What is Home Improvement?

Home improvement

Home improvement is a broad term that can be defined as anything done to a residential property that adds value, improves function, or makes it more appealing. This includes, but is not limited to, landscaping, repaving a driveway or deck, painting your house or adding a fence. It also can include installing a new roof, putting in a pool or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. The definition of home improvement may vary slightly from state to state, but most will agree that it encompasses any kind of renovation or remodeling work done to your home or yard.

Homeowners report spending a lot of money on home improvements. But do they get their money’s worth when it comes time to sell?

According to the American Housing Survey, homeowners spend an average of $21,600 on home improvements. Married couples with children are most likely to pursue projects and spend the most, but single households and millennials (born after 1984) are least likely to do so. Baby boomers, however, still drive the most market spending on improvements.

Most homeowners fund home improvement projects with cash from savings and some use credit cards. Others tap into a home equity line of credit, take out a personal loan or use contractor arranged financing. A few even use grants to fund their projects. It’s important to avoid going into debt for home improvements. If you do, you pay thousands of dollars upfront, then pay a lot more in interest on top of that.