Home Improvement – How to Plan and Execute a Home Improvement Project
Home improvement, also called remodeling or renovation, is the process of making changes to a home, such as changing room layouts, painting, redecorating, adding new fixtures or appliances, and other similar projects. These can be performed by a professional contractor or by the homeowner as a DIY project. Home improvement projects can add value to a house or simply make it more enjoyable to live in.
Some of the most popular home improvement projects include kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling. Other common projects include adding an outdoor living space like a deck or patio, replacing windows and doors, and updating electrical systems. Regardless of the size or scope of the project, it is important to plan the work carefully and to choose high-quality materials. In addition, homeowners should consider any applicable local building codes and permitting requirements when planning a home improvement project.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are a significant part of the home improvement industry. Homeowners with little or no construction experience can find many books, television shows, and online “how-to” videos that provide step-by-step instructions for completing a home repair or improvement project. In addition to the entertainment value of these resources, they can save homeowners money on hiring a contractor to complete the project.
A well-planned and executed home improvement project can increase the beauty, comfort, and value of a home. However, a poorly planned project can result in costly mistakes and disappointment. To ensure a successful project, it is essential to plan the work carefully, obtain all necessary permits, and hire a qualified contractor.
Some homeowners take out a home equity loan to fund large-scale renovations. While this option provides access to much-needed funding, it should be considered carefully before committing to such a debt. The interest rates on a home equity loan are typically higher than those on credit cards, and outstanding debt can quickly snowball and plummet a homeowner’s creditworthiness.
The key to successfully completing a home improvement project is to focus on cosmetic updates that will appeal to most buyers. This can be accomplished by skipping the expensive amenities, such as a built-in theater or custom-built cabinets, and instead focusing on those items that are most likely to increase a home’s market value, such as a stainless steel refrigerator or energy-efficient appliances.
In addition to a contract for the work, the homeowner should request a copy of the contractor’s license and insurance certificate. The contract should clearly state the work to be done, a payment schedule, and the total price of the project. The contract should also specify the type and brand of materials to be used in the project. Finally, the contract should state that the final payment will not be made until the work is completed and inspected and approved by the city or county inspectors. The law also requires a disclosure that the contractor is a member of the Better Business Bureau and lists his or her phone number and address.