Home improvement is a category of home renovation and remodeling projects that improve the function and appearance of a home. Improvements may include upgrading or replacing fixtures and finishes such as kitchen countertops, cabinets, flooring, lighting, paint, wallpaper, landscaping and more. Other improvements may be structural in nature, such as adding an addition or building a deck. Home improvements can also be a response to a specific problem, such as electrical problems or a leaking roof, or a desire to make the house more energy efficient.
The most popular home improvement projects are sparkling bathroom overhauls and big-ticket basement or kitchen renovations. However, these high-cost projects rarely provide a return on investment for homeowners. In fact, many homeowners end up paying more for these renovations than they get back when they sell their homes.
Despite the pandemic, most homeowners continue to take on home improvement projects. And the number of these projects has increased. According to the American Housing Survey, homeowner expenditures for home improvement projects peaked in 2022 and are expected to decline slightly in 2023.
It’s important for consumers to do their homework when hiring a contractor to work on a home improvement project. Ensure that the contract contains all the terms and conditions of any warranties for materials or workmanship. In addition, Maryland law requires that contractors have a valid MHIC license and sign their contracts with the consumer’s name. If a company does not have a license, the consumer is subject to civil and criminal penalties.