What to Expect From a Home Improvement Project
Home improvement is a major topic of interest for many homeowners. It can be a rewarding experience or a daunting task, depending on your skill set and budget. Whether you want to make an update to your existing home, or are looking to sell and improve the value of your property, it is important to know what to expect before deciding on any renovations.
The term “home improvement” is derived from the American Housing Survey (AHS), which asks homeowners to self-report the projects they have done on their homes in the past two years. Projects reported include anything from painting a room to remodeling an entire kitchen.
According to the AHS, the majority of home improvements surveyed are a result of an increase in house values or a desire to get more out of the home they already have. While most of the spending goes toward refinishing and replacing items, homeowners also invest in new fixtures, appliances and other upgrades to make their homes more energy efficient, comfortable and appealing to buyers.
When it comes to the type of work you’ll do, be sure to choose a contractor who is licensed and insured. In addition, ask for references from previous customers and get their input on the contractor’s professionalism.
You’ll have to pay the contractor a deposit before any work begins, and he or she may ask for a portion of the total cost up front. This fee is to ensure that the contractor is able to complete the job on time and within budget.
A reputable contractor should be able to provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost to complete the project and an estimated timeline for when they can begin the work. They should also have a current license and be registered with the state to ensure that they can operate legally in your community.
Some of the most popular renovations involve remodeling an existing kitchen or bath. These can be done on a small scale and are often surprisingly inexpensive. But you’ll need to make sure that the finished product looks just as good if not better than what you had before.
Adding a garage or adding additional rooms to your home can also be done at any price point. Just be sure to consider the costs of materials, labor and any permits needed to complete the project.
Another important consideration is the tax consequences of home improvements and repairs. A renovation that adds to the overall value of your home, extends the life of your existing building or adapts it to new uses can be eligible for tax credits at the time of the home improvement.
However, some renovations can actually reduce your home’s value. A common mistake that people make is over-personalizing their homes by putting in lavish light fixtures, for instance, said Alon Barzilay, founder of Urban Conversions.
If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, you should keep in mind that the value of your property can change rapidly. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on renovations that will decrease your home’s resale value.