Home improvement is the renovation or remodeling of residential or non-commercial property. It includes the construction, installation, repair or alteration of things like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, garages, fences, walls, floors, roofs, painting, and more. The industry also encompasses the sale of building materials and appliances to perform these tasks.
Homeowners spend about a trillion dollars each year on home improvements, according to the American Housing Survey (AHS). This figure doesn’t necessarily reflect how much homeowners actually spent in a given time period or on specific projects. The AHS asks respondents to self-report on projects undertaken in the past two years, for example, but it’s impossible to know exactly what those projects entailed or how they were carried out.
Many people renovate their homes with the goal of increasing their resale value, but this shouldn’t be the only consideration when deciding what upgrades to make. You should also consider how the renovations will improve your life and whether or not you can afford them. It’s also important to avoid over-improving your home — you don’t want it to be too unique or expensive, as these features may deter potential buyers rather than draw them in.
If you’re considering making some home improvements, it’s crucial to work with licensed contractors. Otherwise, you could face civil or criminal penalties. For instance, in New York City, you can be fined or imprisoned if you engage in home improvement activities without a license. For more information, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs in your state or county.