Home improvement is the process of making improvements or additions to one’s home. This includes maintenance and repairs, as well as major projects such as kitchen remodeling or bathroom renovations. The home improvement industry is a large and lucrative business that includes retailers and contractors. Its growth results from homeowners always seeking ways to make their homes more comfortable, functional and attractive.
Homeowners often take on remodeling projects with the hope that they will add value to their homes when it comes time to sell. However, not all home improvements are created equal. Some add little to no resale value while others can actually decrease the home’s value. The most popular improvements include sparkling bathrooms, state-of-the-art kitchens and basement remodeling, but these do not necessarily translate into high resale values.
Moreover, homeowners should avoid over-improving their homes, as this can cause them to spend more than what the property is worth. If a homeowner wants to increase their home’s resale value, it is best to focus on low cost upgrades that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.
It’s important for homeowners to choose wisely when selecting a contractor for their home improvement projects. Homeowners should compare prices, types of services offered and customer reviews. They should also check whether the contractor is licensed and insured. In addition, consumers should consider a firm’s experience, reputation and length of time in business when making their decision.
Many DIY (do-it-yourself) projects can be a great way to save money on home improvement costs. But homeowners should be aware of the risks involved in taking on complex or dangerous tasks, as well as the possibility of costly mistakes. Therefore, it is usually best to leave home improvement tasks to a professional who can ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
Homeowners should make sure they have a written contract with any contractor before work begins. The contract should contain a detailed timeline of the project, a payment schedule and all information regarding the work to be performed. It is also recommended that consumers withhold final payments until all required inspections and certificates of occupancy have been obtained.
When choosing a contractor to do home improvement work, consumers should carefully evaluate the firm’s reputation, track record and credentials. Consumers should also compare the firm’s price, services offered and warranty policy before making a final decision. Consumers should also be wary of contractors who charge an upfront fee to begin work and then ask for additional fees later on.
Homeowners should be aware that in some states, including New York, the material cost of certain home improvements may be tax-exempt. To be exempt, the home improvement must meet the definition of a capital improvement and documentation must be submitted to the department of taxation and finance. This may include an architect’s or engineer’s plans, an invoice and a receipt for materials purchased for the project. A copy of the documents should be kept for three years.