Home Improvement Tips For Homeowners

Home improvement

Whether you’re making a renovation or simply repairing your house, you need to make sure that you’re using a contractor who has a license. The New York state Department of Consumer Affairs has a law that requires that all contractors and subcontractors be licensed in order to perform home improvement work in New York. While not all states have the same regulations, you can do a little homework to find out if your contractor is licensed.

You’ll also need to find out whether your contractor has the proper insurance and if he has references you can speak to. You should also check out his Better Business Bureau record.

Another way to find out if your contractor is legitimate is to ask your neighbors and friends who they’ve used in the past. If you’re planning to sell your house, you won’t want to have an unlicensed contractor working on your home. Many counties have laws that classify engaging in “home improvement” without a license as a misdemeanor. In addition, your contractor may be fined $500 to $5,000 and could face a civil lawsuit from you for damages.

Before you hire a contractor, you should have a written contract that clearly details the project, including the scope of the work, the time frame, and the payments. A payment schedule may be set up so that you pay in installments until the work is complete.

If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you should consider whether your home’s value will be increased or decreased by a home improvement project. For example, if you are going to put in a brand new kitchen range and marble floors in the bathroom, a potential homebuyer is not likely to pay top dollar for those upgrades. On the other hand, a backyard paradise may be a nice addition, but it will not increase the value of your home. Unless you’re in a luxury price range, it’s best to stick with upgrades that have a wider appeal to the general public.

Finally, if you are a homeowner, you should look into the potential tax benefits of home improvements. If you have a valid home improvement document, you’re generally exempt from paying sales taxes on the items you purchase. However, the material costs you pay are not tax-exempt.

While home improvement loans can be a good option for many homeowners, you should be very careful about who you’re dealing with. The amount you can borrow is limited by the equity in your home. Typically, a loan can only be as much as 85% of your home’s equity, but you can choose a larger loan if you need to. You may also be eligible for a personal loan, which can be a more flexible option. If you have good credit, you can avoid having to submit collateral for the loan. A personal loan can have a higher interest rate, but it’s possible that you can qualify for a lower interest rate with a loan from your bank.