Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement is the process of improving the value, functionality or comfort of a home through repair, renovation and decoration. Home improvement projects can include anything from changing paint colors to replacing windows. They can also involve remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or adding an addition onto the house. Home improvement is a popular pastime for many people and can be done by either a professional or by the homeowner themselves.

Homeowners are spending more on home improvements than ever before. In 2017, Americans spent $233 billion on projects aimed at making their homes more livable and up to date. And while the majority of projects are funded with cash from savings, more expensive projects are often paid for by sources like cash-out refinancing, home equity loans and contractor arranged financing.

The booming market for home improvement has contributed to the growth of national home-center chains such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, which cater to DIY customers and offer a wide range of products and services. These chains are credited with shifting the focus of the home improvement industry away from contractors and towards homeowners themselves. In addition to these stores, a number of smaller local and regional home-center chains and independent specialty retailers also offer a wide variety of home improvement services.

While DIY projects may be a great way to save money, it’s important to consider the potential consequences of a bad decision. For example, if you overspend on your project and end up in debt, you’ll have to pay that money back plus interest later on. Also, you’ll have less money left over to put toward other things you want to do.

If you’re considering any major renovations, it’s a good idea to consult with an architect or engineer first. This will help you avoid costly mistakes and get the best results from your home improvement project. Similarly, it’s a good idea to hire a licensed and insured contractor. This will protect you against any unforeseen issues that might arise during the project and ensure that your work is up to code.

A good home improvement project is one that adds value to your property and makes it more livable for you and your family. However, some projects are not worth the investment. For example, a sparkling bathroom overhaul or a big-ticket basement remodel are unlikely to provide a high return on your investment when it comes time to sell. Instead, focus on simple, low-cost fixes that will make your house more livable and appealing.

It’s also wise to consider whether your project is tax-deductible. You’ll have to check with your local CPA or tax agency for specifics, but in general, any work that improves your home’s structure or function is considered a capital improvement and should be eligible for tax deductions. For instance, if you install new energy efficient windows, they would be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $500. Also, if you install a new roof, it’s likely that you will be eligible for a tax deduction of up to $1500.