Home improvement, also known as remodeling or renovation, is the process of making changes to an existing home. This can include anything from minor maintenance and repair work to major upgrades. It can be for a variety of reasons such as personal preference, comfort or safety.
When looking for a contractor, it is important to check that they are licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). A contract should be in writing and have a license number preprinted on it. It should be signed by both the consumer and the contractor before work begins or any money is paid.
The average homeowner spends over a half-trillion dollars on home repairs and improvements in a two-year period, according to the 2021 American Housing Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A significant percentage of homeowners spent their home-improvement funds primarily using cash. However, 20% of respondents had to make sacrifices such as cutting back on discretionary spending or selling items, 14% used emergency savings, 12% used debt such as loans or credit card debt and 8% borrowed against their home equity.
Another large trend among homeowners is that they are planning to invest in energy-efficient updates. These projects can reduce utility costs, giving consumers a much-needed reprieve during high inflation. They are also good for the environment. For instance, updating to a more efficient heating system can help improve air quality and save the homeowner money in the long run.