Home Improvement 101

Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of renovating a house or making changes to a property. These changes can be made to increase the home’s value, or for other reasons, such as updating the home’s decor or making it more energy-efficient.

Many of these projects, however, aren’t designed to improve resale value. Instead, they may make the homeowner happier. That’s why it’s important to choose carefully. Some renovations will actually cost you more in the long run, such as a new bathroom that’s not in keeping with the home’s style, or a kitchen overhaul that goes out of style within 20 years.

It’s also a good idea to stick to the budget. The vast majority of homeowners surveyed by NerdWallet reported that they generally stick to the home improvement project estimates they set for themselves. That’s partly because the most common projects — such as fixing a plumbing leak or replacing shingles — tend to be less expensive than expected.

It’s also important to remember that you need to know what your state considers a home improvement before starting any work. For example, some states require a license for any home improvement activity. If you’re not licensed, you could face civil and criminal penalties if caught. Fortunately, there are online resources that can help you determine what your state’s definition of home improvement is. You can also consult with a CPA to get more information on this subject.

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