Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement involves renovating, remodeling or repairing a home to make it more functional, attractive or up-to-date. This may include a variety of tasks, including painting, carpeting and installing new fixtures or appliances. Some home improvement projects are DIY, but others require specialized skills or equipment. In many cases, contractors are hired to complete the work.

The majority of homeowners will spend money giving their homes minor facelifts, such as laying tile, refreshing shower areas or replacing vanities. Other renovations will focus on updating the home’s energy efficiency. Several recent disaster events, from hurricanes to wildfires, have prompted many homeowners to prioritize repairing damage to their property.

When planning house renovations, it is important to consider how they will affect the resale value of the home. High-end upgrades, like marble countertops or custom cabinets, won’t necessarily increase the home’s resale value, as they are not likely to appeal to the average buyer. For this reason, it is important to select upgrades that will meet the needs of the majority of buyers.

Some popular home improvements include adding extra bathrooms and bedrooms, which will increase the usable living space in the home. This is especially important for growing families or those who are looking to accommodate guests. Adding an outdoor entertainment area, such as a deck or patio, is another great way to add value and enjoyment to the home.

It is also wise to invest in energy-efficient upgrades, as these will decrease utility bills and pay for themselves over time. New windows, a heat pump and added insulation are all good examples of home improvements that will both save money and increase the resale value of the house.

A common mistake is to overspend on house renovations, which can lead to debt and financial distress. The best way to avoid this is to set a budget before beginning any work and stick to it. It is also recommended to shop around for contractors and compare quotes before choosing one.

When working with a contractor, it is best to have a written contract that clearly states the timeline for the project and how much each payment will be. It is also a good idea to get references and check them, as well as to request insurance documentation. This will protect you if any damage or injury occurs during the project.

A good option for large-scale home improvement projects is a home equity loan. These loans are typically repaid over 5-30 years via fixed monthly payments. They are based on the equity in your home, and the maximum amount you can borrow is usually 85% of your home’s value.