Home improvement can be an effective way to increase the value of a home and improve its appearance. The cost of home improvements can be significant, however, and it is important to understand the return on investment for each project. This will help homeowners choose projects that will be beneficial and will provide the best value for their money.
A homeowner who is interested in making changes to their home can find ideas and advice by watching a variety of television shows such as “Fixer Upper” or “This Old House”. A wide range of do-it-yourself guides and instructional videos are also available for those who wish to undertake small home improvement projects themselves. Homeowners should carefully consider their options and costs before choosing a contractor for larger home improvement projects.
Spending on home improvements has increased since 2010 when it hit a low during the recession. Aging homeowners have been responsible for much of the spending surge, with those aged 55 and over leading the charge. Rock-bottom interest rates have made borrowing to fund renovations more attractive.
The most popular categories of home improvement are those that have to do with work outside the house, including deck construction and putting up fences. These categories have risen more than 200 percent in the past three years, according to an industry tracker. Other surging categories include hiring landscapers to design and install lawns, which have climbed more than 300 percent.
A reputable contractor will provide a written contract before starting any home improvement work. The contract should contain a detailed schedule for when the job will be completed, a payment schedule and as many specifics about the project as possible, including the type and brand of materials to be used. The contract should also state that the contractor will withhold the final payment until the work has been completed and all required inspections have been passed.
When selecting a contractor for a home improvement project, homeowners should compare prices, but should also look at other factors such as the contractor’s reputation and experience. It is also important to check the contractor’s license and insurance to ensure that they are qualified and legitimate. There are a number of online services that allow homeowners to submit their project details and receive quotes from contractors who have the necessary qualifications.
Once a home improvement project is complete, it is important to update the home insurance policy. A home insurance professional can advise on how to make sure that the policy reflects the newly added value of the home. In addition, the professional can recommend other ways to save money and protect the investment. Often, just a few changes can make a big difference in the overall financial picture.