Home improvement is the process of making changes, repairs, additions or renovations to a home. Some examples include painting, landscaping, installing a new roof or driveway, renovating or adding a new bathroom, installing security protection devices, and upgrading appliances.
Whether you’re considering a home renovation or simply doing small things to improve your home, it’s important to know your state’s regulations and laws. For instance, in New York, home improvements require a license from the department of consumer affairs.
Depending on your specific project, you may need to obtain a construction or electrical contractor’s license. You’ll also need to ensure your contractor is licensed and has the proper insurance.
Several counties in the US have class A misdemeanor penalties for engaging in “home improvement” without a license. In many cases, the penalties are as high as $500. If you’re not sure whether you’re in compliance, you should check with your CPA or local tax office.
Many interior renovations do not qualify as capital improvements. Examples include a new storm window, a roof replacement, a fireplace, and adding built-in appliances. However, some permanent renovations, such as adding a solar water heater, are eligible for tax breaks.
When you’re planning a home renovation, you may want to consider a government-issued home improvement loan. These are fixed-rate loans that are secured against the value of your home. They are offered by a variety of lenders. There are varying requirements for these loans, depending on your state and municipality.