Home improvement is a multibillion dollar industry that encompasses the sale of building materials, appliances and decor, as well as the contractors, tradespeople and workers who perform renovations or home improvements. The industry reached excellent growth results in recent years, and experts expect it to continue to grow, even as many homeowners opt to delay buying a new house and focus on making their current one more livable.
Oftentimes, people will choose to make a home improvement project because they are tired of their surroundings or want to add more living space. Home improvement projects can be extremely expensive, and it is important to carefully consider what improvements will increase the resale value of a home before spending the money. It is also a good idea to compare prices for the same project from different contractors before making a final decision.
Some home improvement projects are tax-deductible. These include any expenditure that increases a home’s value, prolongs its life or adapts it to new uses, such as landscaping, paving, painting, installing a pool, replacing windows or doors, adding a deck or porch, and building a garage or gazebo. The cost of energy-saving home improvements, such as insulation or a new furnace, is also tax-deductible.
To avoid overspending on a home improvement project, it is a good idea to plan ahead and set aside a specific amount of money for the project each month. This will help prevent the temptation to spend more than you can afford and will ensure that the work is completed in a timely manner. It is also a good idea to talk with a realtor in your area about what improvements will actually add value to your home before you begin the project.
If you are a homeowner, you should always get multiple estimates from qualified contractors before hiring someone for a job. These should include a detailed description of the work to be done, the materials to be used, a completion date and the price. If there is a large difference in the estimates, find out why and ask for an explanation. In addition, you should check to make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. If a worker is injured or damage is caused on your property, you could be held liable if the contractor does not have the proper insurance.
Many states have laws governing the minimum deposit and payment terms that contractors may require from homeowners. It is also a good idea to read the contract closely and to understand what any warranties for materials or workmanship will cover. Some contracts also contain an arbitration clause, which will require the parties to submit disputes to binding arbitration. Before signing any contract, you should also verify that the contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number are preprinted on the document. If not, ask the contractor to provide this information before you agree to pay any money.