Home Improvement 101

Home improvement is the process of upgrading or repairing the interior and exterior of a house. It also includes the installation, replacement, or repair of driveways, walkways, patios, porches, windows and doors, as well as paint, insulation, and a number of other fixtures and finishes.

Home improvements can be made for a variety of reasons, including to increase comfort or efficiency; add value to the property; make the home more attractive to potential buyers; or address problems with the structure and/or its systems. However, homeowners should consider the long-term impact of their renovations on resale value before deciding to undertake any project.

Popular television shows like Bob Vila’s This Old House and Trading Spaces helped to fuel a DIY ethos in the United States. As a result, more people began to spend their leisure time engaged in home improvement activities such as carpentry and painting. This increased DIY activity blurred the distinction between the traditionally male dominated realm of carpentry work and the largely feminine sphere of interior decorating and design.

Many home improvement projects have a positive effect on the quality of life in the home, but homeowners should carefully consider which ones to undertake. Some projects may not add significant value to the home and in fact may even decrease resale value. This can include renovations that are too personalized or go beyond the tastes of the average buyer, or that make the home look out of place in the neighborhood.