Home improvement is the renovation, repair, alteration, conversion, modernization, or addition to a home or to any attached outdoor areas such as porches, patios, decks, and fences. The term also includes the repair or replacement of siding, windows, doors, roofs, and heating and air conditioning systems. Home improvements are usually undertaken to increase the comfort, convenience, and utility of a home. However, they may also be done to add architectural appeal to a house or to improve its market value. The home improvement industry is a multibillion dollar business that encompasses the supply of building materials, appliances, and decor for residential use, as well as the hiring and training of contractors, tradespeople, and other workers involved in home remodeling projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the industry, with homeowners eager to upgrade their homes to make them safer and more comfortable. But despite the boom in the sector, revenue growth is expected to slow down in 2023. Homeowners remain committed to improving their homes, but they are more selective about the projects they undertake and focus on those that will offer a high return on investment.
A popular way to pay for home improvement projects is through home equity loans, which allow homeowners to borrow against the value of their homes. This can be done either to finance a major renovation or to simply update fixtures and finishes throughout the home. It is important for homeowners to carefully consider the costs and benefits of home equity loans before proceeding with a project.
According to a recent study by Houzz, the top renovation projects that added the most value to a home were a new kitchen and master suite, followed by adding a garage or workshop and updating the bathrooms. Other projects that increased a home’s value included replacing old windows, installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and upgrading the exterior façade.
While whole-house renovations can add a significant amount of value to a home, there are many do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that can be completed without the help of professional contractors. From painting to re-grouting tile, these simple upgrades can help a homeowner refresh the look of their living space and possibly increase its value when it comes time to sell. Of course, DIY projects must be performed with careful consideration to ensure that they will not compromise safety or void any existing warranties. Homeowners are also advised to research contractors and read online reviews before hiring them for a job. The best contractors will have a valid license, carry insurance coverage for their employees and property, provide references, and pass a background check. Aggregators that bundle home improvement offers can also be a good resource for finding reputable contractors. However, homeowners should always obtain a written contract and carefully review any terms and conditions before agreeing to them. This will protect their investments and ensure that they are protected should a dispute arise. The contract should also clearly state any warranties provided by the contractor.