Home improvement may refer to a number of activities that enhance the appearance or functionality of homes, including renovation, remodeling, and repairs. Home improvements can include work such as painting, re-grouting tile and power washing. They can also involve more extensive projects such as kitchen remodels and room additions. Many home improvement projects are designed to increase the resale value of the house. Others are done to improve the living conditions of the home owner.
The popularity of TV home improvement shows like Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces has helped popularize DIY (do-it-yourself) projects, which has broadened the scope of home improvement. Many of these projects have blurred the lines between traditionally male dominated fields, such as carpentry work and interior decorating or design, with women now often joining in. Historian Carolyn Goldstein has noted that the burgeoning interest in home improvement is partially due to the fact that it provides an opportunity for men to engage in “domestic masculinity” by displaying their skill and handyman talents in the context of the family.
While it is true that some home improvements can increase resale value, it is important to weigh all of the options before undertaking any major renovations. Some renovations might actually cost more than they add in value and could even decrease the resale value of your property. Before you start any projects, consult with a real estate agent to discuss your goals and receive professional advice.