Home improvement is the remodeling, altering, renovating, repairing, restoring, modernizing or adding to any part of a home. It includes interior and exterior work, such as painting, flooring, drywall, insulation and roofing, as well as the construction, repair or replacement of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, fences, porches, patios and decks. Home improvements also include installing appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens; electrical wiring or systems; plumbing fixtures or systems; air conditioning or heating units; and doors and windows.
Home improvements can add value to your home and increase your enjoyment of it. They can also decrease energy costs by making your home more efficient. For example, new windows and insulation can save on heating and cooling costs.
When choosing a contractor for your home improvement projects, always get quotes from several different firms and compare all factors, including price, experience, reputation, reliability and length of time in business. A reputable firm should be licensed, insured and have a good track record. There is a large “grey market” of unlicensed contractors who are not regulated by any government agency. Those companies should not be considered for any work on your home.
Keeping your home in good repair is one of the most important things you can do to protect your investment and maintain its value. However, some improvements are more costly than others. The most common home renovations are sparkling bathrooms, followed by major kitchen and basement remodels. But these remodels don’t always provide a high return when it’s time to sell, according to a recent Cost vs. Value report from Zonda Media.