Home improvement can be a great way to improve your house, but it’s important to think about whether the upgrades will add value to your home in relation to what you spend. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, which offers helpful national data on what projects are most worth the investment. You should also hone in on your specific region and city for more localized information, because specific upgrades might have more or less value depending on where you live.
Overall, home improvement spending is up significantly from its low point during the recession. Rock-bottom interest rates and the need for maintenance and repair are driving many of the increases, but aging homeowners are also a factor. They’re responsible for 25 percent of home improvement spending and are especially interested in upgrading their living spaces.
Some home improvements, however, can have a negative impact on your resale value. If the renovations are highly customized to your tastes and needs, they might turn off potential buyers who might not share your preferences. For example, a home recording studio or a sunroom addition might not appeal to someone looking for a family-friendly home.
The Consumer Protection Division advises you to shop around and choose a contractor carefully. Make sure all contracts for home improvement work are in writing and signed before any work is done. The contract should also include any warranty terms, including warranties of workmanship and materials. It should also list the contractor’s name, address and MHIC license number. Avoid contractors who refuse to provide this information.