Home Improvement – Planning and Executing Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement is a broad industry that encompasses the sale of building materials, appliances and decor for renovating or upgrading residential dwellings. In addition, it includes the services of contractors, tradespeople and other workers that help homeowners with their projects. The industry reached excellent growth results in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumers focused on improving their homes.

Consumers who are considering a home renovation project should take time to carefully weigh the benefits and costs before getting started. A well-planned and executed upgrade can improve the quality of a home, increase comfort levels and boost safety. It can also increase a home’s resale value and attract potential buyers.

However, a poorly planned and executed project can end up costing more than it adds in value to the property. It can even make a homeowner go into debt or exhaust their savings. The best way to avoid such costly mistakes is to choose a qualified and experienced contractor to perform the work, as well as to plan ahead and budget accordingly.

Homeowners can find a range of companies that offer services to meet their home improvement needs, from large national chains to local and independent businesses. It’s important to do some research before selecting a company, including verifying the company’s license and insurance and checking customer reviews. Consumers can also save money by doing some of the work themselves. For example, painting and re-grouting tile can be relatively inexpensive ways to enhance a home’s appeal.

Some upgrades are more likely to increase a home’s resale price than others. For instance, new kitchens and bathrooms are a good investment. However, adding a pool or hot tub is unlikely to add much value, and might actually detract from resale prospects. Other improvements that have a high return on investment include energy-saving upgrades like new windows and insulation, and security systems.

Moreover, it’s important to select upgrades that are popular with buyers. For example, high-end upgrades such as marble flooring and custom cabinets may not appeal to a wide range of buyers. In addition, the resale value of any improvements depends on how many other similar homes are available in the neighborhood.

Unless a homeowner is wealthy enough to finance a major project out of pocket, the most practical method of financing a home improvement is to secure a mortgage. Home loans are available from banks and credit unions, as well as online lenders. They can be fixed or variable rates, and are usually secured by a mortgage on the homeowner’s home. Some lenders also offer a revolving line of credit, called a HELOC, which can be used for home improvement or other expenses. However, it’s important for consumers to understand the difference between a HELOC and a second mortgage before applying for one. The latter has a lower interest rate and can be paid off in a shorter period of time.