How to Save Money on Home Improvement

Home improvement

Home improvement, also called home renovation or remodeling, is the process of changing or upgrading a home. It can include adding or improving rooms or structures, such as kitchens and bathrooms; modifying the home’s exterior; or changing the home’s landscaping. Home improvements are generally undertaken for a variety of reasons, including increasing the home’s value and enjoyment, or making it more functional and up-to-date.

A home improvement project can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Using these tips, homeowners can make smart choices and save money on their next remodel or renovation.

There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes and if you’re a homeowner, a steady stream of home repair and improvement projects. Whether your plumbing has sprung a leak, or the roof needs replacement, these can’t-wait tasks can be costly. But according to the September NerdWallet survey, more than three-fourths of homeowners say they can pay for most projects without tapping into savings or going into debt. That’s a slight improvement over what we heard last year, when 76% said they could do the same.

But it’s important to be careful when deciding which home improvement projects are worth the investment and which ones will actually boost your resale value. Many renovations that homeowners think will add value, like a new pool or a gazebo, might not add much in the end. And some projects, like over-the-top light fixtures or an extravagant bathroom, might even hurt your resale potential.

If you’re planning a big home improvement project, consult a real estate agent in your area to find out what specific changes will help — or hinder — your resale value. And if you’re doing the work for yourself, be sure to choose durable materials and stay within your budget.

When you’re ready to hire a contractor for your project, always check their license and insurance before hiring them. And be sure to get a written contract that includes a timeline for the work, a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible about your project (such as types or brands of materials). It’s also wise to have an attorney review any contracts you sign before hiring anyone for a home improvement job. In some states, it’s a crime to work on your home without a license. Penalties can be severe, including civil penalties and jail time.

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