Home improvement projects range from remodeling and repair work to improvements to a home’s exterior, such as painting or updating HVAC systems, to interior renovations, such as adding carpeting or a new tile floor. Regardless of the scope of the project, homeowners should check with a local building codes office to ensure they are complying with any regulations.
Most states do not impose labor taxes on homeowners who are carrying out home improvement projects. However, material costs are not tax-exempt. Consequently, homeowners may be required to pay sales tax if the materials are purchased from a vendor who does not collect tax on the sale.
Homeowners should also make sure that they have obtained a contractor’s license. In some counties, engaging in “home improvement” without a license is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. A civil fine of $100 a day can be imposed. In addition, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs can seize vehicles used in unlicensed home improvement activities.
Homeowners should also look into any insurance coverage that the contractor has. There is no point in hiring a contractor if he or she does not have proper liability insurance. A written contract should include details of the project, as well as a payment schedule.
Whether you are pursuing a DIY project or hiring a contractor, it is a good idea to get references from previous customers. You can do this by asking neighbors or friends who have had similar work done. Moreover, you should compare prices from several contractors before deciding on a particular company. You may even want to set up an escrow account that is only to be used for the job until it is substantially complete.
If you are looking for a contractor, you should make sure he or she is licensed in Westchester County. Additionally, a contractor should have a clean record with the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs. If you are not satisfied with the results, you may be able to take legal action against the contractor. The Attorney General can order the contractor to compensate you for actual damages.
Among homeowners who are planning home improvement projects, almost half are doing some work themselves. Another 16 percent plan to hire someone to do some of the work. Some of the most popular categories for projects are landscaping, painting, and work outside the home.
Axiom, a Minneapolis marketing firm, surveyed consumers about their recent home improvement projects. They found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed had plans to carry out a home improvement project in 2021. More than one-third of those respondents planned to carry out a project in the first two months of the year. And the majority of those who planned a project in the first quarter of the year said they planned to hire a professional.
The Axiom survey also found that most DIYers expected to spend more time on their home improvement projects in 2021 than they did last year. In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed said they were planning to spend more time on their home projects this year than they did in 2016.