In this guide we look at the basic principles of home improvement, including how it can be used to improve a home. We also look at some issues which might impact your ability to undertake a home improvement project and pitfalls to look out for!
In most cases, home improvement is carried out as a necessity, though some make it a hobby because DIY (do it yourself!) home improvement can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Primary reasons to undertake home improvement include:
* Beautification: This type of home improvement includes wallpapering, painting and panelling, flooring, carpeting, tiling, upgrading fixtures and fittings, replacing doors and windows and garden improvements.
* Comfort: This includes upgrading of air conditioning, heating and ventilation, increasing plumbing and electrical capacity, water and sound proofing rooms.
* Maintenance: Roof repair and re-building, concrete and masonry repairs, chimney, plumbing and electrical repairs also fall into this category of home improvement.
* Safety: This type of home improvement includes anything relating to safety, such as fire and burglar alarms, sprinkler systems, storm cellars and bomb shelters and backup generators.
* Energy / Cost reduction: More recently it’s becoming popular and economical to undertake significant home improvement with an aim to reducing utility bills. Either through improved insulation, more energy efficient utilities, or even energy generation systems such as windmills or solar panels.
Though the reasons for home improvement are many and varied, the methods of undertaking it are few. Home improvement can be undertaken by any suitably skilled and determined individual. Consumer DIY shops provide all the tools and materials required for this ‘do it yourself’ approach to home improvement. However, many home owners feel more comfortable employing professional builders and specialist tradespeople to undertake their home improvement projects.
In this case, a person might opt to employ a general contractor, who is capable of overseeing a home improvement project which requires multiple trade skills. In addition, they will take care of waste collection, plan work scheduling, and oversee safety and planning requirements.
Alternatively, the individual might feel comfortable undertaking the responsibilities of general contractor themselves. In this case they must contact and hire relevantly skilled workers and take care of the home improvement requirements listed above.