Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of altering the structure and features of a house to improve its comfort, function and appearance. Home improvements include both interior and exterior work such as painting, refinishing wood surfaces, fixing leaky roofs, installing new windows and doors, replacing decks and patios, remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms, adding insulation, and upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Before starting any home improvement project, it is a good idea to check with your local government and make sure that you have the required permits for the work you are doing. You should also consult a professional if you are planning to build an addition or change the footprint of your house. Also, you should get estimates from several contractors before making a final decision. Make sure that each estimate includes a description of the work to be done, the materials to be used and the estimated date when the work will be completed. The contract should also contain any warranties or guarantees that may apply to the work.

During the early 20th century, magazines and tool makers promoted home improvement projects as a way of recreating lost male bonds by restoring traditional masculine activities such as carpentry. By the 1990s, highly popular TV shows such as Trading Spaces blurred the distinction between this traditionally male realm of home improvement and the more feminine sphere of interior decorating and design. In addition, big-box store chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s began to promote DIY projects for their customers.

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