Home improvement is the process of repairing, renovating or improving a home. It includes everything from painting a room to adding new doors or windows. These renovations can be small or large, but they all improve the way a house functions and looks.
Home improvements are one of the most popular types of projects homeowners tackle. In fact, according to a recent NerdWallet survey, nearly all (95%) Americans plan to take on at least one home improvement project in the next two years.
The average homeowner plans to spend $7,746 on home repair and improvement over the next two years. About a quarter (24%) expect to spend $10,000 or more.
While the vast majority of people are planning small projects, such as painting a room or updating light fixtures, many also want to tackle bigger home repairs and remodeling projects in 2023. The key, experts say, is to be realistic about your budget.
Inflation is high, and many consumers are cash-strapped, so high-dollar projects simply aren’t possible for everyone.
Instead, experts say that home improvement will trend toward smaller but more impactful updates – projects that can help make a house feel and look better without breaking the bank. These include things like lowering energy bills, which can be especially appealing during times of high inflation.
For example, installing solar panels on your roof can significantly lower your electric bill. And adding insulation to your walls can keep your home more comfortable in winter.
If you’re planning on hiring a contractor for your home improvements, make sure they are licensed in your state and local area. This is because it can be a Class A misdemeanor to engage in “home improvement” work without a license in most states.
Moreover, it can be a violation of your landlord’s lease agreement to hire an unlicensed contractor to perform work on your home. Depending on your county and city, you could face fines or imprisonment for engaging in this activity.
There are several different ways you can get a home improvement license in your area. Some of them involve passing a test on home improvement law and general business competency. Others require that you pass a criminal background check.
The best home improvement contractors are those that are licensed and insured. In addition, they should be members of the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs.
Another important factor is that a home improvement contract should have an arbitration clause, which requires the parties to resolve any disputes through binding, private arbitration. This is a good way to avoid having to go to court.
In addition, home improvement contracts should list the terms and conditions of any warranties that the company is offering for materials and workmanship. The contract should also include an explanation of what the arbitration clause means, who will conduct the proceedings and what is covered under the agreement.
If you are interested in getting a home improvement license, it is recommended that you contact the licensing authority in your area to find out more about the application process. Generally, it takes about three months for a license to be issued.