Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, restoration and improvement of residential real property. It can also include the addition of an accessory, such as a porch or patio, to a residential property. Home improvements are often aimed at increasing the resale value of the home or simply making it more functional for the homeowners.
While many homeowners are tempted to unleash their inner Bob Vila and jump into a renovation, the truth is that it’s easy to go over budget and end up spending more than you get back when it comes time to sell. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a budget before starting any work. Make sure that you have a detailed list of the non-negotiable elements of your project and use online planning tools to help you model and compare options. This will help you negotiate with contractors, lock in firm prices and avoid surprises. It will also help you ferret out unscrupulous contractors who may try to convince you to have work done that isn’t necessary or a good idea.
It is also a good idea to have the contract for your home improvement project written up with as much detail as possible, including the dates when the work will be performed and when it will be substantially completed. New York State law requires that contracts for home improvement contain certain information, such as a description of the work, payment schedules and as many specifics about materials and brands as possible (or at least those you prefer). It should also list all of the people who will perform the work and their contact information.