Home Improvement Basics

Home improvement is the process of making changes to improve a home’s function and appearance. This industry encompasses the sale of building materials, appliances, decor, and also services provided by contractors or tradespeople. The market for home improvements is highly resilient and has achieved excellent growth results in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people stayed at home more and needed to make their living spaces more comfortable.

Home renovations are typically complex and expensive projects, but they can also add value to a property. They can involve a wide range of different improvements, such as installing a new bathroom, converting a garage into a bedroom, or adding an extra room. While some homeowners choose to do these projects themselves, others hire professionals. The choice of which option to take depends on the level of expertise and skill required for the job, the time frame available, and the amount of money available for the project.

The most popular home improvements are kitchen and bathroom upgrades, but other renovations can increase a property’s value as well. For example, adding a patio or deck can add outdoor living space, and removing walls can open up a floor plan. Similarly, replacing windows with more energy-efficient ones can save money on utility bills. Home improvements can also be made to protect a home from extreme weather conditions. For example, replacing an old wooden deck with a concrete one can prevent the wood from warping in humid climates.

In addition, there are a number of common mistakes that homeowners can make during a home improvement project. For example, if a homeowner chooses high-end finishes that are out of the budget, they may end up with a finished product that looks cheap and dated. Moreover, it is important to consider the neighborhood where a house is located when choosing which improvements to make. If the home is improved significantly more than neighboring properties, it may not be able to attract buyers even in a strong real estate market.

Although it is possible to complete some home improvement projects on a DIY basis, hiring a professional can help avoid costly mistakes. Homeowners should research the best contractors and get estimates before beginning a project. In addition, they should understand local building codes and permits requirements before starting work. Homeowners should also remember that any work involving electricity or plumbing should be completed by a licensed professional. If a contractor does not have a license, consumers should contact the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) to verify their identity and licensing status. Also, consumers should be cautious about signing any contracts for home improvement work that do not include the contractor’s name, address, MHIC license number, and a description of the project. Consumers should also review all warranties and guarantees before purchasing any home improvement products or services.