Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of upgrading an existing house or building. It can be done for a variety of reasons; to improve the living conditions of a house, to increase its market value or just as a personal project. Home improvements can be expensive, but it is an investment that can pay off in the long run.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a majority of homeowners who undertook a home improvement project were motivated by an intention to improve their homes for enjoyment and comfort. Other common motivations were to replace worn out surfaces, finishes and materials; adding features and improving livability; and making the home more attractive.
Even during the pandemic, many homeowners have been pursuing their home improvement projects. Around 3 in 5 homeowners reported having undertaken at least one home improvement project during the first half of 2020, compared to just over 1 in 10 in 2017. The NAR report suggests that some projects may have been delayed due to the pandemic and its social distancing measures, but most went ahead.
The most popular home improvement projects have been sparkling bathroom overhauls, followed by big-ticket kitchen and basement renovations. But these high-return renovations aren’t guaranteed to deliver a positive return on investment for all homeowners, especially those who plan to sell their property in the future.
It is important to think through a renovation project carefully, and choose a project that will give you the most bang for your buck. You should also be aware of the costs associated with different types of materials, and avoid going over budget. If you are unsure of what type of project would work best for your home, consider talking to a real estate professional in your area. They can tell you which projects will add the most value, and which ones to avoid.
Regardless of the reason for a home improvement project, it is vital to be safe while working on a project. It is important to wear masks and use rubber gloves when handling hazardous materials. It is also important to have the proper safety equipment when working with electricity or plumbing.
While it is a good idea to be careful during a project, not all DIYers are as cautious. A few simple rules can help make the difference between a dangerous home renovation and an easy, enjoyable weekend project.
Whether you are looking to renovate your bathroom, build a deck or install a fence, there is no doubt that the market for home improvement projects continues to be robust, despite the ongoing challenges of the housing and financial markets. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), home improvement spending peaked in 2022 and is expected to decrease slightly in 2023. Nevertheless, the benefits of a well-cared for and maintained property are clear. Keeping up with minor maintenance tasks is an easy way to increase the longevity and value of your home.