Home improvement is the repair, maintenance and restoration of residential real property. This includes interior and exterior improvements to structures like walls, roofs, doors, windows and more. Other common home improvements include landscaping, fencing and the construction of decks or patios. Home improvements can increase a house’s value, but only if the renovations are done correctly and the right projects are chosen. Home improvements should be made with both the homeowner and future buyers in mind. The most popular projects that add the most to a home’s resale value are kitchen and bathroom updates, as well as adding square footage with an addition or finished basement. Other good options are energy-efficient upgrades, which can decrease a home’s utility bills and save money over time.
According to the National Association of Realtors, home improvement spending is surging in 2017, fueled by a combination of factors including rock-bottom interest rates and rising housing prices that have left homeowners with ample equity to draw from for renovations. The most popular home improvement project is a sparkling bathroom overhaul, followed by basement finishing and kitchen remodeling. However, not all home improvements are created equal, and homeowners should be careful before taking a sledgehammer to their houses.
Generally, improvements that are more customized or expensive than others in the neighborhood won’t add as much value to a home, and they may even detract from its resale appeal. Instead, focus on quality mid-range upgrades that will appeal to the largest number of potential buyers in your area. For example, installing marble flooring in a bath might cost more than vinyl flooring but could still increase the home’s resale value.
It’s also important to remember that buyer preferences vary greatly from market to market, and your neighborhood’s typical selling price will influence the return on your home improvement investment. For this reason, you’ll want to research what home improvements are popular and valued in your area before starting any work.
There are many do-it-yourself home improvement projects that can make a significant impact on a house’s overall appearance without breaking the bank. For example, painting the inside of a home or power washing the exterior is an inexpensive way to improve a house’s curb appeal. These simple improvements can increase a home’s resale price by up to 10 percent.
A licensed and insured professional can help you with a variety of home improvement projects. When choosing a contractor, look for someone who specializes in the type of project you need. For example, a professional roofing contractor will be best for repairing or replacing your roof. The contractor should be licensed and insured, and he or she must pass a background check and test to ensure competency in the trade. He or she should also be able to provide references from previous clients. These steps will help to ensure that your home improvement project is completed on time and within budget. Also, be sure to review your contract carefully before beginning any work and make sure it contains a description of the job to be performed, materials that will be used and dates when the performance of the job will begin and when it will be substantially completed.