Home Improvement 101

Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of upgrading a house by improving its interior and exterior. It can be done for aesthetic reasons or to add functionality, such as converting a basement into a bedroom. Home improvements can also be made to save energy, or for safety reasons. Some of the most common upgrades include new kitchen and bathroom fixtures, replacing windows, adding a deck or patio, and installing new flooring.

The key to successful home improvements is planning. It’s important to have a clear idea of what work needs to be done and to make a list of the materials you need. This will help you negotiate prices with contractors and avoid surprises down the road. It will also help you weed out unscrupulous contractors who may try to sell you more work than you need or want.

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to freshen up a room, consider painting or wallpapering. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room, and if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with a bold color or pattern. New plumbing fixtures can also make a big impact on your home’s style. Replace your old faucet with a sleek new model or swap out that ugly showerhead for a waterfall design.

A well-planned remodel can add value to your home and improve its resale appeal. However, don’t get carried away with extravagant projects that won’t pay off down the line. For example, an expensive kitchen or master suite addition will only net you about 75 percent of your investment back when it comes time to sell your house.