Home improvement, also called remodeling or renovation, is a popular pastime for many homeowners. Some projects are simple enough to do yourself and can save you some money, but others require professional help. It’s important to find a qualified contractor and sign a contract before starting any work. Your contract should include a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible, such as types or brands of materials. A contract should also contain a mandatory arbitration clause.
There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes and if you’re a homeowner, a long list of home repair and improvement projects that just can’t be put off. These ‘can’t-wait’ tasks range from updating electrical systems to fixing roof leaks and everything in between. But while some projects may seem like no-brainers, other improvements can end up costing a lot more than anticipated, or even put you in debt.
According to the American Housing Survey (AHS), homeowners who took on a project during the pandemic spent an average of $5,428 on their upgrades. The most popular projects included sparkling bathroom overhauls, kitchen remodels and basement renovations. But the survey notes that the pandemic wasn’t necessarily the motivation for most of these renovations, with respondents citing reasons such as wanting to update worn surfaces, improving livability and adding features.
Whether you’re looking to make minor updates or completely revamp your living space, the first step is determining your budget. There are many ways to finance your home improvement project, from secured loans such as a home equity loan or a HELOC to unsecured personal loans or credit cards.