Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, restoration or improvement of residential real property, including the exterior and interior of a home or garden. It is a huge industry that encompasses anything from a small painting project to a completely new kitchen or bathroom. Most improvements are made to increase a home’s resale value, but some simply provide a better living environment for its inhabitants.
A major mistake homeowners make is jumping into a renovation without a plan or budget. This can end up costing more than expected, especially if the contractor discovers problems that need to be fixed. It also can lead to the homeowner going into debt for the renovation. If you are planning on selling your home in the future, it is best to talk to a real estate professional before making any high-end upgrades that may not pay off when it comes time to sell.
When choosing a contractor for a home improvement project, it is important to get estimates from several different companies. Contractors vary in price, experience, quality of work, and reputation. In addition, contractors can have varying levels of insurance coverage. It is recommended to check a company’s license number, insurance coverage, business references and membership in a trade association before hiring them for a job. If you are not comfortable performing these checks yourself, you can contact an aggregator that will perform the work for you.
Depending on the type of project and state laws, you may be required to pay sales tax on your home improvement. In New York, for example, sales tax applies unless you have documentation of the project being a capital improvement. You can obtain a capital improvement document by filing a form ST-124.
The most popular projects in recent years are sparkling bathroom overhauls and big-ticket kitchen remodels. While these can boost a home’s resale price, they are not the only way to improve your living space and can be expensive. Homeowners, on average, only recoup 60 percent of the cost on these types of projects.
Regardless of the type of home improvement, homeowners should remember that safety is of utmost importance. For example, when working with electrical works, it is important to follow the proper safety precautions and have a licensed electrician do the work. It is also important to keep children and pets out of areas where construction or remodeling is taking place. Lastly, homeowners should always check with the city before beginning any work to ensure that all permits are in order.