Home improvement can be a major undertaking. The costs and time commitment can quickly add up and lead to a slew of unexpected expenses and headaches, not to mention the potential for your renovation project turning into a disaster. That’s why it is essential to choose a reliable contractor and carefully select the projects that will be most beneficial to your lifestyle, family and home value.
According to a recent survey from NerdWallet, about 3 in 5 homeowners have done a home improvement project during the pandemic. Many of these projects were related to repairing or replacing worn-out surfaces, finishing unfinished areas, and making their homes more comfortable to live in during the pandemic. The survey also found that homeowners felt a sense of satisfaction in their completed projects and increased enjoyment with their upgraded home.
Typically, these upgrades have a positive effect on home values as well. But the survey also reveals that some projects are more effective than others at increasing the resale value of a home. The best return on investment can be achieved by completing kitchen or bathroom remodels.
Other projects that tend to generate strong ROIs include a new deck or patio, energy-efficient window replacement, and insulation updates. In fact, the energy-efficient upgrades such as insulation and new windows can often recoup their cost in only a few years.
The majority of the 22 million homeowners who renovated their homes during 2017 did relatively minor renovations. Only 3 percent of owners reported spending $25,000 or more on remodeling projects. However, these high-spending households drove over half of the homeowner remodeling market.
In general, the more cosmetic renovations that are completed by homeowners tend to deliver a higher ROI. These projects can include painting the interior of a home, installing a new front door, updating a kitchen or bathroom, and adding a deck or patio.
It’s also a good idea to make your renovations as environmentally friendly as possible. This way, your home will be more sustainable and attractive to a prospective buyer down the road.
Another important consideration when choosing a contractor for your home improvement project is their experience and reputation. You can do this by asking friends and neighbors who they have used for home improvements and checking references. It is also important to ensure the contractor you hire is licensed.
It is recommended that all contractors and subcontractors be licensed with the Department of Consumer Affairs before any work begins on a consumer’s property. Licensed contractors must also provide consumers with written estimates and contracts for their services before any work is performed. The contracts should have the contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number preprinted on them.
Homeowners should be cautious of companies offering to perform a large number of home improvement projects for very little money. These types of companies are often referred to as ‘aggregators’ and operate by bundling offers from individual service providers. It’s also a good idea to talk to a real estate agent about which renovations will increase your home’s resale value and which may not, before starting any work.