Home Improvement – What You Need to Know
Home improvement is an industry that encompasses the sales and installation of building materials, appliances, decor and other enhancements to homes. This market also includes the hiring of contractors, tradespeople and workers to perform various home renovation or remodeling projects for consumers. While homeowners may be motivated by a desire to improve the home’s aesthetics, other factors are often at play, such as a desire to upgrade worn surfaces, add functionality or simply want a change.
Of the 77 million households that undertook at least one home improvement project in 2017, most — 56 percent — spent less than $5,000. Indeed, the most expensive projects were only undertaken by 3 percent of owners. And even those high-spending owners accounted for only half of the $233 billion spent by all owners on improvements.
Some home improvement projects are necessary, such as fixing a roof leak or replacing a broken doorknob. Others are done to enhance a home’s aesthetics, such as painting, refinishing wood floors or adding landscaping features. Still others are done to accommodate changing family needs, such as adding a bedroom or updating an existing bathroom. Whatever the motivation, it’s important to keep in mind that many improvements can be costly and time-consuming, and that careful planning is key to achieving a satisfactory outcome. Homeowners are advised to carefully research contractors and always get written contracts that detail the terms and conditions of work and any warranties. Homeowners are also encouraged to ask friends and neighbors about contractor recommendations and to check references and insurance coverage before hiring anyone to do work on their home.