Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. This includes work on the home interior (such as painting, flooring and carpeting), as well as the exterior of the home, including landscaping and maintenance. Home improvements can also include installing new kitchen appliances, cabinets and countertops, adding a deck or patio, building a shed, putting in a pool, and a variety of other improvements to the property.

The most common reasons homeowners undertake home improvement projects are for personal preference and comfort, to add resale value, to make the home more energy efficient or to increase living space. Homeowners may choose to hire professionals or complete the work themselves.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the total amount spent on homeowner-occupied housing renovations in 2017 was $427 billion. This was an increase of nearly 3% from 2016. The categories with the most growth were kitchen remodeling, adding a bathroom or master suite, replacing windows and doors, and repairing leaky roofs.

Several factors have contributed to the recent boom in home improvement spending. For example, rock-bottom interest rates are making borrowing money more affordable. In addition, homeowners feel more confident about the future and are willing to invest in their homes.

For those who are planning to sell their homes in the future, it is important to know which projects will provide the best return on investment. Generally, upgrades that will appeal to the broadest range of buyers are the most valuable. Projects that add luxury, such as marble flooring in the bathrooms, are not likely to be recouped upon selling, but quality mid-range upgrades are usually a good investment.

Another way to maximize resale value is to keep the home in good repair. Neglected maintenance tasks, such as worn doorknobs, leaking gutters or cracks in the foundation, will be discovered by the buyer’s home inspector and could cause delays in the sale of the house.

The home improvement industry is a major source of employment in the United States. There are many different types of home improvement businesses, ranging from large, national chains to local, family-owned firms. Some of the larger companies are specialized general contractors that employ their own in-house crews, while others subcontract most or all of the labor and material for specific jobs such as roofing and siding. Some are based in fixed commercial locations, while others operate from mobile trucks and offer full service at the customer’s home.

The popularity of the television show Home Improvement has increased the public’s awareness of the term. As a result, some people who are not familiar with the industry may use the term incorrectly to refer to any type of renovation or repair project. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication between the customer and the contractor, and may result in disappointing projects or even legal disputes. For this reason, it is important for anyone planning a home improvement to thoroughly research the industry and fully understand the terminology before hiring someone to do the work.