Home improvement is the process of renovating or upgrading your home to add value, safety, or comfort. This can include making additions, such as a new kitchen or bathroom, or improving the exterior of the home by installing siding, windows, or landscaping. It can also include remodeling the garage or basement.
The most common types of home improvements are electrical systems, security systems, heating and cooling, and plumbing. The top home exterior improvements are windows and doors, followed by paint and fences. A new front door is a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the aesthetics of your home. However, it is not likely to increase the resale value of your home.
Homeowners who plan to improve their homes may decide to hire a general contractor or do it themselves. For those who choose to work with a professional, it is important to find a licensed, reputable company. Obtain references from your neighbors, friends, or previous customers and check the contractor’s license and insurance.
Before committing to a home improvement project, take the time to compare proposals and costs from several contractors. Make sure that you have a firm price and payment schedule in place. Having an escrow account will allow you to keep your funds secure until the work is complete. Also, check with your local building codes office to make sure that your home is in compliance.
If you are considering hiring a contractor, be aware that the Payment Protection Act requires that contractors have a written contract for home improvement work. This can prevent disputes down the line. It also entitles the consumer to sue for actual damages, or to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees if the contractor does not follow the law.
Contractors must register with the state’s board when they do work for more than $7,500. If they fail to do so, they can face a civil penalty of $100. Additionally, the Attorney General may go to court and order the contractor to pay compensation to the customer. In addition, some unlicensed companies are accredited by reputable associations.
To protect your property and your future, be sure to make a thorough list of all the work you want done and a timeline for the completion of the job. Detailed lists can also help you negotiate with a contractor and ensure that you get a fair price for your project.
In order to find the best contractor for your needs, look for an experienced business with a clean record with the Better Business Bureau. Greg Home Improvement is a 27-year-old company with a pristine track record in Consumer Affairs. He has a long history of doing remodeling and construction.
The Axiom Survey asked consumers about recent home improvement projects, their plans for upcoming projects, and what they were most proud of. Nearly one-third of homeowners are currently engaged in a home improvement project. And, nearly two-thirds are planning to start their home improvement project in the next 12 months.