Home Improvement Basics

Home improvement is the process of repairing, renovating, or altering a home. This includes kitchen and bathroom remodeling, painting, tiling, woodworking, and installing new appliances and features. Home improvement also encompasses repairs to the roof, chimney, siding, doors, windows, and more. The home improvement industry is one that has experienced excellent growth results in recent years. It is a multibillion dollar industry that encompasses the retail sale of building materials and supplies, hardware stores, and contractors.

Many people take on home improvement projects to make their homes more functional, comfortable, and appealing. A well-planned and executed renovation can increase the value of a house. But homeowners should be cautious about which improvements to undertake. Too many changes can actually decrease a home’s value. For example, a homeowner who installs an above-ground pool may find that potential buyers are turned off by the appearance of the feature.

Those considering doing DIY home improvement projects should carefully research the necessary skills and have the proper tools. Moreover, they should be aware of local laws that govern home improvement contracts. For example, Maryland law requires all contracts for home improvement to be in writing. In addition, a contractor may not accept more than 1/3 of the contract price as a deposit. Furthermore, a written contract must include all terms and conditions of any warranties for materials or workmanship. The contract must also include the contractor’s name, address, and MHIC license number. These rules are designed to protect consumers and help them avoid fraudulent contractors.