Home improvement is the reconditioning, renovation or restoration of a home. It can involve a wide range of projects, from building a new porch or adding a deck to repairing an appliance or installing a new bathroom. The process also includes adding fire protection devices and security systems to a house. Some improvements are deductible from your taxes and can increase the value of your home.
A new study from the American Institute of Architects cites that home improvement spending in the United States is expected to jump by nearly 30 percent by 2021. While this is not an unprecedented amount of investment, it is a significant growth. In fact, it is the highest spending on home improvements since the Angi research firm began tracking the data seven years ago.
One of the main reasons for this is that inflation is starting to bite into home remodeling budgets. In the past year, prices of materials for home improvement have risen by 400 percent. This is putting a dent in homeowner’s home remodeling budgets, as well as the number of remodeling retailers.
The biggest growth area for home improvement in recent years has been in backyard and patio construction. According to the National Association of Remodeling Companies, the number of projects in this category increased by nearly threefold from March through July of this year. More specifically, the number of backyard projects rose by a whopping 275%.
Major home improvements, such as a roof replacement or a new driveway, are important to home owners as they enhance the value of their homes. These improvements must last at least a year, and add value to the base cost of the house. Using a home improvement loan can make these upgrades more affordable. However, if you are planning a large project, be sure to take into account your other financing options.
There are two primary ways to finance your home improvement projects. You can either borrow against the equity of your home, or you can secure a loan through a credit card company. Alternatively, you can use a federal loan program. Another popular option is a home equity loan, which is an installment loan, paid back over five to thirty years.
Regardless of your financing needs, be sure to do your research and consult with your bank or lender. Check to make sure that your project is not only deductible from your taxes, but also that you are using the best available equipment and materials. Also, ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed to perform the work, or has the necessary insurance.
For some homeowners, the biggest question is whether to do the work themselves, or if they should hire a professional. Considering that a majority of surveyors said they planned to do at least some of the work themselves, it may be wise to choose a contractor who has experience and who is insured. Remember to check references, and be careful in selecting a contractor who has a solid reputation.