Home improvement refers to repairs, renovations or additions that improve the structure and/or appearance of a residential dwelling. This industry includes the sale of building materials, appliances and decor. It also includes the services of contractors, installers and builders.
Whether you’re looking to add value to your home or just want to make it more comfortable, these projects can help. But before you start, talk to a real estate agent about which ones will actually increase your home’s value, and which may be overpriced.
While it’s tempting to focus on aesthetic changes, remember that the best way to add value is to focus on projects that buyers will find most desirable. Replacing outdated fixtures or adding high-quality finishes are a good starting point. These changes can make your home feel newer and more modern without breaking the bank.
Some home improvements simply can’t wait. If you have an electrical problem or a leaky roof, these are projects that should be taken care of right away to prevent serious damage or safety issues.
Homeowners spent $522 billion on home improvements between 2017 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Housing Survey. But only 42% of homeowners who took on projects during this time say they were able to pay for the majority of them without tapping into savings, selling items or going into debt. That’s down from 52% who said the same thing when NerdWallet asked them in 2020.