Home improvement involves repairs, renovations and other changes to a home to improve its function and appearance. The term can also refer to the process by which a homeowner adds living space such as an addition, conservatory or sunroom to a house. It can also include landscaping or installing a pool. Home improvements can increase a home’s value and make it more desirable to potential buyers. However, homeowners should be cautious about attempting DIY home improvement projects as it may increase the time and costs needed to complete the project and can result in mistakes that may negatively impact the quality of a home or even damage it.
Despite the elevated price of building materials, many homeowners are still investing in home improvement projects. In fact, 3 in 5 homeowners reported doing at least one home improvement project during the past two years, according to a NerdWallet survey. These projects ranged from updating a kitchen or bathroom to adding an extra bedroom. In the survey, homeowners say they are spending an average of $6,438, or about $15 per square foot, on these projects.
According to the American Housing Survey, the most popular project is painting the exterior of a home followed by replacing a roof or repairing a leaky basement. Other projects that are on the list of to-dos for homeowners this year include re-grouting tile, painting interior walls and power washing the siding. Although these are simple fixes, they can provide significant returns on investment (ROI) when completed by a qualified professional.
A homeowner may receive a wide range of estimates when bidding on the same home improvement. It is important to remember that price should never be the only factor when choosing a contractor. Rather, compare each contractor’s experience, reputation, references and business licenses.
It’s a good idea for homeowners to keep track of all expenses related to home improvement projects. This way, they can document what they have spent and any potential tax deductions. For example, the IRS allows a homeowner to deduct the cost of certain home improvements when filing their taxes, such as replacing an old roof or remodeling a kitchen.
Homeowners should consult with a certified tax advisor for more information about what is and isn’t deductible. In addition, homeowners should keep in mind that some home improvement projects can increase a property’s value, while others may decrease it. Therefore, it is essential to consider a cost/benefit analysis before making any major home improvements.
Homeowners can find help with a variety of home improvement projects from reputable contractors and regulated home warranty companies. Additionally, Bergen County residents can apply for a free home improvement grant from the Home Improvement Program. Interested applicants can complete a Pre-Application Qualification form or click HERE for more information. The deadline for applications is June 30.