Home improvement is the practice of adding value to a house through renovation or remodeling. It is a very large industry, consisting of retail sales of building materials, appliances, decor, and also services performed by contractors and tradespeople. Home improvements are often made to make a house more appealing and functional, such as adding a new kitchen or bathroom. They can also be done to increase a house’s energy efficiency, such as by installing new insulation or windows.
The most popular home improvement projects are sparkling bathroom overhauls, followed by basement renovations. Homeowners generally get a solid return on their investment in these projects. However, many other home improvements are less likely to pay off when it comes time to sell.
A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 20% of your home’s total square footage on any one project. Also, be sure to factor in the cost of any permits or inspections that may be required. If you’re unsure about how much your project will cost, ask an experienced contractor for an estimate.
Before hiring a home improvement contractor, be sure to check their license and insurance status and get referrals from friends and neighbors. In addition, homeowners are advised to carefully review a contract before signing it, particularly its payment schedule and description of work to be performed. Homeowners are advised to only pay a deposit of no more than 1/3 of the contract price and withhold final payment until the contractor completes all work and obtains all necessary inspections and certificates of occupancy.