Home improvement is an ongoing process to maintain or enhance the value of a home. It involves remodeling, additions, repairs, and maintenance.
The most common reasons for a home improvement include improving the comfort of living, adding beauty, and increasing the utility of a property. Home improvements also increase the marketability of a property for resale purposes. Homeowners may also want to make renovations for a specific purpose, such as turning a spare room into an office or building a deck for outdoor entertaining.
There are many ways to improve a home, but it’s important to have a plan before you start any project. It’s also important to keep a realistic budget in mind. Lastly, it’s essential to hire licensed contractors for any large-scale projects.
According to a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies of the United States, home improvement spending has been rising since 2010, reaching a high in 2021. The biggest driver of this spending is homeowners 55 and over, as they often have equity in their homes and can afford to renovate. The average homeowner spent $29,580 on home improvements in 2021.
Typically, the most popular types of home improvements are yard and landscape work, adding or upgrading a kitchen, bathroom or garage, and building a deck or patio. Some other common types of home improvements are painting, resurfacing driveways and sidewalks, and installing appliances or fixtures.
Another way to increase the value of a home is to add energy efficiency features. This includes new windows, a heat pump, and added insulation. These upgrades can lower a homeowner’s utility bills and help them save money over time. These types of home improvements are especially appealing to potential buyers because they can be repaid by saving on utility bills.
A home remodel can be an expensive investment, but it can increase the resale value of a property. However, some projects are not worth the cost. For example, adding a pool or an unusually colored paint job might not appeal to a buyer. In addition, it’s important to avoid over-personalizing a home, which can decrease its resale value.
Aside from paying for the materials, it’s essential to consider how you’ll pay for the labor involved in a project. It’s usually best to pay cash, but if you don’t have enough in savings, Reyes recommends using an emergency fund or tapping into the equity in your home with a HELOC (home equity line of credit). However, she advises against pulling from retirement funds for these expenses. Rather, you should be sure to have at least three to six months of living expenses saved up before considering major upgrades. This will allow you to pay for unexpected costs and emergencies that may arise during the remodel. Ideally, you should also make a payment schedule with a contractor and get all promises in writing.