Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, or enhancement of residential real property. It includes projects like putting in a new roof, repaving a driveway, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, and building a fence.
A common reason homeowners undertake home improvement projects is to increase the home’s resale value. Other reasons may include fixing problems that could become worse (like a plumbing leak or a sagging foundation), updating the home’s decor, or making it more comfortable for the family.
Many homeowners spend big money on home improvements. However, not all projects yield strong ROIs when you try to sell the home later on. If you are considering a major project, talk to a real estate agent about what projects are most likely to pay off.
When choosing contractors for home improvement projects, compare prices and reputations. There is a large ‘grey market’ of unlicensed and unreputable contractors, but you can also find companies that are members of reputable trade organizations, have good business references, and stand by their warranties.
The types of home improvements that are surging the most right now are projects to do with work outside the house: deck construction is up 275%, and fence construction is up 144%. The reasons for these increases aren’t clear, but low interest rates and a general sense that it’s a good time to make improvements may be factors. Some experts say that homeowner investment in these types of improvements will eventually spill over to the rest of the economy.