Home improvement is a wide range of renovations and repairs done to increase the value, efficiency, or functionality of a home. Home improvements can be small, like adding a light fixture or installing new flooring, or large, such as putting on an addition or building a swimming pool. Whatever the size or scope of a project, it’s important to know what will add or subtract value to your home and choose wisely before investing in it.
Certainties in life: death, taxes and if you’re a homeowner, constant home repair and maintenance projects. Many of those projects are the result of something going wrong and can’t wait until a future date, such as a leaky roof or a flood. But some are planned, and many people make a point of doing a few home improvement projects each year to keep their house in good shape.
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom is usually a smart move, as are replacing windows, adding air conditioning, and repaving a driveway. Other projects that typically add to a home’s value are installing a deck or fence, landscaping, and painting.
While there are no hard-and-fast rules, it is generally advisable to make improvements that are consistent with the style of the house and other homes in the neighborhood. That way, potential buyers can more easily envision themselves living in the house.
If you are considering making major improvements to your home, it is a good idea to consult a real estate agent in your area. They will be able to tell you which renovations are likely to increase your home’s resale value and which to avoid.
The home improvement market has been surging for the past few years, with homeowners 55 and over being the main drivers. Part of that is due to rock-bottom interest rates and an aging housing stock that requires lots of maintenance.
But it’s also a sign of a strong economy, as more and more people are able to afford home improvements. In fact, spending on home improvement projects jumped 50 percent in the past decade.
When hiring a contractor for home improvement, check their licenses and insurance coverage before agreeing to work with them. In New York, home improvement contractors are required to pass a criminal background check and meet minimum licensing requirements. Also, ask for references and contact previous customers to verify that the contractor is reputable. Finally, if the contractor is working on your property during the coronavirus pandemic, be sure to communicate any household safety measures that must be followed, such as mask-wearing and cleaning.