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Home improvement or home renovation or remodeling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home.

Types of home improvementEdit

While it most often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, home renovation can include improvements to lawns and gardens and outbuildings like gazebos and garages.

Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:

Beautification and added featuresEdit


Maintenance and repairEdit

Maintenance projects can include:

Additional spaceEdit

Additional living space may be added by:

  • Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms, home theaters, or home offices – or attics into spare bedrooms.
  • Extending one's house with rooms added to the side of one's home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof.

Saving energyEdit

Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:

Safety and preparednessEdit

Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:

Professional versus do-it-yourselfEdit

There are three main approaches to managing a home improvement project: hiring a general contractor, directly hiring specialized contractors, or doing the work oneself.

A general contractor oversees a home improvement project that involves multiple trades. A general contractor acts as project manager, providing access to the site, removing debris, coordinating work schedules, and performing some aspects of the work.

35% of homeowners, according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report bypass the general contractor, and hire tradesmen themselves, including plumbers, electricians and roofers.

Another strategy is to "do it yourself" (DIY). 67% of homeowners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report. Several major American retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowes, specialize in selling materials and tools for DIY home improvement. These stores host classes and carry numerous books to teach customers how to do the work themselves. DIY websites also provide information.

Home improvement industryEdit

Home or residential renovation is a $300 billion industry in the United States,[2] and a $48 billion industry in Canada.[3] The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.[4]

There are several types of companies that contribute to the booming renovation industry. Supply businesses such as Home Depot, Lowes, Menards and Rona Lansing provide all the materials and tools necessary to facilitate home renovations. Many online companies and home improvement websites offer tips, guidelines and trends to give homeowners ideas for design and décor.


Playing a critical role are the professional associations created to represent the architects, architectural technologists, interior designers and skilled trades that provide specialized services to homeowners. These associations provide credibility, trade guidelines and useful information to help homeowners learn more about the trades they are about to hire.[citation needed]

Associations include:

Renovation ContractorsEdit

Perhaps the most important or visible professionals in the renovation industry are renovation contractors or skilled trades. These are the builders that have specialized credentials, licensing and experience to perform renovation services in specific municipalities. While there is a fairly large ‘grey market’ of unlicensed companies, there are those that have membership in a reputable association or are accredited by a professional organization.

Home improvement on televisionEdit

Home improvement was launched on television in 1979 with the premiere of This Old House starring Bob Vila on PBS.

The sitcom Home Improvement used the home improvement theme for comedic purposes.

American cable channel HGTV features many do-it-yourself shows, as does sister channel DIY Network and the competing Discovery Home.

See alsoEdit

Specific technologiesEdit


  1. Use a Programmable Thermostat, Common Sense, to Reduce Energy Bills
  2. National Association of Home Builders
  3. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  4. Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Further readingEdit

  • Litchfield, Michael (2005). Renovation 3rd Edition. Taunton Press. ISBN 1-56158-588-2. 

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