Home improvement is the process of making changes to your home to improve its comfort, appearance or function. While many home improvements can be done by the homeowner, some require professional expertise. When considering what home improvements to undertake, it is important to consider not only the potential resale value of your home but also your personal enjoyment of the space. Some projects have very high ROI values, while others may not return the money you put into them at all when it comes time to sell.
Generally, the best return on investment for home improvements are kitchens and baths, followed by outdoor projects, and then living rooms and bedrooms. Projects that are likely to increase your home’s energy efficiency, such as adding insulation or replacing old windows and doors, are also good choices.
When deciding on what projects to do, be sure to consult with professionals to ensure that the work is completed correctly and according to local building codes. In addition, it is advisable to obtain multiple estimates and choose contractors carefully. A contractor’s price should not be your only consideration; you should also compare his or her background, reputation, experience and length of time in business.
A reputable, licensed and insured contractor will provide a contract for the home improvement work that contains a detailed description of the work to be performed, the estimated completion date and payment schedule. It should also specify the types and brands of materials to be used. On larger projects, the contract should be based on an architect or engineer plan that includes virtually every detail of the work to be performed.
The amount of resale value that you get back on home improvements depends on what you do and how well it matches the style and character of your house and the homes in your neighborhood. For example, an in-ground pool might make your home stand out in a bad way. If you’re thinking about making some major changes, it’s a good idea to talk to a real estate agent about what other homes in your area are selling for to get an accurate sense of the impact on your resale value.
Another tip is to be careful not to over-personalize your home, which might drive away prospective buyers. This is particularly true if you live in a desirable area where property values have been rising rapidly. Also, remember that the housing market is always changing; your home’s value now might be quite different from its value six months or a year from now. If you do want to change your home’s appearance, look for updates that will appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers.