Home improvement, also called house maintenance or upkeep, is the process of restoring a home’s interior and exterior. This can include remodeling or adding onto an existing home, maintaining a garden, and installing recreational facilities such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and outdoor kitchens. Home improvement can also refer to a renovation of the home’s electrical, plumbing, or heating systems; the construction or repair of walls, floors, roofs, ceilings; and the installation of appliances, fixtures, or lighting. The term may also apply to a business that sells home improvement supplies or services.
Many homeowners make upgrades to their homes with the hope that they will increase resale value. However, not all improvements will increase resale value and some projects may actually have the opposite effect. Here are some tips to help you determine what types of projects will yield the greatest return on investment for your home.
The top five home improvement projects that add the most value are adding a manufactured stone veneer to an exterior, replacing old vinyl windows, upgrading the kitchen with energy-efficient appliances and granite countertops, painting cabinets and staining hardwood floors, and updating bathroom fixtures. Choosing the right projects for your home depends on several factors, including your budget and whether you plan to stay in your home long enough to recoup the cost of the upgrade.
A well-maintained yard is another easy and relatively inexpensive way to improve your home’s curb appeal and possibly its resale value. Mow the lawn, trim shrubs and bushes, and remove any unsightly weeds. Planting a few trees and bushes is a great way to add beauty and value to your property. A fresh coat of paint on your exterior can also make a big difference.
It is important to consider the safety of your family and your guests while working on any type of home improvement project. This is especially true when the work involves electricity, plumbing or gas lines. If you are not familiar with these processes, it is a good idea to hire a professional to perform the work.
Before starting any home improvement project, you should understand the basics of homeowner’s insurance. This policy will protect you if something goes wrong with your project or if a worker is injured while working on your home. It is also a good idea to update your policy when you complete any major home improvement projects, as they can raise the value of your home.
If you are thinking about hiring a contractor to do some home improvements, it is important that you choose a reputable company with a proven track record. Look for a business that is licensed, insured, and bonded, and that has its name and address clearly displayed on its contract. It is also a good idea to get a written estimate before the contractor begins any work on your home. This will protect you from being ripped off and should specify the exact work to be performed and the amount that you are expected to pay for it.