Home Improvement Trends for 2010

Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s living space. It is a major undertaking that can increase the value of one’s house, as well as provide personal enjoyment and comfort. Home improvement projects can include remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, painting, landscaping, installing an appliance or doing repairs. In some cases, homeowners will hire professionals to help with the renovation.

According to Houzz, a website that connects homeowners with contractors and service providers, a large number of people will be performing home improvement this year. The most common project is upgrading the kitchen, followed by sprucing up electrical wiring and cabinets. Increasing energy efficiency is another popular home improvement project. Those interested in saving money on utilities may want to consider installing a smart thermostat or solar panels.

Many people will also be working on reducing their carbon footprint. A variety of home improvement projects are available, including installing greener appliances, replacing light bulbs with LEDs and adding a rain barrel to collect water. Some of these projects are relatively cheap and can be done by the homeowner. Others, such as adding insulation to the attic and upgrading windows, can cost more than $10,000 and require a permit.

In order to ensure that a home improvement project is done properly, homeowners should seek out the services of a licensed contractor. A licensed contractor will be insured and have a valid business license. They will be able to give the homeowner references from past clients. The homeowner should also check whether the contractor belongs to a professional association or is accredited by a recognized body.

Choosing the right home improvement projects can be difficult, especially when trying to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Experts recommend that you consider your lifestyle and the types of things you enjoy doing before starting any renovations. Also, it is important to weigh the cost of each project against its return on investment.

While it is tempting to jump into a renovation project, this can be a costly mistake. For example, an in-house theater might appeal to some homeowners, but built-in electronics that quickly become obsolete will detract from the overall value of your home.

Homeowners can use different financing options to fund their home improvement projects. One option is a personal loan, which can be used for any purpose and does not require the use of one’s home as collateral. Other options include a home equity line of credit and a mortgage refinance, both of which can be used for home improvements.

Before beginning any home improvement project, it is a good idea to consult with a real estate agent and read recent reports on which renovations tend to add the most value to homes when they are sold. This can help homeowners avoid spending time and money on projects that will not increase the value of their home or make it more appealing to prospective buyers.