Home improvement is the repair, replacement or alteration of the interior or exterior of a house or other building. The term includes work on plumbing, electrical wiring and tiling, as well as changes to the landscape such as gardening, mowing, landscaping and weed removal. Home improvements can be as simple as adding new paint or carpeting or as complex as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. Some home improvements may be done by the homeowner, but others require a professional contractor.
According to Real Estate Witch, homeowners are spending less money on buying a new home and more of their budget is being spent on fixing up what they already have. This makes sense as rock-bottom interest rates encourage homeowners to stay put rather than move up or down in size, and it also makes more financial sense when times are tough.
While many home improvement projects are purely cosmetic and have no bearing on the resale value of your home, there are some that will increase your property’s value significantly. For example, adding a new front door or replacing an old, outdated kitchen or bath can have a dramatic effect on the look of your home. If you’re considering a major renovation, consult with a real estate agent or contractor to see what kind of return on investment you can expect to get from your efforts.
In addition to making your home more attractive, keeping up with regular maintenance on your house will protect its value and help prevent costly repairs in the future. Take an inventory of your home and make a list of any minor repairs needed to keep your home in good shape. Fix these items as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems down the road, such as a broken roof or leaking gutters.
Remodeling a bathroom or kitchen is a big project that will improve the look and functionality of your home, but it can be expensive and complicated. If you are unsure of what kind of return on investment you will get from these kinds of projects, consult with a realtor or interior designer to get some ideas for a more modest update that will still make a big impact.
Whether you are looking to do some basic maintenance or want to add some curb appeal, there are plenty of easy home improvement projects you can tackle on your own. However, for more complex or dangerous projects, hiring a professional contractor is usually the best option. Be sure to check references and licenses before hiring a contractor, and ask for proof that they have liability insurance. This will protect you in the event that a worker is injured or property damage occurs during your home improvement project. Depending on your state, you may or may not have to pay sales tax on labor performed by a licensed contractor.