The term, home improvement, is typically utilized in order to describe projects which alter the structure of a private residence. However, the term may also encompass improvements to surrounding areas of homes, including lawns, gardens and garages. In addition to adding to or modifying structures or surrounding areas, home improvement may refer to maintenance, repairs, and periodic servicing tasks.
Who Performs Home Improvements?
Home improvements may be carried out by home owners, in DIY (do-it-yourself) fashion, or they may be carried out by contractors, who will be hired in order to bring a professional touch to home/lawn/garage upgrades or repairs. Certain types of home improvements are best left to licensed professionals. For example, electrical upgrades or repairs should only be made by licensed electricians. Examples of other types of home improvements which may benefit from the professional touch include those which are related to plumbing, insulation and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
However, some home improvements may be performed by home owners. Examples of common home improvements which are carried out by home owners include painting walls, removing or replacing wallpaper, kitchen appliance/ décor upgrades and the conversion of basements into finished, functional interiors, such as family recreation rooms.
These days, an array of DIY resources are available, all of which make it easier for home owners to master the fundamentals of making home improvements on their own. Examples of resources of this nature include YouTube instructional (how to) videos, HGTV programs, books, blogs, magazine articles and podcasts. Typically, home owners who prefer to perform repairs and upgrades are their own are attempting to save money.
Reasons for Home Improvements
There are various reasons why home improvements are performed. However, the most common reason is typically to boost the comfort level of a residence. For example, installing an air conditioning system may be a means of creating ideal temperature levels, especially during the warm-weather months. In some areas, year-round air conditioning is very important to home comfort.
Another key reason why home improvements are selected is resale value. Home owners who plan to “flip” their investments or sell their homes later on will find that particular home improvements tend to have a positive effect on resale values. Examples of home improvements which tend to bump up resale values include the modernization of kitchens and bathrooms, as well as changing from colorful walls and ceilings to more neutral palettes.
Home Improvement Industry Governing Bodies
These days, home and residential renovation is very big business. In fact, the industry drums up 300 billion dollars per year (USA figures). Governing bodies (American) for the home improvement industry include the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Redesign Industry Specialists. Contractors who wish to offer their valued clientele with access to superlative credentials will typically strive to join the most appropriate and respected governing bodies (associations). These associations will have high standards which members must follow in order to remain members in good standing.
Home Improvement Supplies
Many “big box” retailers offer an array of home improvements supplies to customers. In terms of American retailers, the most well-known as probably Home Depot and Lowe’s. In Canada, Home Hardware and Home Depot are popular. However, smaller chain stores or independent hardware stores are also there to provide tools, materials and other supplies related to performing home improvements.
The biggest retailers in the world, such as Wal-Mart, also offer a range of home improvement supplies.
These days, more and more people are choosing to shop online for the supplies that they need. While the cost of shipping will always need to be factored in when shopping via the World Wide Web, many online retailers do offer appealing prices and special deals on shipping. Since online consumers are able to comparison-shop with ease, before purchasing home improvement supplies in their communities or online, the Internet does give consumers more power and control over how much they spend and where they spend their money.
Other types of retailers who offer home improvement supplies include carpeting supply stores, appliance stores and furniture stores. Lawn and garden shops may also supply materials and equipment to contractors or do-it-yourself enthusiasts.