Home improvement is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only does it add curb appeal and functionality to your living space, but it can also increase your home’s value. Home improvements can be as simple as replacing light fixtures or as complicated as a total kitchen remodel. No matter the size or scope of a project, careful planning can help ensure a smooth, stress-free process.
The home improvement industry is booming and has experienced excellent growth in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes the sales of building materials, appliances, furniture, decor, and services such as contractors and tradespeople who help renovate or improve homes. The industry is largely a consumer-driven market, with many homeowners eager to make their living spaces more comfortable and functional for themselves and future buyers.
While a full-scale home renovation may be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, some smaller projects can significantly boost your home’s value and give you an attractive return on investment when it comes time to sell. According to the American Housing Survey, some of the most popular home improvements include sparkling bathroom overhauls and big-ticket kitchen and basement renovations. However, a recent study by Contractor Growth Network found that these types of renovations only yield an average of 60% in returns on investment.
For the most bang for your buck, focus on upgrades that make sense for your lifestyle and are consistent with the style of your home and the surrounding neighborhood. For example, if everyone else in your neighborhood has an above-ground pool, adding one to your own property could be counterproductive.
A few key things to keep in mind when making home improvements are to prioritize quality over cost, and to avoid any projects that might compromise the safety of your family or guests. Getting an inspector to check out the home’s roof, foundation and electrical systems before beginning any work is a smart move. A good inspector can spot problems that you might not be able to see, such as water leaks or termite damage.
When in doubt, get a written contract before any work begins. The law requires a signed contract with a specific price for the work, a payment schedule and a detailed description of any materials or products to be used. It should also contain any warranties the company offers on their work and provide you with contact information for any customer complaints.
As the economy recovers, more people are turning to home improvements. Rock-bottom interest rates make financing these projects more affordable and comforting in unsettling times. Anderson says the categories that are surging the most are mainly focused on the exterior of homes, with deck construction up almost threefold and fence installation rising 144%. These types of projects can easily boost your home’s value and are great for creating a welcoming environment to entertain guests. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of minor repairs that can be easily fixed before they become major problems, such as a leaking roof or old windows that need replacing.