Home Improvement Basics

Home improvement is the process of renovating a house or building an addition to it. This could include remodeling, repairing, restoring, painting, rewiring and adding new fixtures or features. Home improvements are often made to increase the comfort, efficiency or value of a home. Some of these projects are large and expensive, while others can be done on a budget.

In the United States, the home improvement industry is a multibillion dollar business. Remodeling and repair work account for most of this spending, but home additions and new construction also contribute to the sector. In addition, a number of home improvement companies are aggregators that bundle services and act as intermediaries between service providers and homeowners.

While there is a lot of money to be made in the home improvement industry, it is important to do one’s homework before starting any project. It is recommended to only hire licensed contractors who are insured and have a good track record. It is also a good idea to get referrals from friends and family members before hiring anyone for home improvement work. In addition, a contract should be drawn up that specifies a payment schedule and as many details about the project as possible.

A homeowner who wants to improve his or her home may be able to find an experienced contractor through an online directory or a professional association. It is recommended to always obtain multiple estimates before making any decisions. It is also a good idea to ask for a copy of the license and insurance policy of the contractor before allowing him or her to start any work.

If a homeowner is planning to sell his or her home in the near future, he or she should consult with a real estate agent before undertaking any major renovations. The agent can help the homeowner decide what projects will add the most value to the home and which ones are best to skip. It is important for a homeowner to balance his or her own comfort and enjoyment of the home with the desire to increase its resale value.

Generally speaking, only about half of the cost of a typical home improvement project is recouped when a house is sold. However, this percentage can vary greatly depending on the type of work that is done and what neighborhood a house is located in. For example, a high-end bathroom renovation will not likely recoup the entire cost in a lower-income neighborhood. It is a good idea to keep renovations in line with the median price of homes in the neighborhood and not overspend. Doing so will ensure that a renovation will have the greatest impact on resale value. It is also a good idea to choose upgrades that will appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. For instance, a new bathroom with fancy marble flooring will probably not appeal to the average buyer. Instead, a more neutral color palette will be more appealing to a larger pool of potential buyers.

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