Home improvement is a renovation or upgrade to an existing house or other property. This includes any interior work (such as kitchens and bathrooms) as well as exterior work (such as decking and gazebos). Home improvements can add value to the property, improve function, and/or make the house safer or more attractive. The term home improvement can also refer to a specific type of renovation, such as upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, or putting in new windows and doors.
The most popular home improvement projects vary widely by region and can be as simple as painting or as complex as adding an extension. The best way to know which projects will add the most value to your home is to ask a local real estate agent. But the good news is that you can also do some homework on your own.
Many homeowners are now undertaking major remodels to increase the value of their homes. According to the American Housing Survey, spending on home improvement rose more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2017, with people 55 or older leading the way. This is partly because people are able to tap into their home equity via refinancing and mortgage loans, as well as rock-bottom interest rates that have made renovating more affordable.
A well-planned and executed renovation project can add significant value to your home, and it can also make the process of selling the property a less stressful experience. But before you begin, make sure to check with a real estate agent to find out what types of renovations are most desirable in your area, and be sure that the projects you choose will fit with the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood.
In addition, you should have a budget for the project before hiring a contractor. This will ensure that the renovation does not exceed your available cash, and it will give you an idea of how much time you can allow for the project. Also, be sure to have a backup plan for any unexpected expenses.
When it comes to paying for a home improvement project, most homeowners use their savings, but there are other financing options available as well. Some of these include home equity loans, contractor-arranged financing, and credit cards. Those who are doing more extensive or expensive projects may choose to take out a loan or borrow money from friends and family.
Some improvements may not increase the value of your home, or even be a worthwhile investment at all. These include changes that go beyond the tastes of the average buyer or are not in keeping with the style and value of other homes in your neighborhood. However, with careful planning and research, you should be able to identify the projects that will make your home more valuable and enjoy them while you are living there. And be sure to consider the safety issues involved in any type of home improvement project, especially those that require electrical or plumbing works.