Home improvement is a broad term, covering anything from remodeling your home’s interior to improving the outdoor landscape. Home renovations can add value to your property, improve your quality of life and make it more comfortable to live in. However, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits carefully before you start swinging that sledgehammer.
Many homeowners find inspiration for home improvement projects from shows on HGTV or on the real estate channel, which feature people renovating homes and then selling them at a profit. Others choose to do their own remodeling or repair projects, helped by an ever-growing variety of books, magazines and online “how-to” articles. Home improvement stores also cater to the needs of do-it-yourselfers.
If you’re unsure about whether your project is within your capabilities, consider hiring a professional contractor to help with the work. It’s important to have a written contract that includes a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible about the job, including what materials will be used and how long the work is expected to take. It’s also a good idea to check with your community’s building department and get any required permits.
Replacing old windows can refresh your home’s appearance and save on utility bills by cutting down on drafts and air infiltration. Adding crown molding and baseboards is another easy, yet rewarding do-it-yourself project that can really upgrade your home’s decor. And don’t forget to update your homeowner’s insurance as you complete your improvements. A change in your home’s value could mean that your current policy no longer offers adequate coverage.