Home improvement is the process of renovating and making additions to a home. These projects can be done for a variety of reasons; personal preference and comfort, to make the home more energy efficient or to increase usable space. Some of these projects can even yield tax credits.
Home improvements can be as simple as replacing worn doorknobs or cleaning the gutters, but some are much more involved. Remodeling projects include the addition of a room, building a deck or patio, updating the kitchen or bathroom, adding new flooring or paint, and replacing outdated appliances. It’s important to keep in mind that any renovations that aren’t done correctly could decrease the resale value of your home or even cause safety issues.
Regardless of the pandemic, many homeowners are spending more on home improvements than they have in the past. According to the National Association of Realtors, 5.2 million homeowners renovated their homes in 2017, and those over 55 were most active. This group also reported the greatest satisfaction with their completed home improvement projects.
Before you start any home improvements, consider why you want to do it and what the return on investment will be. Be sure to consult a real estate professional to learn about what improvements add the most value. And remember, it’s always better to pay in cash rather than take out a loan—that way, you don’t owe anyone anything. If you do go the loan route, avoid contractors who demand full payment upfront and always get all contracts in writing. Maryland law requires that all home improvement contractors have their name, address and MHIC license number preprinted on their contracts.