Home improvement is a general term for repairs, maintenance, or improvements to a home. These projects may include renovations of the interior and exterior of a house, additions to the home such as a deck or patio, or work done in the yard such as gardening and landscaping. Home improvement also includes the installation of new home components such as kitchen cabinets and countertops, a new bathroom suite, or replacing a roof or driveway.
Home repair and improvement projects are a fact of life for most homeowners. Often these tasks pop up without warning in the form of a leaky roof or flooded basement, making them can’t-wait projects. The good news is that if you plan wisely, you can avoid breaking the bank on these projects and get a great return when it comes time to sell your home.
The home improvement industry is one of the fastest-growing in the economy. It consists of companies that manufacture and sell building materials, appliances, and decor for home renovations, as well as service providers such as contractors and tradespeople. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey (AHS), between 2017 and 2019, homeowner spending on home improvement projects reached $522 billion.
Many homeowners undertake home renovations to increase the resale value of their property. However, it’s important to remember that not all home improvements pay off when it’s time to sell. If you’re planning to invest in a home improvement project, talk to a real estate agent to find out which upgrades are likely to add the most to your bottom line.
A home’s curb appeal is a major factor in its overall value. Creating a welcoming entryway is an inexpensive way to boost your home’s resale potential. A few easy home improvement projects to consider include a new front door, fresh paint, and trimming bushes and shrubbery around the house.
If you’re looking for a more long-term upgrade, adding an extra bedroom is another way to increase your home’s value. Investing in a master suite with its own private bath, walk-in closet and dressing area is a sure way to make your home more attractive and increase its resale value.
When choosing a contractor for a home improvement project, be sure to research their credentials and check references. You should also be wary of any contractor that requires a deposit before starting work or accepts payment before the contract is signed. In Maryland, the Home Improvement Law requires all contracts for home improvement work to be in writing and signed by both parties before any work begins or money is paid. It is also recommended that you choose a contractor who has passed the required background checks for Home Improvement licensing.
If you’re not able to afford all the necessary home improvements, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Or, seek out financing through a secured loan. This type of loan is backed by your house and typically offers lower interest rates than unsecured loans. It’s also a good idea to shop around for the best prices and quotes from multiple contractors before making any final decisions.