Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of improving or changing the interior (electrical and plumbing) or exterior of a building or property. It can include projects to make a home more comfortable, save energy or improve safety. It can also consist of garden work or garage maintenance and additions.
In the United States and Canada, home improvement is a $48 billion industry. The industry includes the manufacture of home construction materials, supplies and equipment. It also includes the specialized services provided by architects, architectural technologists, interior designers and skilled tradespeople.
General contractors, who act as project managers, oversee home improvement projects that involve a variety of tradesmen. They provide access to the site, remove debris and coordinate work schedules for multiple projects. They also typically hire other specialized contractors to complete the specific work needed.
Specialized contractors are able to complete more specialized projects that would be difficult for homeowners to do. They are often licensed or accredited by professional associations.
Aggregators, which bundle services offered by specialized contractors, are another important segment of the home improvement industry. They are usually a home owner’s best source of information about the availability and quality of specialized home improvement services, including the credentials of those who offer them.
The Family Handyman Magazine is a monthly publication for DIYers that contains a range of projects and tips to help readers become more confident in their skills as do-it-yourselfers. Articles cover carpentry, electrical and landscaping for beginners, while more complex projects are available for experienced do-it-yourselfers.
This Old House, a spin-off of the popular PBS television program, offers home improvement advice for homeowners. Articles are written by professionals who know how to tackle a wide range of DIY projects, from small projects like painting and home decor to more ambitious tasks such as remodeling and fixing up a basement.
The Home improvement industry is a huge one, with a booming economy and the desire by consumers to have their homes look better. As a result, it has become a significant market for many companies and suppliers.