Home improvement refers to renovations or changes that improve a home’s structure or function. It may include the installation of new appliances, decorations or furniture, as well as the repair of existing items. The industry has experienced good growth results in recent years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to continue to do so in the future.
Homeowners are spending more money on home improvements than ever before. The home renovation market has been fueled by a surge in DIY projects and the rapid expansion of retail chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s. Many of the projects homeowners undertake are aimed at increasing a house’s resale value. However, some remodeling efforts can actually decrease a home’s value. Before beginning a home improvement project, it is important to understand the motivation behind the investment and consider whether or not it will pay off when it comes time to sell the property.
Remodeling projects vary in scope and cost, but most are designed to bring a house up to date with the latest styles, materials and technologies. This includes everything from upgrading a kitchen with granite counters and marble backsplashes to installing state-of-the-art plumbing fixtures. Other popular home improvement projects include a new front door, fresh paint and new flooring. These projects are designed to add instant curb appeal and typically return a high percentage of the cost of investment upon sale.
Other projects homeowners often undertake to improve their homes are designed to make the dwelling more energy efficient. This can include everything from adding solar panels on a roof to sealing air leaks and insulating walls. These green initiatives can increase a home’s efficiency and reduce utility bills. The home improvement industry is also growing in importance due to a growing population of elderly homeowners. As a result, services such as deck construction and fence installation are surging.
When choosing a contractor to perform a home improvement, it is important to consider all factors, including price, experience and reputation. While it is tempting to rely on the lowest price, hiring a firm with a poor track record or an unlicensed technician can end up being more expensive in the long run. A homeowner should carefully research contractors, comparing prices, types of firms, accreditations, business references and the length of time each has been in business.
A home improvement contract should clearly state the work to be performed, the materials to be used and the approximate dates when the work will begin and be substantially completed. The contract should also include the name and address of both parties, the amount each party will pay as a deposit and any additional fees required for inspections and permits. An arbitration clause should also be included in the contract, if applicable. This will ensure the rights of both parties are protected should a dispute arise. It is also recommended that the contract include a warranty that covers workmanship and materials for one year following completion of the work.