What Is Home Improvement?

Home improvement is a common term used to describe the process of making changes to the interior or exterior of a home. In some cases, home improvement involves taking a tax credit for energy-efficient renovations. Other times, it involves making improvements to improve the look and feel of a home. Regardless of the reason for the project, there are a variety of different ways to go about it.

Tax credit for energy-efficient renovations

If you’re planning to make energy-efficient renovations to your home, you can claim a tax credit for those expenses. This credit is worth up to 20% of the cost of the renovation. But before you apply for the credit, you should be aware of the qualifications. First of all, you must make certain that the renovations you make are energy-efficient.

Energy-efficient renovations help you save on your utility bills. And the government is also helping you finance these renovations, by offering a tax credit worth 10% of your total renovation cost. This tax credit will be applied on your annual tax return, reducing the federal taxes you owe. The credit is valid until October 2014, but it could change if new legislation is passed. For instance, in France, an initiative known as Ma Prime Renov is leveraging the EU emissions trading scheme to offer tax credits to homeowners who choose to make energy-efficient renovations.

The federal government has also recently extended the energy-efficient renovation tax credit, which will end in October 2014. This credit allows homeowners to claim up to $2,850 in tax credits for certain energy-efficient renovations. However, the tax credit is only valid for renovations done on the home and must be performed by a qualified contractor. Additionally, you must provide receipts for any work done.

Finding a contractor

Before hiring a home improvement contractor, make sure you do your research. You can use the Better Business Bureau and the internet to check if the contractor is legitimate. You can also check with LexisNexis to see if there are any complaints against the contractor. If there are any complaints, it could be a red flag. Another good resource is to contact references of past clients. This will give you a feel for how satisfied previous customers are with a particular contractor.

It’s also important to get at least three estimates. While these estimates may not represent all of the contractors in the area, they should provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. Remember that good contractors will appreciate questions from their clients. If a contractor is unwilling to answer your questions, look for someone else. You can also use your gut instinct to decide which contractor to hire.