Home improvement is any change to a home that enhances its function or appearance. This can be anything from a minor cosmetic change like painting or replacing flooring to major renovations such as adding on an addition or renovating the kitchen and bathrooms. Many home improvement projects can be completed by a homeowner, but some require professional contractors and equipment. In general, the improvements made to a home should be done to improve the quality of life there or increase its value when it is put on the market.
While most people renovate their homes to make it more comfortable for themselves, some want to add more living space. Adding on a garage or making a bedroom into a den are examples of ways to do this. A homeowner might also decide to make their home more energy efficient by installing new windows or a heat pump. Increasing the efficiency of a house will help lower energy costs and will probably be a selling point for buyers in the future.
There are other reasons to do home improvement projects as well. For example, if there are safety issues that need to be addressed such as a dangerous electrical wire or a crack in the foundation, they should be fixed immediately. Also, it may be necessary to replace worn out appliances or fixtures to keep them safe and in good working order.
One reason why so many homeowners are renovating their homes during the pandemic is to create additional living space for themselves. The need for extra storage space is a major factor, but there are other motivations as well such as wanting to upgrade worn out surfaces and finishes, improving livability and enhancing enjoyment of the home.
Another consideration when doing home improvements is the ability to recoup the cost of the project when it is time to sell. Real estate agents can usually tell a homeowner which upgrades are most likely to increase the value of their home. Some of the highest returns come from converting garages into living space and updating kitchens and bathrooms. Homeowners should always compare prices for similar upgrades in their neighborhood and only invest in those improvements that will be attractive to the majority of buyers.
The return on home improvement investments varies by time, but in general most remodeling and renovations do not fully recoup their costs. The amount of money a home owner recoups will depend on the type and scope of work, how much the local housing market is growing and changing, and the overall price range for homes in their area.
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