Home improvement is the renovation of a home. It includes the installation, alteration, repair, replacement, and maintenance of everything inside and outside the house, such as the plumbing, heating, electrical systems, roof, windows, doors, floors, cabinets, drywall, painting, landscaping and fences. The industry also includes a range of nonpermanent construction materials and improvements, such as patios, decks, pools, and hot tubs.
About 3 in 5 homeowners have taken on home improvement projects during the pandemic, according to a September NerdWallet survey. Some were motivated by a need to stay at home during the pandemic and others are hoping to add value to their homes. But it’s important to plan carefully before you start a project, especially one that can be costly if you don’t get your money’s worth when you sell.
The most popular projects involve bathrooms, kitchens and basements. It’s tempting to splurge on expensive flooring, cabinets and fixtures, but you should take the time to find contractors that are reliable and competitive in price. Be sure to compare not only price, but the type of firm, reputation, and experience of each contractor. If you are considering a high-end renovation, talk to a real estate professional first to make sure it will boost your resale value. It’s also a good idea to pay for the projects in cash, rather than going into debt. A credit card may offer a low introductory rate, but you’ll pay more in interest over the long term.