Home improvement is one of the most common activities for homeowners. From replacing a faucet to putting on a new deck, home improvement projects add value and beauty to your property. But before you start tearing out walls and installing custom cabinets, consider these tips and warnings.

A survey by NerdWallet found that 3 in 5 homeowners have done home improvements since the pandemic began in 2020. These projects cost about $6,438, on average. And despite concerns about the economy and whether or not we’re in a recession, homeowners say they plan to spend about the same amount on home improvements over the next two years.

The biggest surge in home improvement activity relates to projects that take place outside the home, particularly those related to work on lawns, gardens and patios. That’s in line with the extra time many homeowners spent at home during the pandemic, which gave them the time and motivation to get gardening and other outdoor chores done.

Other surging projects include putting in a fence, building a deck and replacing shingles. These are projects that don’t require a lot of skill and can be done relatively inexpensively. They’re also low-risk, which makes them attractive in uncertain economic times.

But the survey finds that most of the home improvement work planned by homeowners isn’t intended to make their homes more appealing to potential buyers. Only 20% of the homeowners who plan upgrades mention that as a reason. The most common reasons are making their homes more comfortable and feeling satisfied with their homes, NerdWallet reports.

Whether or not your renovations will increase the resale value of your house depends on how much you put into them and the kinds of upgrades you choose. Some projects, such as putting in a pool or installing luxury flooring or countertops, aren’t a good idea if you’re planning to sell your house soon. That’s because high-end options won’t appeal to most buyers, and they’ll likely cost more than they will return in resale value.

Instead, choose upgrades that are in line with the neighborhood and will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. Painting, re-grouting tile and power washing your home are easy do-it-yourself projects that can add real value to your house. You’ll also save money on labor costs by doing the work yourself rather than hiring someone else to do it.

If you’re remodeling to boost the resale value of your home, keep in mind that needs should always trump wants. Replacing a leaking roof or fixing a janky HVAC system should be top priorities, even if you don’t like the look of your 1980s kitchen or the dirty carpet in your living room. You should also avoid putting yourself in debt to finance a home improvement project. Interest payments can eat into the resale value of your property. If you’re concerned about paying for a remodel, talk to a Realtor about the best way to proceed.