Home improvement encompasses a wide range of projects, from refreshing shower areas and replacing vanities to laying new tile or adding fixtures and lighting. It also includes making upgrades that increase energy efficiency, such as installing a heat pump or insulating walls. A growing population of older homeowners and higher housing prices that have increased the equity many homeowners have in their homes are driving this sector’s growth.
Television schedules are filled to the brim with shows about fixing up and improving houses, from Fixer Upper to This Old House. But it’s one thing to watch TV and another to take on a real-life renovation project yourself. Before you get out the hammer and nails, it’s important to understand what types of home improvements actually add value.
A homeowner’s goal with any remodeling project should be to create a comfortable living space that suits their family’s needs. But there’s a fine line between renovating for personal appeal and over-customizing the property to the point where it will detract from the home’s resale potential.
The most popular home improvement projects include sparkling bathroom overhauls, kitchen remodels and finishing a basement. However, these projects do not always deliver a great return on investment. According to a recent report from Contractor Growth Network, a renovation firm, the average homeowner will only recoup a little more than half of what they spent on these projects in resale value.
Other popular home improvement projects include building an addition or installing a new deck. These projects will not only provide extra space to enjoy the outdoors, but they will also make a home more appealing to prospective buyers. In fact, a well-designed outdoor living space can increase a home’s sales price by as much as 10 percent.
Adding an extra bedroom or bathroom to a house is also an excellent way to increase its resale value. This is especially true if there are children in the household. This type of home improvement can often be completed for a relatively low cost.
Another popular improvement is adding an outdoor feature that will appeal to families, such as a pool or an in-ground spa. However, it’s important to remember that not all prospective buyers will want these features, so it’s best to build something that is consistent with the neighborhood.
Homeowners should always hire a licensed home improvement contractor to perform work on their property. The license must be in the contractor’s name and issued by a state or local licensing authority that covers the geographic area in which the contractor works. Additionally, homeowners should always ask to see a contractor’s insurance and business references before hiring them. In some states, contractors must also provide a written contract that contains information such as a timeline for completion of the work, a payment schedule and as many details about the project as possible, including the specific materials and brands to be used. In addition, all homeowners should read the contract carefully to ensure it does not contain a mandatory arbitration clause.