Home improvement, also known as remodeling or home renovation, involves projects that improve the look, feel, and functionality of your existing home. Regardless of whether the work is to make your home more energy-efficient, add more square footage, or simply improve the property’s value, home improvement projects can benefit any homeowner. Listed below are some tips for getting started. You can save money and improve your home with the help of a contractor or do-it-yourself projects.
Cost of home improvement projects in 2017
While home improvement projects are fun, the price tag can be high. According to a new JCHS report, 58 percent of homeowners improved their homes last year. With labor shortages and rising materials prices, renovation costs have gone up. Additionally, bigger projects tend to incur higher expenses than smaller ones. For instance, homeowners spending $13 million on kitchen renovations in 2017 spent an average of $10,070 more than they did in 2016.
Adding a second story, making a grand entrance, and remodeling the master bedroom and bathroom can boost a home’s value. In 2017, 2.2 million homeowners updated their electrical wiring. Installing solar panels is another popular modernization option. Solar panels help homeowners save money on utilities, and they’re better for the environment. Moreover, solar leasing may help homeowners avoid the costs of installing such a device. Finally, adding a backup generator will enhance the value of a home after a storm. Of course, the longer you don’t need a backup generator, the lower your return on investment.
Ways to find a contractor
The Internet can be a great resource for finding a home improvement contractor. Search engines such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook will all have reviews of home improvement contractors. You can also find contractors using Finance of America Home Improvement’s Find a Contractor tool, which collects reviews from multiple sources. You can even ask the contractor about their experience working on your home. Then, once you’ve narrowed down your list, call them to discuss your home improvement project.
Another effective way to find a contractor is to ask friends and family for referrals. This simple method is effective in many ways. If you know someone who has used a particular contractor, you’re more likely to hire them again in the future. By asking around, you’ll be able to get several different perspectives on a contractor’s work history and reputation. You’ll also have a better chance of finding someone you can trust.
A recent survey found that nearly four out of 10 homeowners have botched a home improvement project. Thirty-five percent reported that a home improvement show has influenced their DIY projects. Home improvement blogger Sherry Petersik warns homeowners to weigh risks and benefits before starting a project. For example, if you accidentally paint a room the wrong color, you’ll have to repaint it, whereas hiring a professional painter will only incur minor losses.
If you’re looking for ways to increase the value of your home, experts recommend starting with cosmetic improvements, like painting, landscaping, and replacing fixtures. Paint can make a huge difference, so a simple new color scheme can really spruce up the house. Neutral colors will unify the entire house, making certain areas stand out and attracting a variety of potential buyers. For a dramatic change, use a neutral color scheme in a single room or the entire house.
Getting a loan for home improvement
Considering home improvements? Home improvements can be expensive and can require a large credit line or multiple credit cards. Credit cards typically carry high interest rates, so you may want to apply for a 0% APR card. Those cards give you up to 18 months to pay off the balance. If you are able to pay off the loan in this time, it may be worth the risk. But be aware that your credit score may influence the interest rate you receive.
There are many different types of home improvement loans. Each one works a bit differently. There are home equity loans, home improvement lines of credit, and personal loans. Home equity loans require 20% equity and can be longer to process. They are generally recommended for expensive projects. But you should be aware that these loans are more expensive than personal loans. Therefore, you should only apply for a home equity loan if you absolutely need the funds.