Home improvement is the process of renovating or adding to a dwelling. It may be done for a variety of reasons, such as improving the home’s safety or reducing its utility costs. Other reasons include increasing the home’s resale value, improving living comfort or changing the overall look of the house. Home improvement can be both a fun and gratifying project, but it is important to plan carefully before beginning and to consider all the options available.
Home improvements can range from minor repairs and upgrades to a complete room remodel or a new addition. There are many different financing options available for home improvement projects, including personal loans, home equity lines of credit and mortgage refinances. Consumers should compare the rates, terms and conditions of each option to determine which is best for their situation.
It is a good idea to get quotes from several contractors before making a decision. Consumers should also be sure that any contractor they hire is properly licensed and insured. Consumers should not pay any contractor more than 1/3 of the contract price as a deposit and should only make progress payments after work has been completed.
Most communities have laws regulating home improvement and construction. Some require permits for certain types of work and inspections at various stages of the project. A permit is generally required when the cost of the work exceeds $7,500. Some communities require that all contractors be licensed with the Home Improvement Board in order to perform home improvement work.
When considering what improvements to make, it is a good idea to consult a real estate professional or financial advisor for advice. A professional can help to identify potential problem areas and suggest improvements that will be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Depending on the type of home improvement, the return on investment may not be worth the cost. It is also a good idea to discuss any planned changes with an insurance agent. As renovations are made, the value of the home increases, and existing insurance coverage may no longer provide adequate protection.
One common mistake homeowners make is to overspend on home improvements. It is easy to become enchanted by the shows on TV and the huge selection of DIY products in home improvement stores, but it is crucial to remember that the average homeowner does not have the skills and experience needed to do extensive renovations or remodeling. Even small jobs like painting, wallpapering or hanging new doors require special knowledge and tools that most people do not have. Moreover, the average homeowner may not want to take on a major project such as pouring a foundation or framing walls and rooflines.