Home improvement is the remodeling, repair, decorating or alteration of a residential or noncommercial property. This includes construction and installation of fences, decks, porches, garages, sheds, roofs and swimming pools. It also refers to the modernization, repair, or replacement of existing plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, and electrical wiring. Home improvement may also include the painting, re-grouting and refinishing of tile, installing new flooring or replacing old carpets, adding insulation to attics, repairing leaky basements, and putting on a fresh coat of paint.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners turned to renovations to make their living spaces more comfortable and appealing. But the remodeling industry benefited from more than just a surge in spending. According to the National Association of Realtors, homeowners reported that they enjoyed a greater sense of satisfaction with their homes after completing remodeling projects.
The best home improvements are ones that can add value and improve livability for your family, while also addressing any issues that might cause future problems or damage to your home. This is particularly true for projects that increase the number of livable square feet, such as adding a bedroom or bathroom. Energy-efficient upgrades are a must-have, too, because they can help reduce utility bills and keep your home more affordable to maintain.
But before you go all-in on a big project, it’s important to understand how much your home will actually appreciate based on local trends and the cost of comparable renovations in your neighborhood. Also, consider whether your home improvement projects will appeal to buyers in your area (or at least to people looking for a home like yours). And remember, it’s always smarter to choose projects that can be done easily and affordably on your own — unless you’re a professional contractor.