Home improvement is a common household activity that involves fixing, improving, or updating parts of the house. It can include anything from painting, to plumbing, to remodeling the kitchen or bath. These activities are usually undertaken to add functionality or beauty to the house, but can also be done for resale purposes. Home improvements can be very costly, and homeowners should always be prepared for unexpected costs.
In the 1970s, the popularity of television home improvement shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House encouraged more Americans to renovate their homes on their own. The show’s step-by-step approach to renovation, combined with the growing interest in craftsmanship, contributed to a popular interest in older-looking houses. Consumers could “historicize” their suburban homes by using decorative molding and other architectural features that imitated Victorian era designs.
According to the American Housing Survey, homeowners spent $522 billion on 115 million projects during the 2017-2019 period. Married couples with children were the most likely to pursue a project, but single adults and millennials were also active remodelers. These demographic differences could be due to affordability challenges or simply a difference in the way these groups perceive the value of home improvement projects.
When choosing a contractor to work on your home improvement project, it is important to do your research. Ask friends and neighbors about contractors they have used, and make sure to check references. It is also recommended to choose a licensed contractor that has the MHIC license number preprinted on their contracts.