Home improvement refers to any renovation, remodeling, update or upgrade that a homeowner does to his or her residential real estate property. The market is comprised of retail sales of building materials, appliances and decor as well as the services provided by contractors or other professionals who assist with construction or remodeling projects.
When homeowners renovate their homes, they often hope the project will boost resale value. But not all improvements pay off in the long run. In fact, some may actually decrease resale value. According to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, some of the most popular projects a homeowner can undertake are adding a new bathroom, finishing a basement and installing a swimming pool.
Other top projects include installing a security system, replacing an air conditioning unit and painting the exterior of the house. However, many of these updates require more than just a hammer and screwdriver. For instance, updating a bedroom or bathroom by changing out bedding and rugs can make a big difference in the look of a room. Hanging artwork and experimenting with different kinds and wattage of light bulbs can also significantly change the appearance of a room.
Regardless of what type of project is undertaken, a contract should be written and signed before the work begins. It should clearly state a description of the work to be performed and the approximate dates when it will begin and end. Payment terms, including a deposit amount and a payment schedule should also be set forth in the contract. Additionally, the contractor should provide a copy of a license to perform the work and proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.