Home improvement is the renovation of existing residential homes or other non-commercial buildings to improve their condition. This includes interior and exterior work such as painting, roofing, floor refinishing, and landscaping. It also includes additions and other structural modifications to an existing home, such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom. It also includes the modification of an existing building to make it more energy efficient or to adapt it to new uses. This activity is distinct from home maintenance, which involves routine upkeep and repairs.
Homeowners often take on remodeling projects not just to beautify their living spaces, but to add value to their property. They reason that if they have three bathrooms instead of two, a swimming pool or a state-of-the-art kitchen, it will appeal to prospective buyers and thus increase their chances of selling the house quickly for a good price. However, this type of thinking is misguided. Some home projects actually decrease a property’s value, not enhance it.
In general, the best home improvement investments are those that will increase a house’s resale value in fair relation to the amount spent on the project. However, this is difficult to determine in advance, as trends change over time and the value of a particular property depends on many factors. Nevertheless, reputable sources can provide helpful national data on this subject.
A popular trend in home improvements is adding additional bedrooms and bathrooms. This is an easy way to boost a property’s value and is usually popular among families with children. Some other popular projects include installing a garage door, upgrading the kitchen or updating the bathroom. However, these types of renovations tend to be expensive and may not necessarily pay off in the long run if they are not done properly.
Other types of home improvement projects that are usually worthwhile include energy-efficient updates and new windows. These will lower a household’s utility bills and pay for themselves over time. Additionally, they are often attractive to potential buyers who appreciate the cost-saving benefits of a high-efficiency home.
When choosing a contractor for a home improvement project, be sure to get everything in writing. This will help to protect both the homeowner and the contractor. The contract should specify the scope of work, payment terms and any warranties that are provided for materials or workmanship. It should also include the name and address of both parties, as well as a starting date and a completion date. A deposit of no more than 1/3 of the total contract price is generally required before work begins. A final inspection of the finished project should be conducted to ensure that it meets applicable building codes and standards. A copy of the contract should be kept in a safe place for future reference. In the event that a dispute arises between the homeowner and the contractor, the terms of the contract will govern the resolution of the issue.