Home improvement can be a rewarding hobby, and it can also add to your property’s value. Homeowners who take the time to plan and execute a project properly can often reap a substantial return on their investment, and may even see an increase in their home’s appraised value when it comes time to sell. However, homeowners should be cautious about completing renovations that aren’t likely to add value, and should always consult with a real estate professional before making any major changes to their residence.
Generally, the most common projects that improve a house’s value are kitchen and bathroom renovations, as well as those that expand living space such as basements, decks and conservatories. However, buyers’ tastes differ from market to market, and what’s popular in one area may not be the case elsewhere. Therefore, when selecting the types of projects to pursue, homeowners should consider what’s currently popular in their area and focus on those types of renovations.
The categories of home improvements that are surging this year include outdoor work, such as landscaping and building decks and fences. Hiring landscapers has increased by almost threefold, while the number of homeowners hiring contractors to build backyard structures is up 238%. These projects reflect a desire to spend more time outdoors and make the most of a property that’s being neglected, Anderson says.
If you’re considering a home improvement project, be sure to compare the bids from several contractors. Price should not be the sole factor in choosing a contractor; other important considerations include reputation, type of firm and experience. Also, ask for references from previous customers, and follow up on them. You should also check that the contractor is insured. If the contractor is bonded and insured, you will be protected in the event that a worker is injured on the job or damage is caused to your property.
When it comes to calculating the cost of a home improvement project, there are plenty of free online tools to help you figure out what your expenses will be and how much you can expect to get back from the home value enhancement. In addition, many local government agencies have websites that will provide you with the permits you’ll need for your project.
Finally, don’t forget to update your home insurance policy as you complete your project. The value of your home may have gone up, and your old policy may not be sufficient coverage anymore.