house. It may also include landscaping or installing fences and decks, or any other project that makes a dwelling more comfortable, efficient or functional. It can be done for a variety of reasons; to improve the look of a home, save energy, make it safer or more suitable for family members with special needs, or simply because the homeowner wants to update their property.
Remodeling is one of the most common forms of home improvement, and it can be a great way to add value to a house. However, homeowners should be careful when selecting projects to ensure they are making wise investments. Some upgrades may be more costly than others, and many homeowners have been unable to recoup the full cost of their improvements when they sell their homes. In order to avoid spending money on a project that won’t pay off when it comes time to sell, homeowners should consider whether the renovation will be beneficial for their own enjoyment and the comfort of their families before undertaking any major work.
When it comes to choosing a contractor for your home improvement project, the quality of their work and their reputation are more important than their price alone. You can find out more about a contractor’s reputation and experience by checking with friends, reading online reviews, and visiting their websites to see examples of their past work. It’s also a good idea to get multiple estimates before making your final decision. Contractors can vary widely in their prices, but you should also consider other factors such as how long they have been in business, their level of expertise and whether or not they offer a warranty on their work.
While homeowners have been busy improving their properties during the coronavirus pandemic, some have been reluctant to hire professionals for projects like plumbing repairs or deck construction. According to the latest data from the NerdWallet Home Improvement Tracker, 3 in 5 homeowners have taken on DIY projects rather than hiring professionals since March 1, and more than half say they wouldn’t let contractors inside their homes due to safety concerns about the coronavirus.
The types of home improvement that have been surging most recently are work that focuses on the outside of the house, with deck construction up threefold and fence construction up 144% since March. Anderson says that these increases are partly the result of rock-bottom interest rates and the fact that a well-maintained backyard can be a welcome retreat in unsettling times.
The majority of homeowners who undertake home improvement projects use cash from savings, but more expensive projects often require financing through sources such as cash-out refinances, home equity loans, credit cards or contractor-arranged financing. The American Housing Survey, which collects data from owner-occupied homes, reported that 76% of homeowners paid for their projects with cash or borrowed funds.