Home improvement is the process of making additions and changes to a home. It can include exterior upgrades, interior improvements, and garage maintenance. These projects can be carried out for personal preference or for safety. The main goal is to enhance the overall value of a home.
One of the largest segments of the home improvement business involves the sale of products and services offered by contractors and tradespeople. These professionals include plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and carpenters. They compete on price, differentiation, and product portfolio.
In terms of popularity, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems top the list. Windows, doors, and exterior paint are also a few of the most popular types of home improvements. Putting in new front doors is a relatively inexpensive way to improve the appearance of a home. Landscaping, too, is in high demand. Retouching worn areas and adding landscaping can make a home look more appealing.
Axiom, a Minneapolis marketing firm, recently surveyed consumers about their plans for home improvements. Almost one third of respondents said that they will be working on a home improvement project in 2021. Of those, the majority plan to renovate their existing homes, while nearly three-quarters intend to hire a professional to handle the work.
While the cost of a major renovation can vary greatly, homeowners should make sure their plan pays for itself. For example, installing a brand new kitchen range will likely not increase the resale value of your home. Investing in a quality upgrade, such as a wood deck or a patio, can be a good investment.
A home improvement loan is an installment loan, similar to a second mortgage. You borrow money against the value of your home and repay it over a period of 5-30 years. This may include closing costs and origination fees.
Home improvement credit cards are another popular option for small upgrades. Many offer an introductory 0% APR period. This means you can get a year of interest free on a purchase, and you can use the money for any improvement project. However, be careful. Some credit card companies charge higher interest rates, which can put a dent in your finances.
Homeowners planning a home improvement project should take a close look at their contractor’s credentials. Check to ensure that they have a license to do the work and that they are covered by insurance. Additionally, consider whether they have references. Using a professional that does a poor job could be a waste of time and money.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that the home remodeling industry will experience a decline in the coming years. With prices rising and the housing market in a downturn, some homeowners are holding off on renovation projects. Even so, the home improvement industry is a large and lucrative part of the economy.
Overall, homeowners are still eager to embark on home improvement projects. More than one-third of respondents plan to start a project this year.