Home improvement is a popular pastime and an important investment for homeowners. A well-maintained and updated home can boost curb appeal, increase the value of a property and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Many projects, such as painting or re-grouting tile, are inexpensive and easy to complete, but can have a significant impact on the look of a room. Other improvements include installing a new kitchen or bathroom, installing new lighting and fixtures, repairing damage to the roof or foundation, landscaping and building a deck or fence.
The home improvement industry is booming with an estimated $240 billion in sales in 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The most popular projects are kitchen remodels and bathroom renovations. Other projects that have seen a surge in popularity are installing energy efficient appliances and adding solar panels. Homeowners are also spending more money on outdoor projects, such as building decks and putting up fences.
Some home improvements, such as adding an extra bedroom or bathroom, can significantly boost a property’s resale value. However, some projects may not add much value at all. Homeowners should carefully research what projects will improve their property and get the most return on their investment before starting any work.
A good place to start is by performing a home inspection. In addition to identifying the areas that need to be repaired, an inspector can point out issues that could potentially affect the safety and integrity of a home. For example, a small crack in a foundation can cause serious structural problems later on and will cost more to repair.
Many homeowners are also taking advantage of rock-bottom interest rates to finance their home improvement projects. This is especially true for homeowners age 55 and over, who have been leading the charge in home improvement spending. The low rates have made it more affordable to borrow money to fix up their homes, which can be a good investment in the long run.
It’s important to remember that home improvements should be done for the benefit of the homeowner and not to increase the resale value of the property. Overly personalized or expensive projects may not pay off when it comes time to sell, as they can deter potential buyers. Choosing simple and cost-effective upgrades can help homeowners maximize the return on their investment and enjoy a better living space in the meantime.
If you are planning on making some home improvements, take the time to research which projects will provide the most return on your investment and find a contractor that is licensed and insured. It is also recommended to perform a thorough background check on the contractor before hiring them to complete the work. This can be done by checking with the Better Business Bureau, contacting the contractor’s previous clients and verifying their insurance and license. Lastly, homeowners should always stay within their budget! Otherwise, they will end up with a home that is not comfortable or safe to live in.