Home improvement is a popular pastime that can have a big impact on your house and its value. You can make changes to improve the function of your home, increase its curb appeal or do both. You can also upgrade fixtures or appliances in your home to make it more energy efficient. Home improvements may be simple projects like adding a new light fixture or more elaborate ones such as a home office or bathroom addition. Some renovations have a better return on investment than others, so it’s important to select the right project for your needs and budget.
Many homeowners are taking advantage of lower interest rates and are spending more on improvements to their homes. This is especially true for older homeowners, whose equity is greater and who are well equipped to afford the higher cost of home remodeling projects. A survey by the HomeAdvisor website found that homeowners age 55 and over were responsible for half of all home improvement spending last year.
Adding space is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value. This can be accomplished by adding a new room such as a master suite, great room or additional bathroom. Adding an outdoor living area such as a deck or screened porch can also add value and enhance the enjoyment of your home.
Other less expensive ways to increase your home’s value include updating a kitchen or bathroom, putting in a new garage door, repainting the exterior of your home or replacing old carpeting. It’s also a good idea to keep up with routine maintenance to avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future. Neglected maintenance issues are easily discovered by a potential buyer’s home inspector.
When it comes to choosing a contractor for your home improvement project, you have many options. There are local companies that specialize in home improvement services, chain stores with their own home improvement departments and franchises with a network of locations. You can also find specialized contractors who are members of a trade association or are accredited by a professional organization. These companies are usually licensed and insured and stand behind their work with warranties.
Homeowners also have a variety of financing options for their home improvement projects. Cash from savings covers the majority of projects, but more expensive renovations are often financed with sources such as cash-out refinancing, home equity loans, credit cards and contractor arranged financing.
Some renovations can actually decrease your home’s resale value, so it’s important to select the proper projects for your house. Be wary of adding too much personalization or choosing finishes that won’t appeal to a wide range of buyers. For example, adding a home theater system that only a few people will enjoy may not add much value to your home. However, a well-chosen paint color or adding energy-efficient features that will save you money in the long run can increase your home’s value and boost its curb appeal.