Home improvement is the act of renovating a residential property. The term “home improvement” can include any type of renovation, alteration or remodeling of the interior or exterior of a home, including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, garages, attics, and more. Home improvement can also refer to a series of actions that improve the efficiency of a home, such as installing new windows, a heat pump or insulation.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homeowners are feeling more confident in their ability to complete home improvement projects. In addition, they feel that the improvements they make will increase their enjoyment of their homes. However, it’s important to remember that not all home improvement projects will recoup their costs when it comes time to sell the house.
The most popular home improvement projects in the past year have focused on landscaping and outdoor projects, such as putting up a fence or building a deck. Other popular home improvement projects include painting the inside of a house, changing cabinet hardware, adding new lighting and refinishing hardwood floors.
In general, the NAR recommends consumers carefully choose contractors for any home improvement work, and always get a written contract before any work begins. The contract should contain an estimated start and completion date, a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible, such as types and brands of materials. It’s also a good idea to withhold final payment until all work has been completed and complies with applicable codes, permits and inspections. Consumers should also look for a contractor that is licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.