Home improvement is a term used to describe any renovation or upgrade of a property. This may include interior and exterior work, such as painting, installing new appliances and flooring, building an addition, or renovating a bathroom or kitchen.
It also includes work to improve a property’s energy efficiency and safety, such as installing new windows or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Investing in home improvements is a great way to add value to your home. But before you start making upgrades, be sure to consider whether the changes will actually increase your home’s resale value or not.
Costs vary depending on the size and scope of the project. Some of the most popular home improvements, including a new front door and a new roof, can cost thousands of dollars.
Before you embark on a home improvement project, be sure to make a budget and consider your options for funding. Many homeowners use cash to pay for their projects, but some use a loan or a line of credit to finance their efforts.
One of the most common financing choices is a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC). These loans can be secured by your home and can be used to fund your renovations, debt consolidation, or long-term medical care.
A HELOC usually requires a longer underwriting process than a traditional personal loan, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs and financial situation. You can typically borrow up to 85% of the value of your home — less your outstanding mortgage balance – though some lenders require at least 20% equity to qualify for this type of financing.
When deciding on which type of home loan to use for your renovation, it’s important to think about how you plan to pay for the loan and when you expect to repay it. You can opt to take out a home equity loan or line of credit to cover the entire project in a single lump sum, or you could choose to use the loan for smaller portions as needed over time.
The American Housing Survey reveals that over the last two years, homeowners spent an estimated $624 billion on home repair and improvement projects. That’s up from $300 billion a decade ago, according to the Census Bureau.
Taking on home improvement projects can be expensive, but it’s often worth it to improve the value of your home. Adding a bathroom, upgrading flooring, and converting your garage to a living area can be attractive to prospective buyers.
It’s important to choose a contractor carefully, and be sure you do your research before signing a contract or paying for work. A good rule of thumb is to avoid contractors who don’t have a Maryland home improvement contractor license number on their business cards or in their contracts.
There are several types of home improvement contractors to choose from, ranging in experience, price, and reputation. When choosing a contractor, make sure you compare a wide range of bids and estimates for the same job.