Home improvement is any type of renovation or upgrade that increases the value, functionality or comfort of residential real property. This can include anything from painting to repaving, and from adding a pool to installing a gazebo.
Generally, a contractor will be required to have a license before engaging in home improvement work. Some states also require contractors to pass background checks and other qualifications. The contractor will probably be required to supply you with a copy of his or her license and insurance information, as well as a description of the work to be performed and any materials to be used. A contract should contain a clear and complete description of the project. It should also clearly state whether or not any additional fees will be charged and a fee schedule, and how the work is to be completed. The contract should contain an arbitration clause and a dispute resolution provision, and the parties must initial and date the agreement.
The most common reason for renovating a home is to increase its value, but not all improvements add value. In fact, some renovations decrease a home’s value and can actually turn off potential buyers.
To avoid wasting time and money on projects that don’t pay off, make sure you choose updates that will benefit future owners as much as they will you. Also, be sure to talk with a home insurance expert before starting any renovation project. They’ll help you decide what coverage you may need as your home’s value changes.