5 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Home Improvement Project

Home improvement

Home improvement refers to any kind of renovation, remodeling, or upgrading to your property. This may include landscaping, paving your driveway or walkways, painting, and installing new fixtures such as lighting or appliances.

The good news is that many of these upgrades will improve your home’s functionality and increase its resale value. But before you jump into a project, be sure you’re making the best choice for your home.

1. Make sure that the renovations you choose are consistent with your house’s style and character.

It’s no secret that a dated kitchen or bathroom won’t boost your home’s resale value. But many homeowners don’t consider how the renovations they choose will impact their home’s aesthetic and consistency with neighboring homes. A pool that doesn’t fit with the rest of the neighborhood, for example, can be an eyesore and detract from your home’s value.

2. Understand how the renovations will affect your taxes.

Many home improvements aren’t tax-deductible unless you have documentation that they qualify as a capital improvement. The type of documentation you need depends on your state and the type of project. In New York, for example, contractors must provide a written contract that includes a timeline for the work to be completed, a payment schedule and as much specificity as possible about materials (types or brands). You should also be aware that if you have to withhold any payments from the contractor, this could affect your credit.

3. Invest in energy-efficient upgrades.

New windows, a heat pump and added insulation are some examples of upgrades that can decrease your utility costs and pay for themselves over time. They can also make your home more attractive to buyers if you decide to sell.

4. Be sure you hire a qualified professional.

You want to ensure that your contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. You should also get references and check them. Then you can feel confident that the job will be done correctly and within your budget. In addition, in New York State, you can require the contractor to provide a written contract that includes an initial down payment and incremental payments until the work is completed. You should withhold the final payment until all required inspections and certificates of occupancy are received. You can also require the contractor to have workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. This is to protect you in the event of a worker being injured on your property or damage to your home during a project. It’s also a good idea to communicate with your contractors about safety concerns during the pandemic and set expectations for mask-wearing and cleanliness. This will help to keep everyone safe and avoid unnecessary delays or additional charges.

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