What Is Home Improvement?

Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s own home. Whether it is painting the interior or exterior, laying down new carpeting or updating fixtures in a bathroom or kitchen, any activity that enhances the appearance and functions of a property qualifies as home improvement. This includes gardening work, garage maintenance/additions and even gazebo construction.

There are many reasons why homeowners decide to make improvements to their homes, including improving aesthetics, adding comfort, and increasing functionality. However, the primary reason for most projects is to increase the value of the property. While sparkling bathroom overhauls and basement renovations may add the most resale value, other upgrades like installing energy-efficient windows and upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are less expensive and also pay for themselves in lower utility bills.

A good way to get ideas for what home improvements are worth the investment is to talk to a real estate agent about specific projects that have historically delivered solid returns. Another option is to look at online data, which shows trends for the highest-return projects by category.

During the pandemic, some home improvement projects were delayed or canceled altogether, and more than half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t allow home repair/improvement professionals inside their home due to coronavirus safety concerns. However, a majority of those surveyed (77%) said they were planning to start or resume home improvement projects this year. When it comes to hiring contractors for a project, some important things to keep in mind are to verify licensing and insurance and to always request written estimates. Homeowners should be wary of aggregator sites that bundle services and act as an intermediary between service providers and homeowners, and they should be careful to choose a reputable company with good reviews and business practices.

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