Home improvement is a wide range of projects that can be undertaken by homeowners and DIY enthusiasts to improve the look, feel, and function of their home. It can be as simple as painting a room or as complex as installing a new kitchen or bathroom. Some improvements, such as adding a deck or fence, may be more expensive and require the services of a professional contractor. Others, such as replacing windows or refinishing hardwood floors, can be less costly and provide a high return on investment.
A variety of financing options are available for home improvements. Banks, credit unions, and non-bank lenders offer loans with competitive interest rates, and online aggregators facilitate the process of finding and applying for home improvement loans. A homeowner’s financial condition, budget, and loan terms will determine the best type of home improvement loan for them.
Many improvements, such as upgrading appliances or replacing worn flooring, will add value to a house. However, some upgrades may be too expensive for potential buyers or could detract from a house’s appeal. For example, marble countertops might impress a buyer but are likely too expensive for most people to afford. Also, converting a garage into living space might add square footage but not increase resale value, as most buyers would want to keep the structure intact.
Some improvements, such as energy-saving equipment, can qualify for tax credits at the time of sale, which can offset some of the cost. A home’s value can also be increased by a number of aesthetic upgrades, such as painting and landscaping.
The term “home improvement” is often used in a generic sense to refer to any renovations or additions to a home, but it also encompasses repairs, maintenance, and replacements. This is why a definition of home improvement is needed; it is more specific than simply “building a house.”
Some home improvement projects can actually decrease the value of a property, especially if they are too personal. For example, a built-in home theater might appeal to movie buffs but would be off-putting for most other buyers. Other types of home improvements that can detract from value include excessive customization and built-in technology that is unlikely to remain relevant. Instead, consider making upgrades that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. If you are not sure about which upgrades will add the most value, consult a real estate professional for advice. A professional can help you identify and avoid pitfalls that might be costly in the long run. They can also recommend low-cost, high-return projects that will maximize the value of your home.