The Home Improvement Industry is Booming

Home improvement is a multibillion-dollar industry that includes building materials, appliances and decor as well as contractors and tradespeople. The business has reached record-breaking growth results in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers focused on projects to improve their homes.

The most common type of home improvement project is upgrading a kitchen or bathroom. This is followed by adding bedrooms or bathrooms to a house, remodeling the exterior, and installing energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These projects can be undertaken for a variety of reasons; personal preference and comfort, to upgrade the home’s value, or because the owner is experiencing a need for repair due to damage or simply age-related maintenance issues.

Some homeowners are pursuing renovations with an eye toward selling their property in the future, which is why it’s important to choose projects that will provide a good return on investment. But it’s not always easy to tell which projects will pay off, since ROI estimates vary depending on the source and specifics of each project.

In order to make a sound decision about which home improvements to undertake, it’s often helpful to consult a real estate professional. They can point out which projects will add the most resale value and which ones may not be worth the money or effort. Some common home improvements that deliver high ROIs include adding a master suite (with private bath and walk-in closet), installing new flooring, painting or staining the deck, and replacing windows and doors.

One thing is for sure: the demand for home improvement work is here to stay. With rock-bottom interest rates and a desire to spend more time at home during the pandemic, the industry is thriving. In fact, many experts predict that home improvement spending will continue to increase in the years ahead.

Married couples with children are more likely to pursue projects than single people or those who are elderly, but regardless of how you slice it, homeownership is a significant expense that can quickly add up. It’s also a good idea to be frugal when it comes to home improvements, since not all projects will generate the same return on investment.

It’s important to use a licensed contractor when undertaking any home improvement project. If you don’t, you could be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Before a contractor starts any work, the contract must be written and signed by both parties before any money is paid. It should clearly state the price and all terms of payment, including a deposit not to exceed 1/3 of the total contract price. The contractor must also have their MHIC license number preprinted on the contract. In addition, it’s generally illegal for a contractor to charge more than the amount agreed upon in the contract. If you think this has happened to you, contact your local MHIC office for assistance. Lastly, all homeowners are urged to check their contractors’ license status on the MHIC website.