How Much Home Improvement Should You Spend?

The home improvement industry is booming, and that’s good news for homeowners. Many people are looking to add value to their homes with projects that include new landscaping, deck construction and fence installation. It’s important to consider these projects in the context of your neighborhood and local real estate market, though, as too much spending on a renovation could backfire.

Sprucing up a house with cosmetic upgrades such as painting, re-grouting tile and power washing the siding is a relatively low-cost way to improve your home’s appearance and increase its resale value. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the future, you might want to consult a professional real estate agent to see which renovations will be the most profitable.

It’s possible to add significant value to your home by adding bedrooms or bathrooms. However, this is typically a project that will require permits and inspections to ensure the work complies with various codes and regulations.

A full-home remodel is a major undertaking that changes the layout of an entire living area. This can involve removing walls and installing new fixtures, appliances and features. Homeowners often spend more on a full remodel than they will get back in return when they sell the house.

If you decide to do a full-home remodel, it’s important to select the right contractor. The contractor you choose will have a huge impact on the quality of your renovation. A good contractor should be licensed and insured, and he or she should have experience working on similar projects. He or she should also be able to provide references from past customers and recent projects.

It’s also a good idea to obtain bids from several contractors for the project you are considering. This will help you compare prices and services. Make sure the bids you receive are detailed and specify what will be done. This will protect you from unscrupulous contractors who may try to add extra work or materials to the job without your permission. It’s also a good idea to ask the potential contractors for a written contract before starting any work. The contract should clearly state the project, its total cost and an estimate of how long the work will take. It should also state any warranties for the work and the materials used in the project.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to over-improve their home beyond what other houses in their neighborhood are selling for. If you install a fancy hot tub and fountain in your backyard when most of the neighbors have modest gardens, it’s unlikely to pay off in the long run.

Neglected maintenance is another big mistake that can detract from a home’s value. Putting off simple repairs like replacing worn doorknobs or cleaning out rain gutters can quickly add up to a large bill. Keeping on top of routine maintenance will prevent bigger problems that might be discovered by a buyer’s home inspector and add to the cost of your renovation.