Home improvement is the retail and service industry that offers building materials, appliances, decor, and services for enhancing and improving residential homes. It includes a wide range of projects, from simple repairs to major renovations. The industry reaches customers through national, regional, and local chain stores; direct-to-consumer companies; and independent contractors. The industry also comprises aggregators, which bundle home improvement services and act as intermediary agencies between service providers and homeowners.
Certainties in life: death, taxes — and, for many homeowners, home repair and improvement projects. Whether they are the result of an unexpected plumbing leak or a need to replace worn doorknobs, these tasks usually cannot be put off. Some are more expensive than expected, but most yield a good return on investment when it comes time to sell the house.
In 2017, homeowners spent an estimated $522 billion on these projects. That represents an increase of 7.4 percent over the previous two-year period. And, per a recent NerdWallet survey, 80% of homeowners report that they stick to the budget they set for these projects.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some will actually detract from a home’s resale value. It’s best to steer clear of high-end or unique fixtures and stick with tried-and-true basics like a new kitchen faucet, fresh exterior paint or updated flooring. And, before embarking on a costly project like adding an additional bedroom, make sure to consult a real estate agent about potential returns.