Home Improvement 101
Home improvement is a form of renovation or remodeling that improves the function and appearance of a home. It can include interior work, such as refinishing wood floors or painting, as well as exterior work, like repairing a roof or installing new windows. Home improvements can also be done for a variety of reasons, including increasing the home’s value, making it more attractive to potential buyers, or simply updating the look and feel of the property.
Many homeowners have undertaken a home improvement project at one time or another, whether it is to fix something broken or make an overall upgrade. It is important to find a qualified contractor who has experience and expertise in the specific type of work you want completed, and who can give you an accurate estimate and timeline for the job. In addition, it is important to know which projects will add value to your home and which ones may not.
The most popular home improvement projects include bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels, as well as adding an additional bedroom or bath. These projects can be expensive, but they typically yield a good return when it comes time to sell. If you’re considering any major home renovations, be sure to consult with a real estate agent to discuss what projects will actually increase your resale value.
During the pandemic, home renovations spiked as many people were confined to their homes and wanted to make them more comfortable. However, the NAR reported that the pandemic wasn’t the only reason why homeowners renovated their homes: They were also looking for ways to increase their enjoyment of their living spaces and create better entertainment and work-from-home areas.
In addition to traditional contractors, the home improvement industry was boosted by the popularity of television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces, which offered step-by-step instructions for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. DIY drew on the gendered culture of masculinity, which defined men as skilled workers who could tackle complex mechanical or carpentry jobs. However, the cultural significance of DIY shifted as women entered the workforce and started to take on male-dominated roles in construction and repair.
Some home improvement projects can be dangerous and should only be undertaken by experienced professionals. When hiring a contractor, be sure to ask for references and check them carefully. In addition, it is important to make sure the contractor has insurance; in the event of an injury or damage to your property, you need to be sure that the contractor has adequate liability and workers’ compensation coverage. Also, before any work begins, be sure that the contractor’s name, address, MHIC license number and permit number are preprinted on the contract. This is a requirement in the City of New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. If not, you should consider using a different contractor.