Home improvement is the repairing, remodeling, renovating, restoring, converting, or modernizing of a residential building. This includes, but is not limited to, the construction of additions to a home, installation of kitchen appliances, painting, carpeting, flooring, windows, doors, fixtures, and landscaping.
It’s also important to remember that not all home improvements are created equal. Some add more value to your home than others, so make sure that you’re choosing projects that will actually pay off when it comes time to sell. And be careful not to overspend, especially on high-end options like top-of-the-line appliances and imported marble countertops. You may end up paying thousands of dollars for upgrades that future buyers may not even appreciate.
Many homeowners enjoy the challenge of doing their own home improvement work, or DIY (“do-it-yourself”) projects. The availability of easy-to-follow instructional materials, such as online “how-to” videos and books, has made this type of project popular. Major home improvement stores cater to this market by providing the tools and supplies needed for carpentry, drywall repair or installation, plumbing, electrical work, and so forth.
Some home improvement projects can quickly become expensive, so it’s a good idea to compare financing options before making any commitments. For example, a home equity loan offers low interest rates but will require that you use your house as collateral; whereas a personal loan has higher rates but can be used for anything (including home improvements). Regardless of which route you take, be sure to update your home insurance policy once the renovation is complete, so that you’re protected in case of damage or loss.