Home improvement is the maintenance, repair, restoration, and modernization of a residential real property. This type of work may include construction, painting, tiling and landscaping. It also includes replacing windows and doors, and installing a new roof or driveway.
Home improvements can be costly, but they can increase the value of a home or make it more comfortable to live in. The most important thing to remember when doing any home improvement is to keep the changes within the style of the house. Too much personalization can detract from the resale value of a home. For example, an in-home theater system might appeal to you, but it could turn off a prospective buyer who wants a clean, uncluttered space.
A professional contractor can help you evaluate and select the right home improvement projects, and can save you money in the long run. They can also recommend energy-saving improvements that will pay off quickly, such as replacing your old furnace with a high-efficiency model.
When choosing a contractor to perform your home improvement project, it’s essential to find one who is licensed, insured and bonded. Check with your local government or homeowner’s association to find out about licensing requirements in your area. In addition, a license provides assurance that the contractor has met minimum insurance requirements, and will be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your property.
To avoid costly mistakes, prepare a list of the work you want done and get quotes from several contractors. Be sure to specify the exact work you want completed, including any special materials or equipment you require. Also, be aware that some renovations require a permit or inspection before they can begin.
Before starting any work, ask your contractor for a written contract that includes the total price of the project, a schedule for completion, and as many details of the work as possible, such as types or brands of materials to be used. You should withhold the final payment until you are satisfied that the work has been satisfactorily completed and all required inspections have been passed.
If you don’t have enough cash on hand to cover the cost of a major home improvement, you can apply for a home loan. These loans can be unsecured or secured, and are available to homeowners with good credit. Some lenders even offer a line of credit for small, short-term home improvement projects. However, it’s important to compare interest rates before selecting a lender. Some loans have more stringent credit or equity requirements than others.