Home improvement can be a great way to boost the value of your house. However, it’s important to understand what projects add value and which ones don’t. You don’t want to invest money in upgrades that aren’t likely to pay off when it comes time to sell.

When you are planning a home improvement project, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust. Look for contractors with experience and good references. Be sure to check their licenses and insurance coverage before hiring them. You can also ask for referrals from friends and family members who have used them in the past.

If you are planning to do a major renovation, you should talk with a real estate agent in your area to get their opinion. They can provide you with some tips on what renovations are most common in your neighborhood and which ones may be over-the-top. A real estate agent can also help you avoid costly mistakes that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

According to the American Housing Survey (AHS), homeowner improvement spending reached a record high in 2017. Those 55 and over were responsible for half of the increase in home improvement spending.

The AHS is a bi-annual survey that asks homeowners to self-report the amount of money they have spent on improvements. This includes both major and minor projects that enhance the overall appearance of a home. However, the AHS does not break down these expenses by scale or quality of materials.

One of the most popular projects is adding an extra bedroom and bathroom to a single-family home. This is a great way to increase your home’s square footage and is especially beneficial for growing families. However, it’s important to remember that most buyers are looking for a well-appointed home, so it’s important not to go over the top with luxurious finishes.

Another great home improvement is replacing old windows and doors. This is an inexpensive and easy way to improve the look of a home. It is also a way to make your home more energy efficient.

Putting in smart thermostats and appliances is an excellent way to save money and add value to your home. These devices can be programmed to run at different times to optimize your home’s efficiency.

A well-maintained home is a key element in increasing the value of your property. It is important to keep up with routine maintenance such as painting, resurfacing your driveway and walkways, etc. These small things can make a huge difference when it comes to resale.

Some states may require you to pay sales tax unless you have documentation that the project is considered a capital improvement. In New York state, you can obtain a document by completing a Form ST-124, Certificate of Capital Improvement. Once you have this, you will be exempt from paying the contractor any sales tax besides the cost of materials. The definition of a capital improvement can vary from state to state, so it is important to consult your local laws before beginning any projects.