Home Improvement – What You Need to Know

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Home improvement is the term used to describe any work done on a house to make it better. This can include landscaping, adding a deck or porch, putting in a new roof, remodeling the kitchen or bathrooms, refinishing floors or anything else that adds value to the property. Some work may require a permit from the local building or planning department. It is important to understand what work requires a permit as it will help avoid problems and penalties.

There are few certainties in life: death, taxes and if you’re a homeowner, home repair and improvement projects. Some of them are planned, such as a kitchen remodel or a bedroom addition, while others happen when there’s an emergency like a leaky roof or a flooded basement. Regardless of the reason, you want to choose renovations that will be cost-effective and add value to your home.

The most common way homeowners fund their home improvements is by using cash from savings. But many also turn to a variety of other sources including credit cards, personal loans, mortgage refinancing and contractor arranged financing.

The amount of money that homeowners spent on home improvements in 2019 varied by ownership status. Homeowners who had owned their homes for one to five years on average spent nearly $30,000, while those who entered the market six or more years ago capped spending at $19,000. In both cases, the highest amounts were spent by baby boomers who own and occupy 34 million homes and drive half of all home improvement spending.