Home improvement is a general term that describes the repair, renovation, or improvement of residential real estate. This includes a broad range of projects, such as painting, refinishing, and installing new floors, countertops, and cabinets. This activity also encompasses additions, extensions, and modifications to existing buildings. Home improvements may also include installation of solar systems, fences, and landscaping. This type of work may be performed by licensed contractors or by self-employed individuals. Generally, a contract for home improvement must be in writing and signed by the homeowner. It should include a description of the work to be performed and a list of materials to be used. It should also include approximate dates when the work will begin and be substantially completed. In some cases, the contract must also describe any warranties that are available for the materials and workmanship.
Most homeowners undertake remodeling and renovating projects to make their house a more comfortable place to live. But many have ulterior motives: They hope that the work will boost the resale value of their home. This can be a legitimate reason to take on a project, but it is important for homeowners to understand that not all home improvement projects add value. Some actually decrease a home’s marketability.
One common mistake people make is going into debt to finance their home improvement projects. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First, paying interest on your mortgage or credit card is more expensive than it would be if you paid cash for the same project. Second, if you ever decide to sell your home, the lender will consider all the debt you took on when calculating your home’s appraised value. This could lower your price and discourage potential buyers.
The most popular home improvement projects in 2021 are expected to be yard and landscape work, followed by kitchen remodeling and bathroom renovations, according to a survey from Axiom. More than 56 percent of respondents said they plan to hire professionals to do some or all of their home improvement projects.
When it comes to selecting a contractor for home improvement projects, consumers are often faced with a wide variety of bids. In addition to price, factors to consider include contractor’s reputation, experience, and length of time in business. The most important thing to remember is that a low price does not necessarily guarantee quality or success of the project.
If you need help with a home improvement project, the Bergen County Home Improvement Program (HIP) can provide free assistance for qualified residents. To find out if you qualify, click here for more information.