Home improvement is the repair, maintenance, renovation or addition to a residential house or to its outdoor areas such as gardens, lawns, patios, decks and pools. It also includes interior work such as painting, refinishing floors or installing new furniture. In most states any labor performed on a home improvement is subject to sales tax. Check with your local department of taxation and finance or CPA for details.
The housing industry has seen a steady increase in home improvements as a result of higher house prices, low interest rates and the fact that many older homeowners are financially equipped to spend money on renovations. The largest proportion of home improvement spending is done by homeowners who are 55 and over.
Adding energy efficient features to your home is an excellent way to increase the value and comfort of your property while saving you money on your utility bills. Adding windows, insulation and a heat pump are just some of the ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.
It is important to plan any home improvements carefully and compare contractors before making a final decision. Prices vary and quality of work can also differ widely. You should always get a contract in writing before any work begins and make sure the contractor has a valid Maryland Home Improvement Contractor’s License. Also, it is wise to choose a contractor with a good reputation and long history in the community. Avoid contractors who are unable to provide references from past clients or who have serious criminal convictions.