Home Improvement 101

Home improvement refers to a broad category of activities that make your home more functional and appealing. It also includes projects that improve energy efficiency, safety and security. The most popular types of home improvements are kitchen upgrades, bathroom renovations and adding a new deck. Some homeowners may opt for more extensive renovations like moving walls or putting on a new roof. However, not all projects are created equal, as the cost and return on investment can vary greatly. Some home improvements provide a higher return than others, but the amount of money you can expect to recoup on any project is generally determined by how long you plan to live in your house and what you’re looking to accomplish through the upgrade.

In the past two years, American homeowners have undertaken about 135 million home improvement projects. This is up from 118 million projects in 2019 and a big jump from the 524 billion spent in 2021.

According to the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies of America, homeowners are spending more than ever on home improvements. It’s expected that home improvement spending will hit a record high in 2022.

But with prices on the rise, some projects are becoming less appealing. The nation’s largest home improvement retailers, Lowe’s and Home Depot, have both reported that customers are pulling back on major upgrades, such as a tub-to-shower conversion, in favor of cheaper do-it-yourself fixes.

These price hikes and Covid-19-related social distancing measures appear to be causing some homeowners to rethink their home improvement plans. But many still want to make their house more comfortable, whether they plan to sell it in the future or not. In fact, 71% of homeowners surveyed by NerdWallet said they are considering renovating their homes this year.

If you’re thinking of taking on a home improvement project, it’s important to determine why you want to do so and set a budget for your project. This will help you avoid overspending and potential debt. A good place to start is by asking yourself if you’re trying to increase the value of your home or simply make it more enjoyable.

You should also consider the different ways you can pay for your home improvement project. This might include using savings, obtaining a personal loan or charging the project to a credit card.

Finally, it’s important to research your potential contractors. While you can find a wide range of qualified professionals online, it’s important to take the time to verify their credentials and look for reviews. In addition, you should check out any complaints about the contractor that might be on public records or with your state licensing board. Lastly, it’s also a good idea to meet with your contractor and discuss the job before signing any contracts. This will help ensure you’re both on the same page regarding expectations, costs and timelines. In addition, it will give you a better idea of the quality of work to expect.