Home improvement is the remodeling, repair, alteration, addition, conversion, or modernization of a residential or noncommercial structure and includes, but is not limited to, the construction, installation, replacement, or improvement of driveways, walkways, patios, fences, windows, doors, cabinets, walls, roofs, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical installations and wiring, plumbing, and interior and exterior finishes. A well-designed home improvement project can also increase energy efficiency and improve the look of a home.
According to the Census Bureau, 24.5 million homeowners completed at least one home improvement project in 2021. These projects ranged from replacing a kitchen faucet to adding a master suite.
But not all home improvements add value. Some actually decrease the resale value of a home. And it’s easy to get carried away and overspend on a renovation project. If you’re planning a home improvement project, keep these tips in mind to make the most of your investment.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before you start any work. That will help you narrow down your options and choose a contractor that’s right for the job. Having a detailed list of work will also allow you to lock in firm prices from contractors and avoid surprises down the line. Having a clear list will also help you ferret out unscrupulous contractors who may try to convince you to have more work done than you originally planned.
Although home improvement spending is on the rise, it’s still a fraction of what it was in 2000. Experts believe the recent economic downturn and a low supply of homes for sale have made renovations more attractive. Rock-bottom interest rates also make it affordable to finance many projects.
Some popular projects, such as bathroom overhauls and basement remodels, don’t always deliver high returns on investment. But minor kitchen remodeling and new windows are more likely to pay off.
When choosing materials for a home improvement project, opt for durable and versatile options. You’ll save money in the long run by not having to replace items frequently. In addition, many home improvements are tax deductible. But don’t forget to keep records and receipts for all of the expenses, including supplies, labor, and contractor fees.
While it’s tempting to splurge on luxurious upgrades, the best home improvements will be functional and appealing to potential buyers. Upgrades such as new windows or a deck will enhance the look of your home and are more likely to increase its resale value than an extravagant garden or high-end appliances.