Home Improvement – How to Protect Your Investment

Home improvement is an industry that includes the sale of building materials, appliances and decor along with contractors and tradespeople who work to build, install or modify homes. According to the 2021 American Housing Survey, homeowners spent a record amount on home improvements over the past two years. These improvements ranged from minor repairs to full-blown renovations.

The results of these home improvement projects are reflected in higher home values and higher property taxes for many homeowners across the country. However, it is important for homeowners to carefully consider what type of upgrades are best for their particular home and the local market. Ultimately, upgrading to something that may not appeal to the majority of potential buyers could result in a loss on the investment.

For example, adding marble flooring to a mid-range home in a neighborhood where most homes have carpeting may not increase the resale value of the home. Instead, homeowners should focus on upgrades that will add curb appeal and make the most of their outdoor living spaces.

Sprucing up the exterior of a home is one of the easiest ways to add value. Painting the front door, resealing the driveway, resurfacing the sidewalk and adding flowers and bushes can dramatically improve the overall look of a home. These simple improvements can also help elevate a homeowner’s sense of pride in their home and neighborhood.

When considering a home improvement project, it is important to assess a potential contractor’s experience and reputation. Obtaining references is always a good idea, as is asking friends and neighbors for recommendations. In addition, homeowners should carefully consider the cost and financing of the project before proceeding. Before signing a contract, homeowners should be sure to establish a payment schedule and understand what is included in the scope of work. Finally, homeowners should be aware of New York state law which requires contractors to provide a written contract for any home improvement work.

Another way to protect your investment is to ensure that any work performed on your home is backed by a warranty from the contractor. Having a warranty can protect you in case the contractor does not complete the job or if the finished product is subpar.

If you are thinking about hiring a contractor to perform a home improvement project, you should be aware of the law in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Putnam counties regarding licensing requirements for contractors. If you hire a non-licensed contractor and they are injured on your property or damage it, you may be liable.

If you are planning to remodel your home, be sure to discuss the project with a certified financial planner. They can help you determine how long you plan to stay in your current home and how much you can afford to spend on a remodeling project. In addition, they can recommend lenders who offer home improvement loans with competitive interest rates and monthly payments that you can afford.