Home improvement is the process of renovating or repairing parts of a house. The goal is to make it safer, more comfortable, or aesthetically pleasing. This usually involves work on electrical systems, plumbing, drywall and other finishing touches. While some projects may require the assistance of professionals, others can be done by homeowners themselves. Home improvement projects can be costly, but they can also increase a home’s resale value. Choosing the right projects is key to getting the most return on your investment.
Some projects are not a good fit for your home or will not add much value to it when it is time to sell. It is important to focus on upgrades that will appeal to most buyers in your market. Kitchens and bathrooms are generally good choices, as are renovations that increase square footage. However, buyer preferences vary greatly by region, so consult a local realtor for specific suggestions.
In general, it is best to avoid any projects that will be very expensive or difficult to recoup at the time of sale. A swimming pool, for example, is a luxury that few buyers will be willing to pay extra for, and it will not add much to the overall resale value of the property.
Many homeowners take on home improvement projects as a way to add value to their homes or as a way to keep up with maintenance. Some projects, such as replacing a roof or fixing a leaky basement, are necessary repairs that can not be put off. Other projects, such as converting an unfinished basement into a family room or adding a master suite, can be more of a personal choice.
While most homeowners are able to find money for home improvements, it is still important to carefully plan the project before starting and stick to a budget. A good rule of thumb is to set aside a 15% buffer to cover unexpected costs. Using online tools like floorplanner can help you visualize your space and create a realistic budget.
When it comes to DIY home improvement, always follow safety guidelines and use proper tools for the job. Also, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions before beginning any project and to contact a professional for advice.
In New York State, sales tax is applied to most home improvement services, except for those that are a capital improvement (such as adding a heating system). To qualify for the exemption, you must have documentation from a qualified professional that the project meets the definition of a capital improvement. You can obtain this by completing Form ST-124, Certificate of Capital Improvements. A copy of this form can be obtained by visiting the Department of Taxation and Finance’s website. It is also a good idea to review your contract with the contractor before work begins and to get everything in writing. This should include a timeline, a payment schedule and as many specifics on the project as possible.