The home improvement business is a significant part of the world economy. It encompasses the sale of building materials and appliances, along with the services of contractors, tradespeople and other workers who assist homeowners in their home projects.
In recent years, spending on home improvement has increased more than half a trillion dollars in the United States. It’s fueled in part by a shortage of new homes and a reliance on aging housing stock that needs upkeep and repair. It’s also a result of rock-bottom interest rates that make it easier to pay for renovation projects.
A homeowner’s goal is often to improve the living space, increase energy efficiency, add value to the property or simply enhance their home’s aesthetics. However, a home improvement project isn’t always the best investment in terms of return on investment or even cost savings.
Before you start any home improvement project, determine how much money you have available for the work and set a budget. A well-planned budget will help you stay within your limits and prevent the renovations from going overboard.
1. Get a contractor with references and experience doing the type of work you need done. This will ensure you are getting a good deal on your work and will save you money in the long run.
2. Be sure to check the license of the contractor and find out if the company has insurance coverage for your home. This is important because a company that doesn’t have proper insurance coverage can cause damage to your home and your personal belongings.
3. Look for a home improvement contractor with a good reputation and references from previous customers. This will help you avoid having to deal with any issues that might arise during the course of the project, and it will also allow you to compare quotes from different contractors before deciding who to hire.
4. Talk about the budget with your contractor. This will help you figure out if the project is affordable and what options you have to cut costs.
5. Ask for a contract that includes an arbitration clause. This will protect you from a lawsuit filed against you if your contractor fails to complete the job as promised.
6. Don’t pay the full price upfront. This will save you money in the long run and will also ensure that you can receive a fair amount of compensation once the project is completed.
7. A contractor who is licensed in your state and city will have the experience and skills needed to complete your project. This will save you time and hassle in the long run, as well as a lot of stress when the project is finished.
The latest American Housing Survey found that homeowners spent $624 billion on home improvement projects during the two-year period covered by the survey, a 24% increase from the previous period. It was the largest single year increase in the survey’s history and marked a doubling of spending in just a decade, according to the census bureau.