Whether you’re looking to make simple updates or major renovations, a bit of research and planning goes a long way. It’s best to get the non-negotiable details hammered out first, so you know what results to expect and how much it will cost.
Home improvement covers a wide range of projects, from updating appliances to adding a patio or deck. It can also refer to improvements that increase energy efficiency and lower bills, such as installing smart thermostats or upgrading insulation.
Americans spent about half a trillion dollars on home improvement between 2019 and 2021, according to the most recent American Housing Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. During this two-year period, homeowners remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, ripped out and replaced carpets, turned basements into additional living space and added extensions to their homes.
However, not all upgrades are created equal. Some might not add value to your property if they are overly personalized or don’t align with buyer preferences in your local market. But other projects, such as updating your electric system or fixing a roof leak, might be critical to keep your family safe or prevent serious damage down the line.
Many home improvement projects are wildly popular and can yield significant returns on investment, but it’s important to plan your spending carefully. Fewer than half of those who took on home improvement projects during the last two years were able to pay for them without having to make sacrifices, tap into savings or take on debt, according to a NerdWallet survey.