Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. It can be done for a variety of reasons; improving comfort and appearance, adding living space, or reducing energy costs. Home improvement projects usually involve either interior or exterior work.
Home improvements can be costly, but many homeowners who embark on DIY projects say that the satisfaction they get from their work is worth the expense. According to the September NerdWallet survey, about three-fourths of homeowners who have undertaken projects report that they were “easily able” to pay for them without tapping into savings or going into debt.
Historically, home improvements were considered to be an important part of the American Dream. Government mortgage insurance programs encouraged home buying and construction, and tax deductions for property owners were provided to encourage the repair and remodeling of existing homes.
Today, however, many Americans have a less traditional view of homeownership. The housing bubble inflated the price of real estate, and now some homeowners are struggling with underwater mortgages. Many younger homeowners are renting and may not plan to own a home in the future. Consequently, home improvement spending is declining overall.
Home improvement projects can range from painting a room to installing new floors and cabinets. A home’s interior is one of the most important aspects to consider, but homeowners should also focus on its safety. Before hiring someone to do home improvement work, consumers should carefully review contractor licensing and background information. Consumers should avoid contractors whose contracts do not include a payment schedule, project timeline, and specific details about materials and labor.