Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement is a type of renovation, repair, and maintenance that improves the function, safety, and appearance of residential property. It includes construction, remodeling, repairing, painting, or otherwise changing the exterior, interior, or landscape of real estate property, including but not limited to the building of fences, garages, decks, porches, and pools. Home improvements can also include repairs, maintenance, and services such as water heaters, electrical fixtures, air conditioning systems, and heating.

The concept of home improvement has been around for centuries. In modern times, it became increasingly popular following World War II as government mortgage insurance programs and highway construction encouraged home buying and suburban development. After the war, television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House fueled interest in DIY home improvement projects. The cultural shift toward gender equity also impacted home improvement, as it became more common for men and women to participate in household activities together.

Since the Great Recession, spending on home improvements has surged. Experts say that a combination of factors is driving the trend, including high home prices, rock-bottom interest rates, and a desire to make a house a true home.

The type of home improvement you choose depends on how you plan to use your house and what will add the most value to it. Kitchen and bathroom renovations tend to provide the best return on investment, while outdoor projects such as patios and driveways have the least. Before starting any project, be sure to research what types of home improvement are in demand in your area and how they will affect your home’s resale value.

A homeowner can finance home improvement projects with a variety of loans, including home equity loans and lines of credit. These loans allow homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes and often have lower interest rates than unsecured loans. However, it is important to note that not all home improvement projects increase a home’s value and some actually decrease it.

When hiring a contractor for a home improvement project, it is important to find one who is licensed, insured, and bonded. Licensed contractors have passed a background check and are required to pass a test on home improvement law and general business competency. Insured contractors have liability insurance that covers property damage or personal injury caused during the project.

Home improvement projects can be very expensive, but it is possible to save money by doing some of the work yourself. For example, if you are comfortable painting, you can save money on labor costs by painting your own rooms instead of paying someone else to do it. In addition, many states exempt certain home improvement projects from sales tax, such as painting and resurfacing your driveway. Check with your local taxation department for more information.

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