Home improvement projects can add value to your house and improve your family’s living conditions. Some improvements, such as repairing a leaking roof or addressing electrical problems, are necessary to keep your house in good condition and avoid more expensive repair bills in the future. Other projects, like adding an extra bedroom or upgrading your kitchen, may increase the resale value of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
Homeowners are more likely to take on major home improvements than in the past, according to the NerdWallet survey. Almost three-fourths of homeowners who have taken on home improvement projects say they were able to pay for them without tapping into their savings or going into debt. The most common source of funding was cash from savings, followed by a combination of other sources like credit cards and home equity loans or lines of credit.
The most common home improvements are painting and re-grouting tile, replacing vanities and toilets, laying new carpeting, putting in new countertops, and installing lighting fixtures. Some of these projects are simple enough for a DIYer to do on their own, but some, such as wiring or plumbing work, should be left to licensed professionals.
A professional contractor usually charges more than a DIYer, but their expertise can ensure the job is done correctly and in a timely manner. They also typically have liability insurance and warranties on their work that can protect you if something goes wrong with your renovation. A good way to find a contractor is through referrals from friends and family, or by asking neighbors who they’ve used in the past. If you’re hiring someone for a large project, be sure to get a contract that specifies all materials and costs, includes a start and completion date, and a payment schedule. It should also include the name, address, and MHIC license number of the contractor.
Some home improvements don’t offer a high return on investment, or even recoup their cost at all. For example, adding a primary suite (an additional bedroom with a private bathroom and closet) to your house might only earn you a 75% return on your investment. However, other upgrades like replacing your garage door or resurfacing your driveway could earn you a much higher return on your money.
When it comes to whole-home renovations, it’s important to speak with a real estate agent before you begin your project. They can help you determine what your house is worth and suggest improvements that will maximize its resale value. They can also give you a sense of how much to budget for your project. Generally, it’s best to spend no more than 20 percent of your home’s current value on an improvement. If you overspend, you risk depreciating your property’s overall value and reducing your ability to sell it in the future.