Home Improvement 101

Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to a home, such as adding rooms, remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, or replacing doors and windows. It can also include landscaping or building a deck. Home improvement is a common part of homeownership, as it allows owners to update and customize their living space to fit their personal tastes. Ideally, improvements made to a home will increase its value when it is sold or refinanced, or they will at least provide a decent return on investment.

However, not all projects offer the same returns. In fact, only a few renovations recoup all of their costs upon sale or refinance, and those tend to be major renovations like kitchen or bathroom remodels and additions. Other projects often have a much lower ROI, including things like installing a new front door or painting the exterior of the house.

Regardless of the project, it is always wise to keep your budget in mind. Don’t go into debt to make home improvements; instead, save cash as you work or look for financing options. It’s also important to be realistic about your neighborhood and the tastes of local buyers; don’t go overboard with an expensive hot tub or fountain if most other homes in your area have more modest features.

Finally, if you are working with contractors on a home improvement project, be sure to get a written contract that includes a timeline for the work, a payment schedule, and as many specifics about the project (i.e. types of materials and brands) as possible. Also, be sure to verify that all work and debris are removed from the property before final payment is made.