Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement is the repair, alteration, remodeling, renovation, restoration, modernization, or addition to a residential home or apartment. It includes all work needed to maintain a home in good condition including painting, repairing, replacing, or installing new flooring, appliances, windows, doors, and more. The term home improvement also covers any type of construction or renovation that improves the energy efficiency of a home such as insulation installation, air sealing, and more.

Many homeowners undertake home improvements in order to add value to their house if they are thinking of selling it in the future, or simply to make their home more enjoyable. However, jumping into a home improvement project without a plan or budget is a surefire way to overspend and possibly put yourself in financial jeopardy. It is important to find projects that fit your budget and skill level, as well as your goals for the project. Some examples of common home improvement projects include painting, re-grouting tile, and power washing.

If you are planning on doing a large project, like adding a master suite or remodeling the kitchen, it is wise to consult with a professional to ensure your plans are in line with local building codes and zoning requirements. It is also a good idea to check with your home insurance company before starting any major renovations, as some projects may require an adjustment in your policy’s coverage limit.

For those who do not have the time or skills to complete a DIY home improvement project, hiring contractors is an option. However, finding reputable and reliable contractors can be challenging. It is important to choose a contractor that is licensed and insured, and has a history of satisfied customers. In addition, it is a good idea to ask for references and perform background checks.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when undertaking a home improvement project is choosing the wrong materials. This can cost you big in the long run, as it will result in higher utility bills and costly maintenance costs down the road. It is important to keep in mind the overall style and feel of your home when selecting materials. For example, if you live in a traditional home, adding a modern kitchen will clash and look out of place.

Whether you are looking to sell your home or just want to make it more comfortable, there are plenty of low-cost, high-value projects you can do yourself. Painting, re-grouting tile, power washing, and other simple projects can greatly increase your home’s value. If you are interested in a larger project, be sure to speak with a real estate agent about what projects will add the most value to your home. Additionally, if you are going to be using a home equity loan to fund your project, be sure to consult with your mortgage lender to determine how much you can borrow based on your current home equity and remaining mortgage balance. This will help you avoid over-leveraging your home and potentially putting yourself at risk for foreclosure should interest rates rise in the future.