Home improvement, also known as home renovation, is the process of upgrading the interior or exterior of a house. The term may also refer to a particular improvement project, such as remodeling a bathroom or installing a new kitchen. Home improvements can be undertaken for a number of reasons, including increasing the comfort level of a house, making it safer or more energy efficient, and adding value to the property.
Homeowners can find a wide range of contractors who specialize in different types of home improvement projects. When choosing a contractor, it is important to receive a written estimate that clearly specifies the work to be done, materials to be used, the completion date, and the price. In order to make a fair comparison, always obtain estimates from several companies. Never base your final decision on price alone – in addition to price, other factors should be considered such as experience, reputation, and whether the company is licensed and insured.
During times of economic uncertainty, many homeowners are choosing to invest in home improvements. Unlike many other types of investments, which can be subject to market fluctuations, the costs of home improvements are generally fixed. This makes them an attractive option for those who want to update their homes without having to worry about the potential for a loss in value.
While many homeowners are focusing on large-scale home improvements, there is also a strong trend toward smaller projects that add individual style and appeal. For example, replacing doors and cabinet hardware is an inexpensive way to instantly refresh a room. Similarly, adding an accent wall in a bright or unusual color can instantly enliven a living space.
Despite their lower cost, many of these small projects can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a room. Additionally, because they are usually completed within a relatively short amount of time, these projects can often be completed on a budget.
Many home improvements are labor intensive, and therefore are exempt from sales tax. However, it is important to be aware of the definition of home improvement in your state, as each state has its own laws pertaining to this topic. To avoid paying sales tax on labor, be sure to file a home improvement certificate with your local department of finance and taxation. In some states, this may be as simple as filling out an online form. In other states, this may involve a longer process of filing paperwork and meeting specific requirements.