Home improvement is a multibillion dollar industry that encompasses the sale of building materials and appliances, as well as services performed by contractors and other workers. A wide range of products are available, from simple paint to major structural changes. The industry also includes a large number of television programs that highlight DIY home improvement projects and encourage consumers to engage in them.
Home improvements can increase a home’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. However, the return on investment for home improvement projects varies considerably. It’s important to research the market before making any big investments. In addition, the type of renovations you undertake should reflect your home’s unique selling points. For example, installing a high-end bathroom upgrade may not appeal to a broad buyer base. On the other hand, a midrange upgrade will likely be more popular.
Generally, home improvements will provide the most return on your investment if you keep the renovations within a reasonable range for your neighborhood. For example, you should avoid spending thousands of dollars on a pool in a neighborhood where most homes have modest pools. It would be wise to get the advice of a real estate professional before undertaking any expensive renovations that could hurt your resale prospects.
After World War II, returning veterans and new families embraced the concept of homeownership. Government mortgage insurance programs encouraged home buying, and highway construction enabled suburban expansion. By 1949, large builders such as Levitt and Sons accounted for two-thirds of all housing construction. Home improvement became a way of life for many Americans as they sought to modernize and customize their new homes.
Some common home improvement projects include adding an extra bedroom or bathroom, installing a deck or patio, and converting a garage to a living space. It’s important to remember, though, that you should only remodel so that your house will be more attractive and functional for your family. You should also consider your long-term plans for the property.
Before starting a home improvement project, you should consult with a licensed contractor who can give you an accurate estimate of the costs and time frame for completion. It’s also a good idea to obtain multiple estimates before hiring a contractor, and to be sure the contract you sign contains a payment schedule, a description of the work to be performed, and as many specifics about the materials being used as possible.
A home improvement project that decreases a home’s energy consumption will generally pay for itself through reduced utility bills. For example, the installation of a heat pump or additional insulation can significantly lower a home’s energy costs. These types of improvements are often eligible for tax credits when they are completed.
It’s important to choose a contractor with a valid New York State license. The license should be in the name of the individual or business entity performing the work. If it is in the name of a corporation, you should be certain that the corporation holds a valid MHIC license.