Home improvement, or home renovation, is the process of improving the interior and exterior of a house. Home improvement projects can include anything from installing new kitchen cabinets, remodeling a bathroom, adding a deck, or painting. Many people choose to make home improvements to increase the value of their home, while others do it simply to enjoy living in a nicer environment. Whatever the reason, it is important to plan before diving into any home improvement project and find a contractor who is reliable, affordable, and competent.
Despite the higher material costs, most homeowners plan to renovate their homes this year. According to Houzz, a home design and remodeling website, some of the most popular projects homeowners are planning on undertaking this year are a new bathroom and kitchen remodel, as well as a backyard patio or pool. A master suite addition is also expected to be a popular choice among homeowners this year, with a walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom being the main draws.
Most home improvement contractors are licensed and insured, but it is still a good idea to get references from past customers before hiring any contractor. Also, be sure to read all contracts carefully and avoid any contractor that is not willing to put their prices in writing, as this will protect you from being overcharged or taken advantage of. In addition, a reputable contractor will have their business name, address, and MHIC license number preprinted on their contract.
Before making any major improvements to your home, you should consult with a real estate professional to determine what changes will add the most value to your property. It is also a good idea to look at your neighborhood to see what types of home improvements have the most effect on home values in your area.
A common mistake that homeowners make is to jump into a renovation without a clear plan and budget. This often leads to overspending and even debt. In addition, homeowners can run into problems that were not foreseen, such as unexpected expenses or weather delays, which can add to the overall cost of the project.
The most valuable home improvements are those that will increase the value of your home to you, as well as to potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. If you are considering a home improvement project, be sure to research the cost of materials and compare it to what other home owners in your area have spent on similar improvements.
Depending on the state you live in, some home improvement projects may be exempt from sales tax. You should check with your local department of taxation and finance or a CPA for more information. In New York, for example, if you have documentation that your project meets the definition of a capital improvement, you may be exempt from paying sales tax on labor. Generally, capital improvements must be in place for more than one year to qualify for this exemption.