Home Improvement – Things to Consider Before Starting a Project
Home improvement is a broad term that covers all sorts of projects that can increase the value of your home. It includes renovations, repairs, upgrades, and additions.
The most common types of home improvement projects include repairing, resurfacing, or painting surfaces, adding new fixtures or appliances to your home and building additions such as decks, porches and garages. In recent years, American homeowners have spent more than a half-trillion dollars on home improvement projects, according to the 2021 American Housing Survey.
Most home improvement projects, like kitchen remodels and roof replacements, can add to the overall value of your home. They can also increase your enjoyment of your home and give you more space to live in.
But before you start a home improvement project, there are several things to consider. First, check the state and local laws that govern this work, and make sure you understand how to get a license or permit for the specific project you’re planning.
It’s also important to know the cost of the work you want done and how much time the project will take. Be sure to ask for estimates from different contractors and compare them to find the best deal on the work you need done.
If you plan on using a contractor, be sure to verify that they have the proper licenses and insurance coverage before you sign any contracts. If you hire someone who isn’t licensed or insured, you could end up paying hefty fines.
Before beginning any home improvement project, be sure to make a written list of what you need done and how long it will take to complete. This will help you negotiate with contractors, lock in firm prices and avoid surprises.
Besides making your house look better, some home improvements can also help you save money on utility bills. For example, installing a smart thermostat can help you control your home’s energy consumption when the price of gas or electricity rises. A good model will run about $150 to $400 or more, and you’ll need a professional electrician or HVAC contractor to install it.
Another way to save money on your utilities is by upgrading your home’s insulation. Insulation is a simple and inexpensive way to lower your home’s energy costs by up to 10%, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
You can also reduce your heating and cooling expenses by replacing your old windows with new, energy-efficient ones. Those are typically available from major home improvement stores for under $500.
Finally, if you need to replace your roof or any other part of your home’s exterior, be sure to check with your state’s home improvement licensing agency to find out what type of permits you need. Depending on your state, you may also need to have the job completed by a licensed contractor.
There’s no doubt that home improvements can be a rewarding endeavor, but it’s important to make sure you choose the right project for your needs. It’s also critical to do your research before starting a home improvement project to ensure you’re making the best decisions for your financial situation and your family’s future.