Home improvement is any type of renovation or upgrade to a home that adds value, function or comfort. It can include painting, resurfacing pavement and driveways, installing cabinets, doors or windows, putting on a deck, adding an addition, or landscaping.
Depending on the scope of the project, homeowner’s may opt to tackle some or all of the work themselves. Regardless of the size or complexity of the job, it is important for homeowners to follow safety guidelines when working with tools and equipment. It is also imperative to research contractors and obtain quotes before making a decision to hire someone for the job.
The most popular home improvement projects involve remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. According to the American Housing Survey, these projects account for nearly half of all home improvement spending. Other top projects include refinishing wood floors and replacing carpeting. A new roof, exterior paint and upgraded doors also rank high on the list of desired home improvements.
Some projects, such as adding a bathroom or finishing the basement, can increase a home’s resale value. Other improvements, like a more energy-efficient heating and cooling system, may help lower utility bills. Homeowners can also save money by upgrading their insulation and air ducts.
Generally speaking, households with higher incomes are more likely to undertake home improvement projects. However, there are other factors that may influence this trend, such as rock-bottom interest rates and the fact that many older homeowners are financially capable of paying for renovations. For example, households with incomes over $120,000 were more likely to report renovating their homes in 2017 and were responsible for a quarter of the total home improvement market spending.
The survey data suggests that the home improvement industry is continuing to grow. For instance, the number of households who hired landscapers to install or replace landscape features was up more than threefold between March and July this year. Also, the number of households who hired builders to construct or replace a deck was up almost 238%. And, the number of households who built or installed fences rose by 144%.
Choosing the right contractor for any home improvement project is vital to the success of the endeavor. It is best to find a licensed and insured contractor that provides references from previous clients. Additionally, Maryland’s Home Improvement Law requires that any contracts for work be in writing and signed by both the consumer and the business before any work begins or money is paid. The contract should have the name, address and MHIC license number of the business preprinted on it. It is also advisable to avoid contractors who ask for more than 1/3 of the contract price upfront. By following these tips, you can ensure that your next home improvement project is a complete success!