Home improvement, also called home renovation or remodeling, is a term used to describe projects that improve an existing property’s interior (including plumbing and electrical) and exterior (masonry, concrete, siding, roofing). Examples of these types of projects include adding rooms, making a larger space by adding an extension to a house, upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and improving a garden.
When done properly, a well-planned home improvement can add value to a property. But the return on your investment can vary depending on how much you spend and whether or not other homes in the area have had similar work carried out.
In addition, some renovations may actually decrease your property’s resale value when you sell it. If you’re considering a renovation that will have a negative impact on your home’s resale value, it’s important to do some research first.
It’s often a good idea to make a list of the work you want done and get it priced out by multiple contractors. This will allow you to compare prices and avoid surprises down the line.
A list can also help you ferret out unscrupulous contractors who might try to convince you to have additional work done that you don’t need.
Having a contractor you can trust is the most important aspect of any renovation. Always check a company’s license and reputation before signing a contract with them. You can do this by asking to see their license and a copy of their insurance certificate.
The State of Maryland requires that all contracts for home improvement work be in writing and signed by the consumer and the contractor before any work begins or money is paid. This is a good idea, as it gives you peace of mind that all aspects of the project are being handled correctly.
You can also check with your local building and codes office to ensure the work you’re having done is legal. Many states require that all projects be documented, so be sure to check if any permits are necessary before committing to the work.
It’s also a good idea to have your project assessed for safety reasons. Having the work done properly can help you avoid injuries. For example, installing new drywall can cause a fire or electrical hazards, so be sure to use the correct procedures and safety equipment.
Doing a home improvement project can be a big expense, but it can increase the value of your property and make your home more comfortable. In fact, home improvement spending has increased more than 50 percent since 2010, according to a recent survey.
In general, most homeowners plan to do at least some home improvement projects over the next two years, with about one in three expecting to spend $10,000 or more. Those costs are up from an average $7,746 spent in the previous two years, according to a NerdWallet survey of more than 1,000 homeowners.
Most planned improvements aren’t targeting potential home buyers, but instead are designed to make the property more comfortable and a better place to live. Some are aimed at getting a higher return on their investments, while others are more about aesthetics.