Home improvement, also known as home renovation, is the process of improving or modernizing a dwelling. This can include changes to the interior of a house or building such as paint and furniture, and the exterior such as roof repair and painting, and additions to an existing structure, such as driveways, fences, and porches. The home improvement industry includes the sale of construction materials and supplies, as well as professional installation and labor services. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in home improvement spending, but it’s important to consider the return on investment for any major remodeling projects you plan. Use NerdWallet’s tools to estimate project costs, understand how projects can affect resale value and make smart choices that will help you save money.
Some home improvement projects just can’t be put off — electrical issues, a leaky roof or a crack in the foundation are problems that should be fixed immediately to prevent further damage and keep your family safe. But what about the projects you do have control over? If you’re thinking of selling your home in the future, it’s a good idea to prioritize those that will have the highest return on investment, such as opening up the main living space and updating the kitchen or bathroom.
On the other hand, improvements that are too personal or that don’t match the style and value of other homes in your neighborhood may not add much value at all. When in doubt, ask a real estate agent for advice on what types of projects would be most likely to pay off.