Home improvement, also known as home renovation, is the process of repairing, updating or improving the interior and exterior of a house. This includes things like painting, resurfacing the driveway, adding landscaping or building an addition. It can also refer to the process of making upgrades that would increase energy efficiency or make the home safer for a family.
The most popular project homeowners are working on or planning for in 2022 is upgrading the heating and cooling system. This includes things like caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors, and installing a smart thermostat. Other projects include replacing appliances and painting or staining the deck or porch. Homeowners are also looking at adding a new front door, adding a garage door opener or installing solar panels.
According to a recent report, homeowner spending on home improvements is set to hit $567 billion in 2022. This is up 15% over the previous year. The increased spending is being driven mainly by homeowners looking to make their homes more functional and appealing.
However, not all home improvement projects will add value to your home. You should only undertake projects that you will use and enjoy, or that you think will increase your home’s resale value. If you’re not sure whether a project will pay off in the long run, consult an expert before you start.
Before hiring a contractor for a home improvement project, it is important to compare multiple estimates. Prices vary among contractors, as do their level of experience, reputation and ability to complete the work on time. Always check a contractor’s references and license before hiring them for any work. In some states, you may be required to sign a contract before work begins. This should include a timeline for completion, a payment schedule and as many details about the project as possible, including any specific materials being used.
You should also review any warranty terms included in the contract. For example, if you’re hiring someone to paint your home, it is critical that the contract specifies what type of finish will be used and whether the contractor will provide a labor warranty. You should also ask about the contractor’s insurance coverage and any liens on their property. In addition, you should avoid contractors who do not have their name, address and MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Commission) license number preprinted on the contract.