Home improvement, also called house remodeling or renovation, refers to the effort to improve a home’s interior and exterior. The goal is to make a house more functional and attractive. This can include renovations to kitchens, bathrooms and basements as well as the addition of rooms and a new roof. Home improvements can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce costs and get the most bang for your buck.
Some popular home improvement projects include sparkling bathroom overhauls, adding a new deck or patio and updating the kitchen with stainless steel appliances. However, homeowners should remember that not all improvements will add value to a home and some may actually decrease its resale value. To get the most out of your investment, consider talking to a real estate professional before you start swinging hammers.
It’s a good idea to have a general idea of what you want your home to look like before you call contractors, says the Homeowner’s Handbook. This will help you narrow down the choices and decide what your budget will be. You should also talk to friends and neighbors about their experiences with different contractors. You should also check whether any contractors are licensed, and get written contracts for all work.
There are certain things that are as inevitable as death and taxes — at least, for most homeowners, the latter include regular home repair and improvement projects. The good news is that these tasks don’t have to be as painful as they might seem. Taking advantage of rock-bottom interest rates is one way to make home improvement less expensive. Other options include replacing older windows and installing insulation.
Another way to cut the cost of your home improvement project is to choose midrange fixtures instead of high-end options. These will still add a touch of class and improve the function of your home, but they won’t break your bank account.
Home improvement is a huge industry, and many people are involved in it in some way or another. Some are designers, architects or engineers who specialize in designing and building custom homes or major structural changes to existing ones. Others are contractors who specialize in construction or installation. Still others are suppliers of materials such as doors, windows, cabinets and appliances. Then there are the home supply stores, which operate national or regional chains that provide all the tools and supplies for home improvement projects.
When choosing a contractor, ask for references and be sure to visit some of their previous jobs. A reputable company will also be licensed and insured. This protects you in case a worker is injured on your property and it’s found that the company did not properly carry out its work. In addition, a contract should include the terms and conditions of any warranties for materials and workmanship. If a contractor fails to honor these, it may be considered fraud. Finally, it’s a good idea to have any home improvement project inspected by a city inspector before it is completed. This will ensure that the project complies with local building codes and that your contractor is a licensed, trustworthy business.