Home improvement is the process of updating or remodeling parts of a house. The goal is to make it more functional, comfortable or attractive. Home improvement projects are usually expensive, so they require careful planning and consideration. Homeowners should be aware of the potential return on investment (ROI) for their project, as well as any associated risks.
Depending on the type of home improvement, ROI can vary from over 100 percent to just 20 percent or less. Common home improvements that offer a good ROI include bathroom and kitchen renovations, adding living space such as a bedroom or a den, and improving the exterior of the house.
The pandemic inspired many homeowners to renovate, but that wasn’t the only reason for the spike in remodeling activities. According to a recent NAR survey, homeowners who completed a remodeling project felt happier with their homes and were more likely to want to improve or upgrade other rooms.
When choosing a contractor, be sure to get an estimate in writing and compare the estimates from multiple contractors. It is also a good idea to get referrals from friends and neighbors who have recently hired contractors for similar work. Homeowners should also be familiar with local building codes and permits that may be required for a particular project.
Contractors can vary significantly in price and quality of work, so it is important to do your homework before selecting one. Checking with the Better Business Bureau, checking references and making sure that the company is licensed, insured and bonded is critical before hiring someone to perform work on your home. Consumers should never pay the full amount upfront for any work to be done on their home. Rather, it is best to agree on a payment schedule with the contractor that includes an initial down payment and subsequent payments based on progress. Consumers should always withhold final payment until the work is complete and any required inspections or certificates of occupancy are completed.
A well-kept lawn, a neatly trimmed hedge and a beautiful entryway are all simple ways to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Inexpensive upgrades like a new doorbell or mailbox can also add a fresh, inviting aesthetic.
Another way to improve your home’s exterior is by installing a new deck, patio or porch. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and it can also increase the value of your home.
In addition to decks and patios, homeowners can also add outdoor lighting, landscape walkways and plant flowers and shrubs to improve the curb appeal of their homes. By combining different colors, textures and flower varieties, you can create a unique look that complements the architectural style of your home. It is also a good idea to include some perennials that will come back year after year.