Home improvement is the renovation of a residence to enhance its function and style. It encompasses a wide variety of projects, including additions, kitchen and bath remodels, windows, doors, roofs, painting, decorating, landscaping, and remodeling garages, basements, attics, and fences. Home improvement can be a labor-intensive project, but it also has the potential to increase a home’s value significantly.
Home improvements have surged over the last three years, fueled in part by the pandemic. This article explores how the industry has evolved, statistics for popular projects, and predictions for the future.
After World War II, returning veterans embraced the “do-it-yourself” concept of home improvement. They were encouraged by government mortgage insurance programs that made buying and building a house affordable. At the same time, successful television shows like This Old House and Trading Spaces blurred the distinction between the masculine realm of carpentry and the more feminine sphere of interior design.
However, not all home improvements are created equal. While a kitchen or bathroom remodel can yield great returns, some projects simply won’t add value. In general, anything purely aesthetic or based on personal preference will have a lower ROI than projects that improve functionality and curb appeal. The bottom line is that homeowners need to weigh the pros and cons of each project before starting. Otherwise, they risk overspending and may have to spend even more to bring the project back up to par when it comes time to sell.