Home improvement is the process of remodeling, repairing, or renovating one’s living spaces. This can include interior and exterior work such as painting, refinishing floors, adding new rooms and spaces, updating fixtures and appliances, replacing old windows and doors, and much more. The goal of home improvement is to make a space more pleasant and functional for the residents, while increasing or maintaining its value. The home improvement industry has experienced growth in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Houzz, homeowners spent an average of $30,000 on home improvements in 2023. Spending varied depending on a homeowner’s ownership status, with those who had owned their homes for six or more years spending more than those who had bought their home just one to five years ago.
The most popular home improvement projects vary by region, but some of the top projects include installing an outdoor kitchen, refinishing hardwood floors, and upgrading the master bathroom. Other top projects include converting an attic or basement into a livable space, adding a sunroom or patio, and upgrading the home’s energy efficiency through new windows, a heat pump, or increased insulation.
While some homeowners may be motivated to improve their homes through the desire to sell them, many upgrade their property for other reasons. A 2022 survey from the National Association of Realtors found that the most common motivations for home improvement included improving comfort and livability (69%), increasing functionality (40%), and making necessary repairs (25%).
When it comes to choosing the right projects for your home, it’s important to consider both your personal preferences and your future plans for the property. You’ll also want to choose wisely in order to maximize your return on investment. This is why it’s important to understand the cost recovery for different home improvement projects, as well as how they can impact your monthly budget and long-term equity.
Homeowners should also be aware of the risk involved in working with unlicensed contractors, as this can lead to substandard work that could put the home at risk for damage or even injury. To reduce this risk, homeowners should always seek out a licensed contractor with proper credentials and a strong reputation in the community. This can be done by performing simple checks, such as verifying license and insurance, and asking for references before hiring anyone to work on their home.
While it’s possible to overspend on home improvements, there are plenty of ways to add value to your home without going into debt or ransacking your savings. For example, simple upgrades like painting and re-grouting tile can have a big impact and increase the joy you feel when you’re in your home. It’s also essential to keep up with routine maintenance tasks to avoid major problems down the road, such as a leaky roof or electrical issues. Doing so can prevent costly repairs and save you money on your energy bill. By staying on top of these tasks, you’ll be able to enjoy your home for longer and get the most out of it when you eventually decide to sell.