Why Home Improvement Matters – Save Money, Time, & Headache

What Does Home Improvement Mean?

Home improvement can mean a number of different things, depending upon the context in which the phrase is used.  Informally, it usually takes on the meaning of something like renovating or making minor alterations to a home or living space.  This description is good enough in day-to-day vocabulary, right?  Most everyone will agree that this simple definition or description is sufficient most of the time. Unfortunately, like most things in life, a wrench always gets thrown into the equation.

More Formal Home Improvement Definition

There are other instances where “home improvement” requires a formal definition.  For example, it can take on a legal meaning – think Maryland’s The Home Improvement Law, which “defines ‘home improvement’ as the addition to or alteration, conversion, improvement, modernization, remodeling, repair, or replacement of a building or part of a building that is used or designed to be used as a residence or dwelling place or a structure adjacent to that building; or an improvement to land adjacent to the building.”

Another legal definition comes from the New Jersey Administrative Code.  This definition states that “’[h]ome improvement’ means the remodeling, altering, painting, repairing, renovating, restoring, moving, demolishing, or modernizing of residential or noncommercial property or the making of additions thereto, and includes, but is not limited to, the construction, installation, replacement, improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, patios, landscaping, fences, porches, windows, doors, cabinets, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements and basement waterproofing, fire protection devices, security protection devices, central heating and air conditioning equipment, water softeners, heaters, and purifiers, solar heating or water systems, insulation installation, siding, wall-to-wall carpeting or attached or inlaid floor coverings, and other changes, repairs, or improvements made in or on, attached to or forming a part of the residential or noncommercial property, but does not include the construction of a new residence. The term extends to the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or noncommercial property and includes any of the above activities performed under emergency conditions.

What Should Count As Home Improvement

The distinction between the informal and formal definitions of “home improvement” can certainly have consequences that may or may not be intended for a homeowner.  At least two subjects come to mind when someone thinks about what should count as home improvement – tax credits and historic properties.

Home Improvement & Tax Credits

Among other reasons, the primary reason in which a homeowner can get a tax credit involves the concept of energy efficiency.  According to walletgenius, one can obtain “a one-time credit (meaning you can’t take it every year), [that] lets you write off 30 percent of the cost of any solar, geothermal, wind or fuel cell technology you’re adding to your home (the fuel cell technology applies only to a primary home), as long it was up and running by the end of 2019.”  If you’re thinking about taking tax credits and contemplating whether to make your home more energy-efficient, be sure to do your homework, as restrictions to what counts as an energy-efficient home improvement are plentiful.

What About Historic Properties?

Historic properties are also subject to incredibly restrictive rules and regulations, usually when the work being done is considered a renovation.  According to millionacres, “[r]enovating a historic house could prove challenging because you’ll often face restrictions on what you can and cannot do. The reason? The purpose of designating a house as a historic home is to help ensure that its preservation is upheld.  As such, any project that takes away from that will most likely not fly.”  So, if you own property that’s listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with what you legally can and can’t do when it comes to improving your home.

Why Home Improvement Matters & Why It’s Important

There are many reasons on offer for why home improvements are important outside of tax credits and historic properties.  We’re going to discuss three of these reasons – quality of living, your home’s resale value, and energy costs.

#1 Reason Why Home Improvement Matters – Quality Of Living

First, the quality of living runs on a sliding scale, anywhere from high to low.  If your quality of living has been diminished because of outdated appliances, unsightly bathtubs, or popcorn ceilings, then there are a few ways to up your living standards.  These ways can include updating dated appliances, installing a glass-enclosed shower, and scraping off that popcorn ceiling.  In addition, adding, renovating, or replacing certain larger aspects of your home should increase the quality of living in your home.  It’s up to you to decide what your home improvements will be.

#2 Reason Why Home Improvement Matters – Resale Value Of Your Home

Next, as mentioned in the previous section, the resale value of your home should dictate what home improvements you decide will increase asset value.  Almost any home improvement that adds more square footage to your home should increase the value of your home.  How about renovating or adding an addition that allows for extra storage, like expanding the garage or restructuring your attic?  Just think of the last time you complained about the lack of storage area in your home.  Yes, we all want to get organized but often have trouble because the storage in our homes simply doesn’t lend you that extra helping hand.

#3 Reason Why Home Improvement Matters – Energy Costs

Finally, reducing energy costs must be addressed here.  Nobody wants to pay extra because of old, drafty floors and inefficient single-pane windows.  While we’re on this topic, energy-efficient home improvements can be used as tax credits, so be sure you or your accountant look into what home improvements could reduce your yearly tax payments.

What Is The Difference Between Home Repair And Home Improvement?

The difference between a home repair and a home improvement is really a question that matters within the context of the IRS and available tax credits.  Publication 523 is the official word about what home undertakings get included or excluded in the tax credit domain.  Be sure to thoroughly read the document, as specifics and caveats to what is included or excluded may be overlooked.  One easy example of an exception that can easily be overlooked is that “broken windowpanes is a repair, but replacing the same window as part of a project of replacing all the windows in your home counts as an improvement.”

What Are Major Home Improvements?

Although it’s unclear what the word “major” means when it comes to home improvement, maybe the term should be replaced with “valuable” instead.  After all, the resale value of your home should be the single most important consideration with any home improvement project.

Major Home Improvements For Your Home’s Interior

Perhaps the most obvious home improvement that adds value to your home is updating your kitchen and dining area.  Since we spend so much time in the kitchen doing homework, chatting about our lives, and, of course, cooking – it’s no wonder why a kitchen home improvement is one of the most valuable major home improvement projects any homeowner should consider.  Styles have changed considerably since the 1970s, and appliances are far more energy-efficient than they were decades ago.  Those dingy yellow dishwashers and refrigerators that were popular then should be updated during renovations today with a more contemporary aesthetic, such as stainless steel, black stainless steel, or black slate.  In addition, other countertop materials (such as marble and granite) can make or break a decision of a potential home buyer.

Major Home Improvements For Your Home’s Exterior

When it comes to your home’s exterior, installing a deck might be one of the largest investments you can make to spruce up the outside of your home.  Some deck designs to consider include wraparound, multi-tier, attached, detached, and rooftop/over the garage.  Which deck design is chosen will clearly tie into what kind of house you own and the terrain of your property.  Additionally, let’s not forget that decks are made with different kinds of materials, such as pressure-treated wood, cedar, and composite.  Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to do proper research before choosing your decking material.

Remember, too, that the value of an item – in this case, your home – is whatever somebody is willing to pay for it.  It’s up to you to provide the correct bait.  If the bait you used cost you less than the return on your home, you’ve definitely made a financially wise decision.

Recap

Home improvement can mean a few different things depending on the context.  However, home improvement for homeowners typically means renovating your home or making small alterations to it.  In this context, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to why home improvement matters – the quality of living, resale value, and energy costs.

The most important area to update during your home improvement is your kitchen and dining areas.  This can be as simple as upgrading appliances or changing out the countertops.  And if you’re looking to renovate your home’s exterior, installing a deck is the way to go.  Just make sure to do your research on what type of deck you want and what material you’re willing to pay for.

Are you looking to start a home improvement project, like putting up a fence around your property or landscaping your driveway?  Don’t forget to give us a call today at 844-47-WASTE if you’re looking to rent a dumpster for your next home improvement project!

Dumpster Rental in Why Home Improvement Matters – Save Money, Time, & Headache was last modified: November 10th, 2020 by Dumpster Rental

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