Home improvement is a popular pastime for many homeowners. It involves any type of improvement that adds value or functionality to your home, including painting, remodeling, landscaping and the addition of amenities such as a deck or fence. It also includes repairs, maintenance and servicing. Home improvement can be as simple as repainting a room or as complex as adding an entirely new bathroom. However, it is important to remember that not all contractors are created equal and prices vary. You should never choose a contractor solely on price alone; quality, reliability and reputation are just as important.
The home improvement industry has grown rapidly since the end of World War II. This was due to the post-war housing boom and government mortgage insurance programs that encouraged people to buy homes. In addition, the popularity of home improvement shows such as “This Old House” and “Property Brothers” contributed to the increased interest in home renovations.
In the early years of the industry, most home improvement work was done by professionals such as plumbers and electricians. As the industry grew, it became possible for individuals to perform more of the work themselves. Homeowners could purchase ready-made materials from home improvement centers and easily find the necessary hardware to do the job. In the United States, home improvement is a multi-billion dollar industry. Homeowners can improve their homes by upgrading kitchens, installing baths and other fixtures, changing flooring, adding decks, landscaping and putting in driveways.
Some home improvements are designed to increase the resale value of the home, while others are merely based on personal preference or need. It is important to discuss any major home improvement projects with a real estate professional before starting to ensure the project will be cost-effective and beneficial in the long run.
When choosing a contractor, it is important to obtain bids from several different sources. You should compare each potential contractor’s experience, reputation, warranty policies and length of time in business. In addition, it is recommended that you review any written contracts carefully. The contract should contain a detailed description of the work to be performed, a date when the performance will begin and a date when it will be substantially completed. In addition, a payment schedule should be established. It is important to stick to the scheduled payments and withhold final payment until all work has been completed and all required inspections and certificates of occupancy have been issued.
The most common home improvements include replacing kitchen appliances and bathrooms, painting rooms, resurfacing pavement and driveways, putting in new flooring, adding decks or fences, and making electrical upgrades. When undertaking any home improvements, you should always keep in mind that your current home insurance policy may not provide adequate coverage for the additional value of your property. It is advised that you contact your insurance company to update your coverage as soon as any significant renovations are complete. They will be able to advise you of any changes to your coverage and can help you obtain additional or alternative insurance if needed.