Home improvement can be a great way to make your house feel more like your own. It can also add value to your property if you decide to sell it in the future. Home improvement projects can include a wide range of tasks, from small cosmetic updates to major structural renovations. However, it’s important to consider the cost of your project and whether or not you’ll recoup any of your investment at sale time. In addition to considering your personal goals, you should also think about how a project will fit in with the overall aesthetic of your home.
For example, adding a pool may not be the best home improvement for an older house. Similarly, building an outdoor kitchen on the back of your house might not be suitable for a neighborhood with strict codes about backyard cooking. If you’re not sure how to proceed, talk with a real estate professional. They can provide advice on what improvements will add the most value to your home and which are safest for your situation.
In a recent NerdWallet survey, homeowners who had taken on projects during the COVID-19 pandemic reported that they did so for various reasons: replacing worn-out surfaces and materials (30%), increasing livability (29%), improving the appearance of their home (20%), and getting better use out of their home (16%). The most common projects were bathroom and kitchen upgrades. While these projects have the highest ROI, other types of improvements are gaining in popularity, such as energy-efficient projects (29%) and landscaping (21%).
It’s important to keep in mind that while some home improvements can increase your property’s resale value, they’re not always guaranteed to do so. Many improvements will be worth it if you plan to stay in your home for several years, especially if they address a specific need that you or your family has. For example, adding a second bathroom will add functionality and improve usable space in your home. Energy-efficient upgrades, such as a new heat pump and additional insulation, will decrease your monthly utility costs and can pay for themselves over time.
The return on investment for most projects is less than 100%, so it’s essential to carefully weigh your options and prioritize what will add the most value to your home. Homeowners should also make sure that their project plans are well-coordinated with any potential contractors and that a contract is in place with as much detail as possible, including a payment schedule and a detailed description of the work to be performed.
Home improvement television shows are a popular source of inspiration for DIYers, but it’s crucial to research the projects you’re interested in before diving in. A reputable contractor will be licensed and insured, will have references, and will be willing to discuss your project with you before starting the work. They’ll also provide you with a written estimate that includes an estimated timeline, an itemized breakdown of all costs, and any warranty details.