Home Improvement Basics
Home improvement refers to any change, upgrade or repair that you make to your home, whether it’s a large project or minor one. It could be something as simple as changing your carpet, painting the walls or installing a new ceiling fan.
There are many types of home improvement projects, some are DIY and others require the assistance of a professional. If you’re planning on working with a contractor, make sure you are well-informed and get quotes from multiple contractors before making a decision.
The cost of a home improvement project often comes down to how much you’re willing to spend and how long it will take. It’s a good idea to set a budget and stick with it. Then, you can make sure you’re not overspending or going into debt to finish the project.
If you have a limited budget, focus on upgrades that will increase your home’s value and appeal to a wider audience. This means investing in quality appliances, flooring and other upgrades that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You also want to keep your home’s value on par with the rest of the neighborhood.
Increasing your home’s value can help you save money when it comes time to sell. Some improvements can even give you tax credits at the time of sale, such as energy-saving upgrades.
Remodeling your bathroom can be a great way to increase your home’s resale value. However, it’s important to be aware of the costs and how it will impact your profit when you decide to sell.
A study of 70,000 homes found that only about half of home improvement projects added more value than the amount of money they cost to complete them. Some improvements did break even, such as replacing a garage door, but most homeowners only recovered about a quarter of the total project cost.
It’s a great idea to create a list of potential improvements and what you want them to look like before you begin. It will also make it easier to stick to your budget and ensure you don’t exceed your financial goals for the renovation.
If you’re renovating a room, make sure the layout works for you and that the design is consistent with the rest of your home. For example, if you plan to use the bedroom as your office, consider a wall that separates it from the living area.
When choosing a contractor, check to make sure they are licensed by the state. Licensed contractors are required to meet standards in home improvement law and general business competency. They should also pass a test on safety and criminal background checks.
Before hiring a contractor, ask to see a contract that has their name, address and MHIC license number. It should be signed by both you and the contractor.
If the home improvement project will be financed, be sure to negotiate a payment schedule and terms. Most states have laws that require a deposit of at least three-quarters of the total cost before the work begins.