Home Improvement – Is it Right For Your Home?

Home improvement is the activity of improving or repairing one’s home. These activities can be as simple as replacing worn-out appliances and as complex as constructing an addition to the home. Home improvements can also include upgrades to the home’s exterior and landscaping. Home improvement can be costly, but it is an investment that can increase the value of a home or simply make it more enjoyable to live in.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a frenzy to upgrade both newly purchased homes and those where people found themselves spending more time during Covid lockdowns. But now that the pandemic has passed, homeowners are deferring, not abandoning, their more ambitious renovation projects. That is why it’s important for them to consider their resale prospects before making large investments.

Fortunately, a majority of Americans are able to pay for the improvements they’re considering without tapping into savings or going into debt, according to a recent NerdWallet survey. However, those who plan to undertake a project say they are concerned about the economy and inflation, as well as a potential recession.

More than half of those who intend to complete a project say they’ll do so themselves rather than hire a professional. That’s because they think doing it themselves saves them money. While that’s fine, it’s important to know your DIY skills before undertaking a project that could be dangerous, especially if you’re doing something like plumbing or electrical work.

For example, it’s always wise to hire a licensed and insured professional for those types of jobs. But if you’re not comfortable doing the work yourself, there are a number of websites that can match you with contractors who offer services at competitive prices. Many of these aggregators require that you verify a contractor’s license and insurance, as well as check business references.

While a majority of homeowners are planning to tackle projects in the near future, their motivations vary by ownership status. For example, new homeowners tend to spend more on their renovations than long-term homeowners, who typically have lived in their homes for six or more years.

In general, most planned improvements aren’t aimed at increasing a home’s appeal to prospective buyers. Instead, most of them are geared toward making the home more comfortable for residents and improving their satisfaction with their home.

That’s why it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type of improvement, as well as what a real estate agent might advise, before committing to anything major. For example, adding a primary suite, or another type of bedroom that would add living space, can help boost resale values but can be expensive to accomplish. It’s also a good idea to get pricing estimates from professionals before making any commitments so you won’t be surprised by any hidden costs or unexpected complications down the line. And don’t forget to factor in any additional labor and materials that may be required to finish a project, such as painting or installing carpet.