Home Improvement 101

Home improvement

Home improvement refers to construction-related activities that add value to a house, prolong its usefulness or adapt it for new uses. It includes carpentry, electrical work, drywall repair and installation, painting, plumbing, roofing and tiling. Homeowners typically undertake home improvements to improve their living standards. The television schedules of networks like HGTV and This Old House are packed with shows about home renovation, while online and print resources meet the growing demand for do-it-yourself projects.

Some popular house remodeling projects include bathroom remodels, kitchen makeovers and adding a deck or patio. Other high-return home improvements include energy-saving upgrades, such as installing a smart thermostat and replacing inefficient windows and doors. Homeowners seeking to improve their living standards, but who don’t have enough equity for a refinance or don’t qualify for a mortgage loan, often use personal loans to finance home repairs and make other upgrades.

When selecting home improvements, consider the current and future value of your house. If you plan to sell your home, choose house renovations that will appeal to the widest number of buyers. Don’t go overboard; expensive upgrades can deter prospective buyers. For example, a backyard hot tub or a fancy fountain will probably not appeal to most buyers, and can even lower your property’s value by increasing your maintenance costs. Before you start swinging the hammer, consult a real estate expert to discuss your goals and options. In addition, before you begin any work, update your homeowners insurance; a change in home value may require an increase in coverage.

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