Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, and restoration of residential real property. This includes both the interior and exterior of a home, such as painting, carpeting, flooring, drywall, and other surface improvements. It also refers to the addition of new facilities, such as kitchens and baths, or the extension of an existing one. Home improvements are generally intended to increase a home’s functionality and appeal, but may also be used for other purposes, such as making the home more energy-efficient.
Since the end of World War II, a growing number of Americans have undertaken home improvement projects. This trend has been partially driven by rising house prices and the resulting equity in homes. However, a greater factor has been the need to make houses more functional and appealing to modern families. This need is reflected in the number of different categories that have seen growth in the home improvement sector, such as landscaping and patio construction.
Other categories that have seen significant increases include deck and fence construction, according to Anderson. He also cites the fact that rock-bottom interest rates have made home improvement an attractive investment. In addition, he says that in unsettling times, spending on one’s home can be soothing and comforting.
Many of the most popular and successful home improvement projects have been those done by homeowners themselves. The popularity of television programs such as Bob Vila’s This Old House has contributed to the spread of DIY mania. These programs and the commercialization of power tools have blurred the distinction between what has historically been a male domain, such as carpentry work, and the traditionally female realm of home design and decoration.
It is important for homeowners to choose the right contractors to complete their home improvement projects. They should always perform background checks, verify license and insurance coverage, and obtain business references before hiring a contractor. It is also a good idea to hire contractors who are members of a professional association and have passed a general business competency test. Homeowners should also make sure that the contract they sign specifies all the work to be completed and includes a payment schedule.
It is also a good idea to keep up with regular maintenance to prevent the need for costly repairs and to add value to the home. It is a good idea to invest in energy efficient upgrades, such as new windows and insulation. These improvements can decrease energy costs and make the home more attractive to potential buyers in the future. In addition, if they are properly maintained, these upgrades will pay for themselves over time in reduced utility bills. It is a good idea to stay up-to-date on home improvement trends, as well as changes in building codes and regulations. This information can be obtained by subscribing to trade publications or attending seminars or workshops. By staying informed, homeowners can ensure that their home improvement projects will be successful and rewarding. By following these tips, they can avoid expensive mistakes and achieve the dream home of their dreams.