What is Home Improvement?

Home improvement is the work done by a homeowner or by a contractor on a dwelling in order to make it more comfortable, attractive, or functional. It can include any type of repair, maintenance, remodeling, or addition. Examples are painting, refinishing woodwork or furniture, installing carpeting or flooring, paving, gardening, adding landscaping features, and building an addition to the home. A home renovation may also be a more substantial project, such as installing an entirely new kitchen or bathroom.

There are some things that just can’t be put off, like a roof leak or a basement flood. For these can’t-wait projects, many homeowners turn to the home improvement industry for help. The industry encompasses all of the businesses that sell materials, products and services used to enhance a home, as well as those companies that supply contractors or labor.

Home improvement projects can be undertaken for a variety of reasons, including increasing a home’s market value by boosting curb appeal, improving functionality by renovating rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom, or making an existing structure more energy efficient. Other projects, such as replacing the front door or resurfacing the driveway, are more about personal taste and comfort.

One of the most important aspects of any home improvement project is the budget. Homeowners can find themselves overextending their finances if they’re not careful, and that can lead to frustration, stress and potentially negative financial effects down the road. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan for any renovation before the contractor starts working.

Aside from the obvious financial benefits, some home improvement projects can be a great way to get involved in your community and contribute to a greater good. For example, volunteering for a local charity can be an excellent opportunity to meet other people with similar interests while also helping those in need.

Regardless of why you’re considering a home improvement project, the return on investment can vary greatly from one type of project to the next. That’s why it’s important to research the types of projects that will add value to your home and choose wisely when deciding what to spend on.

Most homeowner’s projects are paid for with cash from savings, according to the Houzz study, but high-dollar improvements can be financed with a cash-out refinance, a second mortgage, home equity loan or contractor arranged financing. Other sources of funds include personal loans, borrowing from friends or family and credit cards. For any project, it’s crucial to review the terms of any contract and understand the potential financial consequences before hiring a contractor.

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