Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s house. The improvements may be made for a variety of reasons; including to increase comfort and convenience, add value or improve usable space. It can also be done to make a home energy efficient by installing new windows or insulation. Regardless of the reason, it is important for homeowners to understand what they are getting themselves into before starting any project. The term home improvement is often misunderstood and can lead to poor decisions, which can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.
The good news is that homeowner spending on home improvement has rebounded after hitting a low in the recession, according to a recent report from Houzz and the National Association of Realtors. Spending on home improvement projects is up nearly 50 percent from 2010 and homeowners ages 55 and older are driving the trend.
It’s no secret that homeowners are feeling the squeeze of rising costs in many parts of the country, especially with regard to labor and materials. That’s why it is so important to plan ahead for a home improvement project, especially with regard to hiring contractors and sourcing materials.
Homeowners should be aware of the fact that some home improvement projects are considered capital improvements and may yield tax benefits when they are completed. Adding new energy-efficient windows, for example, can decrease utility bills and may qualify as a tax credit at the time of purchase. Homeowners should always consult with a qualified tax professional to determine which home improvements are eligible for the tax deduction.
Another way homeowners can save on their home improvement projects is by doing it themselves. While some projects are better suited for DIY work, others require the expertise of a professional to ensure quality and safety. For those that need professional assistance, Angi provides an easy to use platform where homeowners can find and book top-rated Home Improvement contractors.
There are a few things that are certain in life, and home improvement is definitely one of them: Death, taxes and inevitably, a home improvement project or two. These can be planned in advance, such as a kitchen remodel, or they can come knocking out of nowhere like a leaky roof or a must-have backyard feature. No matter the size of the project, it is crucial to budget carefully and avoid going into debt when possible.
It’s also important to consider how a home improvement project will affect the overall appearance of a property. For example, an over-the-top landscaping project might not fit in with the rest of the neighborhood and can actually decrease a home’s value. Similarly, overspending on home improvements can make it difficult to sell when the time comes.