Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. This includes remodeling and adding features to the interior of a house, such as a new kitchen or bathroom, or making exterior changes such as painting and resurfacing the driveway or adding a deck. Other examples of home improvements are installing a security system, energy-saving renovations and updating the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
A contractor performing home improvement work is required to be licensed by your state. To obtain a license, the contractor must pass a background check and must meet certain minimum standards of competency and experience in the business. The contract you sign with the contractor should contain a description of the work to be performed and the materials to be used. It should also include the approximate dates when the performance of the work will begin and when it will be substantially completed. It is important to choose a reputable contractor, and get references from previous clients.
It is generally a good idea to pay cash for home improvements, and not take out a loan. If you do borrow money, the interest charges can negate any savings you might make on the project. It is also a good idea to consult a real estate professional before doing major renovations that could affect the resale value of your home.
Whether you’re an avid viewer of Fixer Upper or This Old House, or simply in the mood to freshen up your space, many of us have big plans for our homes this year. But which projects actually deliver the most bang for your buck? And which ones should you steer clear of?
The Most Popular Home Improvements
According to a recent Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling magazine, these are the top 10 most popular home improvements that deliver a good return on investment:
But before you bust out the sledgehammer, it’s worth talking to an expert to see which renovations will really add to your property’s value. And remember, going into debt for home improvement projects is a recipe for disaster, so don’t overspend. Read on to find out the projects that you’ll likely regret down the line.