Home Improvement 101

Home improvement is the process of making changes to improve the look or function of a home. This can include interior and exterior painting, floor refinishing, replacing carpeting with hardwood floors, installing new appliances or fixtures, and adding a patio cover or deck. There are many reasons why homeowners choose to make home improvements. Some may want to increase the resale value of their home while others may just want to improve their living space. No matter the reason, homeowners spend billions of dollars on home improvements each year.

While it is not uncommon to see homes in disrepair, there are some things that simply cannot be put off. Home repair and maintenance tasks such as a leaky roof or flooded basement are often emergencies that must be dealt with immediately. Other projects, such as a major kitchen renovation or installing a pool, are typically planned and budgeted for well in advance.

Some homeowners may be planning to sell their home within the next few years, and they may want to make home improvements with resale in mind. However, it is important to remember that not all home improvement projects will add value to a home. A home that is improved beyond what is typical for a neighborhood may not appeal to buyers and could be priced out of the market.

The biggest challenge for most homeowners when it comes to making home improvements is finding the money to pay for them. In fact, 20% of homeowners who took on home improvements in the past two years had to cut back on discretionary spending or liquidate assets in order to fund their project. Another 14% had to tap into or exhaust their emergency savings, and 8% borrowed against their home equity.

Although it is possible to find loans for home improvement, the best way to fund a project is by using cash. This is especially true if you are doing the work yourself rather than hiring a professional contractor. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that some projects may be more expensive than originally anticipated, and it is important to stick to your budget.

When choosing a home improvement contractor, it is essential to take the time to research and compare companies. It is recommended to only use licensed and insured contractors. It is also a good idea to ask for references and check out their previous work. It is also important to consider whether or not the contractor is part of a trade association or has a MHIC license number preprinted on their contract.

Home improvement can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience, but it is important to plan the project properly and make sure that you have the funds available to complete the job. Taking on debt to finance a home improvement project is never a good idea, as interest charges can quickly erode any gains from the project’s completion. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your next home improvement project will be a success.