Home Improvement 101

Home improvement is the process of making improvements to a home, including changing or replacing existing parts or systems. These projects often add comfort, functionality or beauty to the home. They also may increase the home’s value. Home improvement can be a DIY project or involve professional contractors. Some common projects include painting, flooring, lighting, kitchen remodels and bathroom renovations.

Most homeowners plan to spend money on their homes in the near future. Some will hire professionals for help with large or complex jobs. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring contractors, you should plan the work carefully to stay within budget and get the best return on your investment.

Some projects are essential, like fixing electrical problems or repairing roof leaks. These are projects that can’t be delayed and must be done to protect your family and avoid costly repairs down the road. Others are less urgent but still important. A fresh coat of paint or removing outdated wallpaper can make your home more appealing to buyers and give it an updated look.

Many homeowners choose to do home improvement projects for personal enjoyment and to make their homes more livable. Some projects will provide an immediate return on investment, such as a new front door or a remodeled kitchen. Other projects, such as adding energy-efficient windows or a heat pump, will pay for themselves in lower energy bills down the road.

While some people do their own home improvement projects, unless you have experience in wiring or installing heating systems, it’s usually best to leave these kinds of projects to the professionals. It’s also essential to follow all safety precautions when working on a home improvement project.

A well-planned home improvement project will be a lot easier and more enjoyable to complete. A good starting point is creating a list of your home’s needs and priorities. Then you can start planning specific projects to meet your goals.

When it comes to budgeting for your home improvement projects, you should always plan ahead and keep in mind the cost of unexpected repairs and upgrades. It’s also a good idea to consider any tax credits or rebates that might be available.

The good news is that most of us are able to afford the costs of our home improvement projects without using savings or going into debt. In fact, 52% of homeowners who have completed a home repair or improvement project in the past two years say they were able to do so without tapping into savings, selling items or going into debt. This is a significant increase from when we asked in 2018. Still, 20% of homeowners who have worked on projects over the past two years had to make sacrifices or go into debt to fund their work. Ideally, you should plan to spend no more than 30% of your home’s total value on a home improvement project. If you’re not sure how much your home is worth, speak with a real estate agent or mortgage broker.