Home Improvement 101
Home improvement, also called house renovation or remodeling, is the process of improving the interior and exterior of a building. This may include redecorating, changing a room’s layout, adding or removing features, and other changes to the house’s structure. In addition to improving the appearance of a house, home improvements can increase its efficiency or help it stand out in the market.
Many homeowners undertake home improvement projects with the intention of increasing their house’s resale value. However, some projects do not add as much value as expected, and others can even decrease a house’s value. To make sure your renovations are worth the investment, talk to a real estate agent about which projects will have the best return.
The home improvement industry consists of retailers, suppliers and contractors who provide products or services to improve homes. This includes supplies such as building materials, appliances and decor as well as labor and professional installation services. It also includes companies that specialize in a particular aspect of home improvement such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling, flooring, and lighting.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the home improvement industry experienced solid growth results. However, a slowdown is anticipated in the coming years.
A major reason for this is a reduction in homeowner confidence and uncertainty about the economy. Additionally, high mortgage interest rates and rising housing prices are discouraging new home purchases. This has led to more people staying in their current homes and undertaking home improvement projects.
Many home improvement projects are relatively inexpensive and can be done by the average person. For example, replacing kitchen or bath hardware is an easy project that can have a big impact. However, before purchasing new hardware, measure the distance between existing holes to ensure a good fit, and check online for better prices.
If you plan to hire a contractor for more complicated or expensive home improvement projects, it is important to find one that is licensed, insured and bonded. This will protect you from fraudulent or unlicensed contractors and guarantee that any work performed is up to code. In addition, some home improvement projects require a permit from a local government agency. In these cases, the agency will inspect the work at a certain stage and/or when it is completed to make sure it meets applicable standards.
There are a number of ways to pay for home improvement projects, including using cash or a personal loan. However, a home equity loan or line of credit offers more flexibility and can be an attractive option if you have enough home equity to borrow against. These loans allow you to borrow up to 90% of your home’s value minus the amount of your mortgage, and they typically have lower interest rates than unsecured loans. However, it is essential to compare the terms offered by different lenders before choosing a loan. This is because fees, penalties for late payments and the ability to add a cosigner can vary between lenders.