Home improvement is the act of improving the interior and exterior of a residence. The term is also used to refer to the renovation of a commercial building. Home improvements are usually carried out for a variety of reasons including increasing the value of a property, making it more energy efficient, or simply modernizing it.
Spending on home improvements has been surging since 2010, when it hit a low during the recession. Some experts attribute the increase to higher housing prices that have boosted homeowners’ equity and the fact that aging baby boomers are remodeling their homes more frequently. Other factors include rock-bottom interest rates and a shortage of new homes on the market.
The categories that are surging the most in home improvements have to do with work outside the house, such as putting in a patio or adding landscaping. The most popular projects, though, are those that are aimed at making the home more comfortable and functional. These include installing new kitchen appliances, finishing basements, and upgrading heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.
If you are considering a major home improvement, be sure to consult with an expert. They can tell you what upgrades will add the most to your home’s resale value and which ones you should skip. They can also give you a fair estimate of the project’s cost and help you find qualified contractors to carry out the work. When hiring a contractor, get a written contract that specifies the work to be done, a timeline for completion, and a payment schedule. The contract should also specify the terms and conditions of any warranties.