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Home Improvement 101

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Home improvement, also known as remodeling or renovation, is the process of improving the interior or exterior of a dwelling. Home improvement can be a DIY project, or it can involve hiring a professional contractor. The home improvement industry comprises establishments that produce and sell building materials, appliances, fixtures, decor and other items related to improving a dwelling. The industry also includes contractors, tradespeople and workers who perform home improvement services. The industry achieved excellent growth results in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to adding beauty and livability, some home improvements can also increase the resale value of a property. However, it is important to make sure that any improvements are in line with the style and quality of neighboring homes in the area. Moreover, homeowners should carefully consider the budget before undertaking any major home improvement projects.

While a new bathroom, kitchen or garage can add significant value to a house, it is important to keep in mind that not all renovations are created equal. In fact, some improvements may not even return the cost of investment when it comes time to sell. It is also important to choose a trusted contractor, and do your research before committing to any large project.

Regardless of the scope of a project, the most common improvements that boost a home’s appeal include refreshing shower areas, installing new vanities and toilets, and updating fixtures. These upgrades typically have the same visual impact as high-end options, but they won’t break the bank. Adding woodwork details like crown molding, open shelving and hardwood floors is another popular way to enhance a home.

If a homeowner is looking to maximize the return on their home improvement investment, they should consider upgrading their home’s insulation. This simple project can save money on heating and cooling bills while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it is possible to claim a tax deduction for energy-saving home improvements.

In the 44 years since Bob Vila first stepped onto the screen of This Old House, home improvement has come a long way. Today’s homeowners are embracing a more holistic approach to home design, including biophilia goals (connecting with nature and living beings), smart-home innovations and building science.

Regardless of the size or scope of a home improvement project, it is essential to work with a licensed and insured contractor. Before making a commitment to any contractor, homeowners should verify license and insurance coverage, check business references, and request client referrals. Moreover, consumers should always hire a contractor who is a member of a professional association or accredited by a national trade organization. This can help them avoid scams and ensure that their home improvement projects are completed in a safe, effective manner.

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