Home Improvement 101

There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes and if you’re a homeowner, home improvement projects. These might come knocking in the form of a leaky roof or a flooded basement, but they also can show up on your “to do” list as things like painting, re-grouting tile or putting in a fence.

In general, home improvement refers to any repair, maintenance, restoration or improvement of residential real property. This includes, but is not limited to:

The Home Improvement Act covers a wide variety of works such as painting, installing windows or doors and resurfacing driveways and walkways. It also covers work on garages, decks, porches and gardens. Home improvements must be approved by a local authority before they can begin and some types of work are subject to additional requirements such as building control and fire safety regulations.

When hiring a contractor for a home improvement project, always get quotes from several different companies and never make your decision based solely on price. There are contractors who may have low prices but are not reputable or capable of finishing the job. Always check the licenses, insurance, business references and length of time in business before hiring anyone for any home improvement work.

The best way to improve your home’s value is to make repairs that will add comfort and security to your living space. However, it’s important to remember that some upgrades do not increase your home’s resale value. For example, marble flooring may be lovely but is unlikely to entice a buyer.

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