Home Improvement Basics

Home improvement (also called renovation or remodeling) is a broad term for the work that people do to their houses, including the maintenance of existing features and alterations made to the outside. The projects can involve anything from repairing and improving the interior to installing new paving or siding on the exterior.

During COVID-19, the home improvement industry grew significantly as do-it-yourselfers became increasingly interested in learning how to fix common problems around the house. Many homeowners also use home improvement as a way to increase the value of their homes.

In 2023, home improvements are expected to be about making repairs, refinishing floors and countertops, replacing appliances, and adding small but impactful facelifts that make your house feel like it has been updated.

A homeowner should consider their home’s needs and lifestyle before deciding to do any home improvement. Having a detailed list of the projects they want done will help them to easily negotiate with contractors, lock in firm prices and avoid surprises later.

They should also be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required. Having a contractor that is knowledgeable about these details will make the process go more smoothly and ensure they have all the necessary equipment and materials to complete the project.

It’s important to remember that a homeowner should never hire a contractor who does not have a license or insurance. This is a major risk that should be avoided.

The best practice is to always hire a licensed and insured contractor who can provide references from satisfied customers. Checking out an aggregator or other third-party source is a good way to get multiple quotes and find reputable contractors.

Home improvement contracts must be in writing and signed by the consumer and contractor before any work is performed or any money is paid. They must include a description of the work to be performed, the material to be used, the approximate dates when the work will be performed, and payment terms. The contract must also include the name and address of the contractor.

Before starting a home improvement project, the contractor must be able to show a valid license from the state and proof of liability insurance. If the contractor fails to have this information, they are subject to penalties under the Home Improvement Contract Law.

Oftentimes, homeowners who have been living in their homes for a while will want to change things up and upgrade their home’s style. Adding or replacing furniture, flooring and countertops can all give your house a fresher look and can add value to the property.

It’s also a good idea to upgrade lighting, HVAC systems and window treatments. A new set of curtains or a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to your house’s appearance and will make it more appealing to potential buyers.

If you’re considering a home improvement project, be sure to ask your real estate agent how it will affect your property’s value. Some projects are more beneficial than others when it comes to boosting your home’s value, such as a kitchen remodel or a bathroom upgrade.