Home Improvement Trends for 2009

Home improvement

Home improvement is an activity carried out by homeowners to improve their homes. This includes renovation of interior spaces as well as exterior work. It is an excellent way to give one’s house a makeover and can also add value to the property. It is a popular pastime for many people, especially during economic downturns.

The top five categories surging this year have to do with the outdoors, Anderson says: deck construction is up nearly threefold, hiring landscapers has surged by 280% and putting up fences has jumped by 144%. Other projects climbing include pouring concrete (up 22%), installing new windows (10%) and replacing roofs (8%).

However, homeowners should consider the resale value of the improvements before committing to them. It’s a good idea to consult with a real estate agent to get their perspective on the cost-versus-return of specific projects before taking on a big job like adding a master suite.

When it comes to funding, the majority of home improvement projects are paid for using cash from savings, according to the American Housing Survey. But more expensive ones can be funded through sources like cash-out refinancing, home equity loans and contractor arranged financing. Credit cards are an option, too, but it’s generally a bad idea to go into debt for home improvement.

In terms of contractors, it’s important to find a licensed professional with a proven track record. It’s also wise to verify license and insurance information as well as perform background checks before hiring anyone to work on your house. In addition, Maryland law requires that all contracts for home improvement projects be written and signed by both the consumer and the contractor.