Home improvement, also known as house improvement or renovation is the process of repairing or improving the interior and exterior of a home. It includes work on plumbing, electrical wiring, drywall and shingles. Home improvement can be a DIY project or it can involve hiring professionals. Projects can range from painting a room to installing an entire new kitchen.
The majority of homeowners are motivated to undertake home improvement projects for a variety of reasons. For many, the primary reason is to improve their quality of life by making their home more comfortable and attractive. Other common motivations include increasing home value, improving aesthetic design and addressing issues of maintenance and safety.
Some homeowners take out a home equity line of credit to finance their home improvement projects. Others may use a combination of savings and credit cards. In either case, it is important to consider the financial implications of any home improvements you plan before beginning.
Not all home improvement projects increase a property’s value. In fact, some may actually detract from the value of a home. For example, neglecting to maintain a working fireplace can result in soot and creosote build-up that turns off buyers.
The popularity of home improvement television shows and the proliferation of DIY products have contributed to the rise of home remodeling as a leisure activity. For example, the popular television show This Old House triggered a fascination with Victorian-era home details that caused manufacturers to produce cheap imitation molding and columns. Steven Gelber, “Do-It-Yourself: Construction, Repairing and Domestic Masculinity,” American Quarterly 49 (March 1997): 89-112.