Home Improvement – What is a Home Improvement?

Home improvement can be anything from remodeling a kitchen to repairing a leaky roof. Whatever the project, we have expert tips and DIY advice for improving your house. Plus, find out what projects will actually add value to your home and which will not.

What is a Home Improvement?

In general, any improvement to a property that increases its utility, prolongs its life, or adapts it to new uses is considered a home improvement. However, this does not include a garden, driveways, walkways, patios, or structures that are separate from the residential structure such as gazebos and pools. The term ‘home improvement’ also excludes any work performed on an existing building for the purpose of securing a loan or insurance against loss or damage.

The best home improvements typically yield the highest returns when it comes time to sell. These include energy-saving upgrades such as new windows and doors. Other top ROI projects include a new deck or patio, exterior painting, and landscaping. However, remember that many cosmetic enhancements will only increase the sale price of a house by a small margin and won’t hold up to repeated appraisals.

Before beginning any home improvement project, consider hiring a professional inspector. He or she can identify hidden problems such as a faulty foundation or a rotting roof that may require extensive and expensive repair. Home improvements that can’t be undone, such as a leaking roof or outdated electrical systems, should also be addressed immediately.