What is Home Improvement?

Home improvement

Home improvement is anything that adds value to your house or makes it more functional. This includes repairs, maintenance, and replacements of parts of your house or the entire property like driveways, sidewalks, patios, pools, etc. It can also include adding or enhancing landscaping, interior decoration, and making structural changes like building an addition.

Spending on home renovations has been surging since hitting a low during the recession, and homeowners aged 55 or older have been major drivers of that growth. According to the American Housing Survey, which asks people to self-report their renovation costs over two years, Americans spent $522 billion on improvements in 2019.

The most common reasons for homeowners to renovate are to update outdated surfaces, finishes, and materials (29%) and improve livability (20%). Other common reasons include increasing enjoyment (21%), fixing a problem (18%), and getting a better return on investment (16%).

It is important to remember that home improvements do not always add value to your home, and even if they do, it may be difficult to recoup your costs. If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investments, work with a realtor in your area who can help you prioritize which projects will add value and which ones might not.

After World War II, returning veterans and booming suburban living made home improvement a popular pastime. It was a way for families to bond through projects, and it became an especially popular hobby during the 1970s and 1980s with shows such as This Old House and Trading Spaces. By the 1990s, DIY projects had begun to blur the lines between what was traditionally considered a male-dominated realm of carpentry work and the largely female sphere of decorating and design.

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