Home improvement is the construction, repair, replacement or alteration of a structure that alters the use or appearance of a property. It includes but is not limited to the erection of buildings, additions, decks, porches, landscaping or fences. It also includes work performed on the interior or exterior of the dwelling, including but not limited to kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and basements. It does not include work on a manufactured or mobile home, any improvement to any recreational vehicle, or the installation of electrical systems, air conditioning or heating units.
Some home improvement projects, such as roof repairs, termite infestation or unsafe electrical wiring, are critical to the safety of occupants and should not be delayed. Hiring an inspector can help ensure that the problems are identified and fixed before they become more expensive or dangerous.
Other renovations, such as a new pool, deck or a more efficient heating system can improve the enjoyment of a home for the current owner and may add value. But renovating solely for the purpose of increasing a home’s marketability is not advisable, experts say. “You want your house to function for you,” says real estate adviser Sophia Bera Daigle, CEO of Gen Y Planning.
The best way to determine what improvements will provide the greatest return on investment is to consult a professional real estate agent. They can give you a list of popular renovations and how much they will likely increase your home’s value. They can also recommend upgrades that will make your home more energy-efficient, which will save you money in the long run.