Home improvement, or renovation of residential property for the purpose of increasing its value or making it more functional, encompasses a wide range of projects. These may include remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, adding living space such as a den or basement, building a deck, or installing an energy-efficient furnace or new windows. The aging of the American population and changing lifestyles are driving many homeowners to improve their homes. However, some improvements are more likely to increase a home’s value than others.
If you’re thinking about selling your house in the near future, it makes sense to prioritize those home improvement projects that will give you the highest return on investment (ROI). But what if you plan to stay in your home for a while? It’s important to weigh the benefits of these upgrades against your own comfort and functionality.
It’s no secret that renovating your home can be expensive, but there are ways to add value without going into debt or dipping into your savings. Painting, re-grouting tile, and power washing the exterior of your house are all quick and inexpensive fixes that will make a big difference to buyers. A clean, well-kept lawn is also a big seller’s appeal; a patchy or overgrown yard can be a major turnoff. A fresh coat of paint, some mulch, and some well-placed shrubs or flower beds can do wonders.
The home improvement industry has seen record-breaking growth in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market includes retail sales of building materials and appliances, as well as construction, installation, and remodeling services. It’s expected that the market will begin to decline in 2023, primarily due to stalled housing markets and mortgage refinancing issues.
There are some home improvement projects that can’t be put off for long, such as a leaky roof or electrical problems. These should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs and potential safety hazards. If you’re unable to afford these necessary improvements, you might consider financing the project through a personal loan or credit card. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is another option for homeowners who want to use their home’s value as collateral.
It’s important to choose a trusted contractor when undertaking a large home improvement project. Check licensing requirements in your state to ensure the contractor is qualified, insured, and bonded. In some cases, the contractor will need to provide a copy of their license before beginning work on your project. If your contractor is not licensed, you can file a claim with the state’s consumer protection division. Depending on the type of claim, you could be awarded a cash settlement to cover any damage or loss that occurred during the job. It’s also a good idea to get estimates from several contractors before choosing one. This will help you understand what the various costs will be and how much the entire project is likely to cost. Getting the details of the contract in writing will also be helpful.