Home Improvement – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Home improvement

Home improvement is the practice of making changes to improve a house or garden. It could include any number of construction-related activities, including painting, drywall repair or installation, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, roofing and tiling. Many homeowners undertake home improvement projects to increase their property value, while others do it for personal enjoyment or convenience.

The television schedule is packed with shows like Fixer Upper and This Old House, which inspire viewers to pick up a hammer and start swinging. But, before you jump in feet first, consider if the project will truly add value to your house. Also, take a walk around your neighborhood to see what other homes in the area look like and decide which common home improvements might be most attractive to potential buyers.

Many people mistakenly think that a pool, state-of-the-art kitchen or a newly remodeled bathroom are good ways to boost a home’s value. But, the truth is that some projects actually decrease a house’s value and make it harder to sell.

For example, an in-house theater is a great feature for movie buffs, but built-in electronics can be off-putting to buyers who are looking for a more functional living space. Another bad idea is to plant a tree with messy leaves, such as an oak, female ginkgo biloba or sweet gum, which can be a turnoff for potential buyers who want a clean, well-maintained yard.

If you’re thinking about tackling a home improvement project, be sure to hire qualified contractors and check their licenses and insurance, says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi, which operates contractor search and house renovation services. Also, check a company’s references and perform an online background check.