Home improvement is the process of improving the interior or exterior of a home, including the garden and yard. This includes maintenance tasks like painting and repairing, as well as upgrades such as installing new appliances or replacing flooring. The home improvement industry has reached great growth results in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, with homeowners focusing on renovating their homes to make them safer and more comfortable. The industry includes the sale of building materials, appliances and decor, as well as contractors and tradespeople.
Many homeowners undertake remodeling projects hoping that they will boost resale value and increase their home’s marketability. However, not all home improvements add value and some can even decrease a property’s marketability. To avoid costly mistakes, it is important to understand what home improvements are most valuable and which should be avoided.
When it comes to resale value, sparkling bathroom overhauls top the list of home improvement projects that deliver the best return on investment. This is followed by basement renovations and kitchen remodels. Despite these projects making the list, however, homeowners can expect only to get back about 60% of their money for a major home improvement project.
Another way to improve a home’s marketability is to make it energy-efficient. New windows, a heat pump or additional insulation are all cost-effective ways to save on energy bills and reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Homeowners can also recoup the costs of these upgrades in the long run by enjoying lower utility bills and increased resale value.
It is also a good idea to keep up with routine maintenance to prevent expensive repairs and improve the overall appearance of a home. Minor projects, such as re-grouting tile and cleaning out rain gutters, can easily increase a home’s curb appeal. These do-it-yourself projects will not only impress potential buyers, but they can also increase a home’s resale value.
One common mistake that homeowners make is spending a lot of money on a project before talking to a real estate agent about the return on investment. “You need to be realistic about what’s going to add value and how much you can invest in it before you start,” advised Sophia Bera Daigle, founder of Gen Y Planning. “Talking to a realtor in your area can help you determine what renovations are worth the investment and which ones to skip.”
In addition, it’s important to choose a contractor who has a solid track record of quality work. A good way to find a reliable contractor is to ask family and friends for recommendations, or to read online reviews. It is also a good idea to obtain multiple estimates before beginning any work and to carefully compare pricing. In order to protect yourself, it’s a good idea to sign a written contract that contains a timeline for work, a payment schedule and as much detail about the project as possible. This can protect you from shoddy workmanship or hidden fees.