Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to a home. Home improvements can be done for a variety of reasons, including: adding aesthetic appeal, improving functionality, or making the home more energy efficient. Home improvement projects may be completed by a homeowner, or they may hire a professional contractor to complete the work. Some common home improvement projects include:
In the United States, homeowners spend more than $60 billion annually on home improvement projects, according to market research firm IBISWorld. This is a huge amount of money, and it’s no wonder that the industry has seen such strong growth in recent years.
Many homeowners undertake home improvement projects with the intention of increasing their property value. After all, who wouldn’t want a sparkling new bathroom, a renovated kitchen or a finished basement? However, it’s important to remember that not all renovations add value. In fact, some projects actually decrease a home’s resale value.
Despite what you may see on television, not every home improvement project needs to cost a fortune. Some simple do-it-yourself upgrades can make a big difference, and help you improve your home’s overall look without going into debt or emptying your savings account. For example, painting a room, re-grouting tile or power washing the exterior of your house are inexpensive, yet effective home improvement projects.
If you’re thinking of taking on a major home renovation project, it’s crucial to plan ahead. For example, you’ll need to figure out whether or not your project is eligible for tax deductions. In New York, for example, the material costs of a home improvement project are not exempt from sales tax unless you have documentation that the project meets the state’s definition of a capital improvement. You can get this document by submitting a form ST-124 to the Department of Taxation and Finance.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you might need a permit for some of your home improvement projects. You can find out more about what permits you need for your specific project by speaking to a local building inspector. It’s also worth mentioning that you should always hire licensed and insured contractors for any work you undertake on your home. This will protect you from unscrupulous contractors who may try to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners or cause damage to your property.
If you are planning on hiring a contractor for a large home improvement project, it’s important to shop around and get quotes from several different companies. It’s also a good idea to make a detailed list of all the work you want done, and to be as specific as possible. This will help you to negotiate with contractors and lock in prices before the work begins. It will also help you to weed out contractors who may try to upsell you on additional work that isn’t necessary or desirable.