Home improvement is the renovation, repair, and maintenance of residential real estate. This includes everything from upgrading worn surfaces, finishes, and materials to remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, adding decks and fences, or even putting in a new driveway. It also includes the improvement of home energy efficiency through the addition of insulation and ductwork, or the installation of solar panels. In general, people choose to remodel their homes for a variety of reasons. For some, it is a matter of aesthetics; others may have a pressing need to address an issue such as a faulty electrical system or roof leak. Finally, many homeowners choose to renovate their homes in order to increase their resale value and/or to make their homes more functional for their family’s needs.
The popularity of reality TV shows such as Fixer Upper and This Old House has helped fuel recent trends in home improvement. However, it’s important to understand that not all home improvements are created equal. In fact, some can actually cost you money in the long run.
According to a 2022 report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), overall homeowner home improvement spending rose significantly during the pandemic. However, the satisfaction derived from completing projects prompted many consumers to continue making upgrades to their homes after the crisis ended. While some renovations can be incredibly costly, other home improvement projects provide a better return on investment and improve resale appeal. Regardless of the type of home improvement you undertake, it’s important to do your research and consult with experts before jumping in with both feet.