Home improvement is a broad term for anything that increases the value of your house, such as remodeling kitchens and bathrooms or adding rooms. It also includes repairs, maintenance and services like painting and resurfacing of the driveway or walkways. Generally, any improvements made to the house that add function or beauty are considered home improvements, but it is important to discuss these projects with a real estate agent before starting any work.
Some home improvements are urgent, such as repairing a leaky roof or fixing a cracked foundation. These must be done to protect the safety and integrity of the house and prevent costly damage. Other renovations may be based on aesthetic preferences or needs, such as replacing worn-out flooring or adding new windows. These are less likely to increase the resale value of the house, but they can make your home more comfortable and attractive.
There are many different ways to pay for home improvements, including cash, credit cards or loans. Some people use home equity lines of credit, which allow you to borrow against the equity in your home and often have lower interest rates than unsecured loans. Others take out a second mortgage to fund home improvements. This method is most common for people who need to improve a house before selling it, as the loan is secured by the property.
Another popular option is to work with a home-center chain that has a dedicated home improvement department. These companies have national or local locations and hire staff to oversee the renovations. These companies are usually reliable, competitive in price and stand by their warranties. They may be able to help you navigate state laws about hiring contractors.
Some of the most popular home improvement projects are bathroom and kitchen upgrades. These can be expensive, but they typically pay for themselves in terms of increased home value and resale potential. You can also add value by finishing a basement or installing a deck. Adding a master suite with a private bath is another way to boost your home’s resale value, but be sure to talk to a real estate agent about what kinds of projects will be most appealing to buyers in your area.
Finally, it’s important to avoid spending money on home improvements that don’t add value or won’t appeal to prospective buyers. For example, a hot tub or fountain in the backyard can look out of place in most neighborhoods and can detract from your home’s resale appeal.