Home improvement is the repair, maintenance or restoration of residential real property. It encompasses a wide range of projects, including installing a new roof, repaving a driveway or remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. It may also include adding an addition or building a deck. Regardless of the scope, all projects require careful planning and budgeting to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved within the given timeframe and without exceeding the estimated cost.
While TV schedules are packed with shows like Fixer Upper and This Old House, many homeowners may not be aware of all the things they can do to improve their homes. Some renovations, such as sparkling bathroom overhauls, deliver a solid return on investment. Others, such as a basement remodel, are less likely to pay off. And yet, some splurges—such as installing imported Italian marble countertops or a custom entertainment system—may not add much to your home’s value.
When choosing a contractor, it’s important to research them and check their references before making any payments. Also, be sure to ask for a written contract, as required under Maryland law, before work starts. This should include a timeline for completion, payment terms and as much detail as possible about the project, such as materials used. The contract should also have the contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number preprinted. Then, you can protect yourself against any shoddy workmanship or unwelcome surprises down the line. Lastly, after any improvements are completed, talk to your insurance agent about updating your homeowner’s policy.