Home improvement is the renovation, repair and maintenance of a home, including the addition of rooms, and the installation of plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems. It also includes replacing fixtures, appliances and other parts of the home to improve its functionality. The home improvement industry is comprised of companies that produce building materials, equipment, decor and design for residential spaces as well as companies that provide contracting, labor, installation and other services to homeowners. It is important for consumers to be aware that not all contractors are licensed and should perform due diligence such as verifying license and insurance, performing business checks and checking references before hiring anyone to work on your house.
Those that are unlicensed can be subject to civil and criminal penalties and may have vehicles seized. For example, in New York City it is a class A misdemeanor to engage in “home improvement” without a license.
A home improvement is any alteration, addition, modification or improvement to an existing structure that extends to the exterior of a building, including landscaping, swimming pools and driveways. The term can also refer to the repair, replacement or remodeling of kitchens, bathrooms and basements.
Some projects are done purely for resale value, while others are based on the homeowner’s comfort and enjoyment of their living space. Regardless of the reason, it is important for homeowners to stay within their budgets and not go into debt with their home improvements.