What Is Home Improvement?

Home improvement is the process of making renovations and improvements to one’s living space. These include the addition or modification of rooms, the installation of fixtures and appliances, and the painting and repairing of surfaces in a home. A person performing home improvement may choose to do the work themselves or seek the services of a contractor. Typically, the term “home improvement” is applied to renovations that enhance the look, comfort or functionality of a home, but it can also apply to structural repairs and other improvements that are necessary to maintain a safe and healthy environment.

While some home improvement projects increase resale value, others don’t. For example, if you install a high-tech smart thermostat that adjusts energy use based on your schedule or the price of gas and electricity, it can save money but won’t necessarily improve resale value. Similarly, the more your upgrades are customized to your own taste, the less likely they are to appeal to future buyers. While a homeowner may love their bathroom’s marble floors, they may turn off potential buyers.

With construction and financing costs up, homeowners will be cautious about spending money on major remodels. Instead, they’ll likely focus on repairs that are necessary or that will give their homes a minor facelift, such as replacing worn flooring or adding fresh paint. Also on the list will be replacing worn windows and doors, especially if they’re drafty. In New York state, material costs are tax-exempt for home improvement projects if you have documentation that the project meets the state’s definition of a capital home improvement.

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