Home improvement refers to a variety of projects homeowners undertake to upgrade their dwelling, such as renovating or installing new equipment or making structural changes. The term is also used for projects that restore a property to its original condition, such as repainting or refinishing hardwood floors. The most common reasons for undertaking home improvement projects include enhancing the house’s appearance and functionality, adding space, or fixing damage.
Some remodeling projects have a very high return on investment, such as adding an extra bedroom or bathroom, but others don’t add as much value to the home as they cost. It is important to research which projects will add the most value to your home before making any commitments.
The popularity of television shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House and a renewed interest in craftsmanship among consumers contributed to the growth of the home improvement industry. During the 1990s, highly successful DIY programs helped to blur the distinction between what was considered a male-dominated area of home repair and improvement, such as carpentry work, and the broader “feminine” sphere of interior decorating and design. Ads for power tools and hardware also began to feature father and son working together on a home project, as a way of reinforcing the idea that a homeowner could do their own repairs and renovations rather than hiring professionals.
According to the September NerdWallet survey, 80% of homeowners say they typically stick to the budget they set for their home repair or improvement projects. This is higher than the 76% who said this in 2018.