Home improvement is a term used for a variety of projects and tasks that renovate or make additions to one’s living space. These projects can be anything from painting and re-carpeting to adding new kitchen appliances or bathrooms. The goal of home improvement is to improve the comfort and beauty of a home, as well as add functionality. Home improvements may also include making the home safer and more energy efficient by upgrading electrical or plumbing systems.
According to the American Housing Survey, homeowners spend over a trillion dollars on home improvements annually. This spending is most often done by homeowners in the 55+ age bracket. This age group is more likely to own a house than other age groups, which is why they are more interested in remodeling and home improvement projects.
The success of popular home improvement television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and its spinoffs helped to fuel the interest in DIY (do-it-yourself) home improvement projects among homeowners. This, in turn, helped to drive sales of home improvement materials and equipment. Home-center chains such as Lowe’s and Home Depot have expanded their offerings to meet consumer demand.
Regardless of whether consumers are re-modeling to increase the value of their home, or merely renovating to change its look, many people are happy with the results of their home improvement project. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, most homeowners surveyed reported increased satisfaction with their homes following renovations or remodeling projects.
However, it is important to note that not all home improvement projects are equal. Not all projects will add value to your home, and many won’t even come close to recouping their costs. For example, if you are considering adding an in-ground pool to your property, be sure to consult with a real estate professional about whether it will add value to your home and the best way to go about doing so.
It is also recommended to only use contractors who are licensed by the state in which you live to perform any work on your home. This will help protect you as a consumer, and ensure that your contractor has the proper insurances and bonding to complete the work safely and properly. Additionally, Maryland law requires that all contracts for home improvement be written and signed by both parties prior to any work beginning or any money paid. It is recommended to avoid any contractors whose contract does not have their name, address and MHIC license number preprinted on it.
The most effective home improvement projects are those that will add the most value to your home, and will be most easily recouped in the event that you decide to sell it. Some examples of the best home improvement projects are kitchen or bathroom remodels, installing a new garage door or replacing windows, and finishing a basement. The most successful home improvements are those that are carefully planned, well executed and consistent with the look and feel of your home.