Home improvement or home renovation or remodeling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home.
Types of home improvementEdit
Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:
Beautification and added featuresEdit
- Wallpapering and painting walls or installing wood panelling.
- Adding new flooring such as carpets, tiling, linoleum, wood flooring, or solid hardwood flooring.
- Upgrading cabinets, fixtures, and sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Replacing siding and windows
- Improving the backyard with sliding doors, wooden patio decks, patio gardens, jacuzzis, swimming pools, and fencing.
- Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems.
- Waterproofing basements.
- Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.
Maintenance and repairEdit
Maintenance projects can include:
- Roof tear-off and replacement.
- Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.
- Repairing plumbing and electrical systems.
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.
Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:
- Energy-efficient insulation, windows, and lighting.
- Renewable energy with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, Programmable thermostats, and geothermal exchange heat pumps (see autonomous building)
Safety and preparednessEdit
Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:
- Home fire and burglar alarm systems.
- Fire sprinkler systems to protect homes from fires
- Security doors, windows, and shutters.
- Storm cellars as protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.
- Bomb shelters especially during the 1950s as protection from nuclear war.
- Backup generators for providing power during power outages
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.
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, and a $48 billion industry in Canada. The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.
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.
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
- ↑ Use a Programmable Thermostat, Common Sense, to Reduce Energy Bills
- ↑ National Association of Home Builders
- ↑ Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- ↑ Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University