Home improvement is the process of renovating or altering the structure of a dwelling. This can include anything from painting and wallpapering to plumbing, electrical work, repairing drywall and installing new floors or cabinets. Homeowners may choose to do these projects themselves, or hire a professional. Many communities have regulations regarding what homeowners can and cannot do themselves. For example, it is generally illegal for homeowners to run their own electrical wiring, but tiling and plumbing are usually permitted projects. Home improvement stores cater to do-it-yourselfers and offer a wide variety of books, television shows and online “how-to” videos for these projects.
Home improvements can have a negative effect on your property value if they are not done well. For instance, if you put in a $10,000 kitchen that is over-personalized to your taste, it could turn off a buyer. It’s also important to avoid going into debt to complete a renovation. This is especially true if you intend to sell your house soon, since the value of the property decreases as the loan balance increases.
To determine what projects will add the most value to your house, consider what you’ll need when it comes time to sell and which upgrades are currently popular in your neighborhood. You should also consult reports that track remodeling trends and provide information on how to get the best return on your investment. A good rule of thumb is to invest in updates that will appeal to the widest range of potential buyers.