5 Home Improvement Tips to Help You Make Wise Choices

The home improvement industry involves the altering, remodeling, repairing, painting, renovating, restoring, converting or modernizing of residential or noncommercial real estate. This can include the construction, installation, replacement, improvement or repair of driveways, sidewalks, fences, walls, roofs, flooring, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning equipment, water heaters, and similar items.

While many homeowners delayed major home renovation projects during the pandemic, rising prices have prompted them to resume those projects. In fact, more than half of the people surveyed by NerdWallet said they were likely to take on at least one home improvement project over the next two years.

A good reason to improve your house is to make it more enjoyable for you and your family. But be careful not to overspend on upgrades that may not add value or decrease your resale potential. Here are some tips to help you make wise choices:

1. Know your budget.

Before you begin any home improvement project, start by determining how much you can afford to spend. This will help you avoid overspending and ensure that you’ll have money left over for other expenses.

2. Choose projects with a track record.

A few well-known home improvements have proven to add value, such as replacing a front door or adding an outdoor kitchen. Other projects with a high return on investment include energy-efficient improvements such as new windows, heat pumps and added insulation. These upgrades can lower your utility bills and make your home more attractive to buyers who are concerned about increasing energy costs.

3. Don’t overspend.

A common mistake homeowners make is spending more than they can afford on a home improvement project, often because it’s something they have always wanted to do. Be careful not to overspend on upgrades that may make your home unattractive to buyers, such as a custom-built koi pond in the backyard. Unless you plan to live in your home forever, a water feature isn’t going to increase your property value, and buyers might be turned off by the extra expense.

4. Don’t ignore urgent repairs.

If you have a major problem with your home, such as an electrical issue or a leaking roof, it’s important to fix it right away. Otherwise, the damage could worsen and lead to costly repairs down the road. If you have trouble affording the necessary repairs, consider working with an aggregator to find contractors who offer financing options.

5. Keep it in line with neighborhood standards.

One mistake homeowners frequently make is improving their homes above the average for the area. This makes it more difficult to sell their homes when the time comes, and it can even reduce the amount they receive for their home. If you’re planning to sell, it’s important to stay within the average for your neighborhood so that you can attract a wide range of prospective buyers. To determine what that means, talk to neighbors about the types of improvements they’ve made and what they’ve found to be appealing.