Home Improvement – The Business of Making Repairs and Improvements to Residential Homes
Home improvement is the business of making repairs and improvements to residential homes. It encompasses a wide range of work from fixing a leaky faucet to adding a new kitchen or bathroom. The industry includes retail sales of building materials, appliances and decor, as well as the services of contractors and tradespeople.
It’s a safe bet that most homeowners will take on some home improvement projects over the course of their ownership. Many are driven by necessity, such as an electrical problem or a leaking roof that can’t be put off. Others are motivated by a desire to improve their home’s resale value.
According to a NerdWallet survey, three-fourths of respondents say they have money set aside specifically for home improvement projects, and 76% say they are able to pay for those without tapping into savings or going into debt. But it’s important to remember that some projects do not deliver a good return on investment.
Television’s popular shows like Bob Vila and This Old House have contributed to a growing interest in DIY work. And women, once relegated to the realm of decorating and interior design, are increasingly joining men in the ranks of those who use power tools for home improvement. The most important factor when choosing a contractor for a home improvement project is their track record and reputation for quality work. Consumers should check references and look for a local license, which must be posted in a conspicuous place on the job site. In addition, a contract should be written and signed before any work begins, with a payment schedule and specifics of the project (e.g., types of materials) clearly spelled out.