Home Improvement: Meaning, Types, Steps and Advantages
Everybody has their preferences when it comes to home, fixtures and facilities. As new home designs and fixtures with better look and functionalities are being introduced in the real estate market on daily basis, a good number of homeowners have a need to renovate their homes to meet their taste or in accordance with the building requirements of the town planning authorities of their various localities. Renovation of a home for whatever reason is what is generally referred to as home improvement, home remodelling or home renovation.
What is home improvement?
Home improvement is the process of adding new fixture or removing existing fixtures in order to create more space or improve the functionality of a home. It may not be limited to building projects only. Projects like improvement or addition of gardens, outdoor structures, garages, garden, loft and others are also referred to as home improvement projects. Maintenance and repair works form part of home remodelling projects. There are various reasons why homeowners renovate their homes. Here are some of the reasons why homeowners have a need for home renovation.
Creating more space or enhancing the functionality of their home
One of the major reasons why some homeowners embark on home improvement is to create more space in their homes or enhance its functionality. When a family expands or increases in number it may have a need to create more living space in its existing home. A couple living in a home of three rooms may have a need to create additional room if they have three children. In other words, the couple will embark on a home improvement project in order to create more space for their children. Similarly, a family that has acquired more properties may need to expand or create additional closet for the storage of their items. So, home remodelling is necessary to make a home more functional or to create additional space in a home.
To meet new government policies
At times, the building and town planning authority of a locality may come up with a new policy that may require homeowners to embark on home improvement project in order to put their homes at the required standard. If you buy a home which does not meet the required standard, you have to renovate it in compliance with the new requirements.
Meeting your test
The greater number of homeowners that renovate their homes decided to embark on the home improvement project in order to put their homes to the standard they like. Their homes may be equipped with old fashioned home fixtures and amenities and they will want to add the latest amenities and fixtures in their homes. The only means to include those fixtures and amenities or to put their homes to the standard they want is to renovate them.
Addition some structures to improve the look of their homes
Home improvement projects are carried out by some homeowners just to improve the look of their homes. The major renovation work is done in the external of the building if home improvement project is carried for the purposes of improving the look of a home. However, it is possible for some additions to be made in the interior of the house for a better look.
To make the home serve another purpose
Home improvement or renovation can be carried in order to put the home to another use. There are some families that may decide to use part of their homes as a guest house in order to make money from it. To achieve this purpose, they have to renovate their home, remove and add certain structures, fixtures and amenities.
They above are some of the reasons why most homeowners embark on home improvement projects. Given this, there are various types of home improvement projects. Below are some types of home improvements.
Types of home improvement
This is a type of home improvement project carried out in order to add fixtures and amenities that will make the home more comfortable and relaxing. Works such as upgrading of AC, heating and ventilation systems, bettering the electrical and plumbing system and soundproofing and waterproofing of basements are all grouped under this type of home improvement.
Maintenance and repair
In this type of home improvement project, no new addition is made. Instead, the existing structures and fixtures are repaired, serviced and maintained in order to improve their functionality. The maintenance or repair work includes:
- roof replacement or sealing of opening in a roof which causes leakage
- plumbing and electrical system repair
- rooms, walls and fence repairing
- repair and maintenance of swimming pools and other outdoor structures
Creating of addition space
This is a type of home improvement embarked on in order to create additional space for storage or living purposes. This type of home improvement project may be somewhat complicated and will required expertise. This is because it may lead to the knocking down of some existing structures to make it possible for the new one to be created. Such projects may include:
- Turning basements or other marginal areas into a room or other functional spaces like home office, closet, home theatres, home gyms and others
- Adding a loom, expanding the kitchen space, making the living room more spacious and similar projects
This is home improvement projects aimed at enhancing the safety and security of the home. It involves the inclusion of security alarm systems and safety devices. Some of the systems that may be installed during the renovation work of this type include:
- Burglar alarm systems
- Fire alarm system
- Storm cellar to protect the home from hurricanes and tornadoes
- Fire sprinkler system for protection against fires
- Backup generators to ensure steady power supply during power outages
- Bomb shelters to protect the house against bombs and gun fire
Home improvement for saving energy
The target of the homeowners embarking on this type of home improvement is to lower utility costs by saving energy. The devices or systems that will help to reduce energy consumption in the home are included. Some of such devices are energy-efficient thermal insulation, wood-burning stoves, wind turbines, geothermal exchange heat pump, replacement windows and lighting and many more.
Home improvement steps
Home improvement is a major project and therefore it requires some planning. Some homeowners do not take such works seriously. It should be taken as serious as home building project. If you do poor work, a lot of things may go wrong. Poor home improvement work can affect the strength of your building, the market value of your home, the visual appeal of your home and you may have problem with government authorities. In order to ensure that everything goes fine when you want to renovate your home, here are some steps to take.
Decide on the type of home improvement you
The first thing you should do is to determine the type of home improvement you want. In order to help you capture fully the type of home improvement you want, you should ask yourself some basic questions. What do you want to achieve by embarking on this project? Why are you renovating your home? The answer to the above question determines the type of home improvement you will need.
Now that you have known the type of home improvement you want, you should make budget for it. You should not embark on any home improvement projects without first making budgets for it. Home improvement can be very costly. So, make budget for it and stick to your budget. While making budget, you have to include costs for unplanned work. Don’t assume that unplanned work will not arise. During home improvement, a lot of unplanned work may arise. For example, inclusion of a structure can lead to the breaking of existing structure and this will give rise to more works.
Raise funds for it
Don’t start the work if you have no sufficient fund available for it. You may make use of your savings or borrow loans from a financial institution. You can now start the work if you obtained sufficient fund.
Obtain government permission
Find out from your local building and town planning authority if you need permission to carry out the renovation work. In some localities, you are required to obtain permission before you can embark on any home improvement project. So, in order to avoid the wrath of your local town building authority, you have to obtain necessary permission and do all documentation.
Hire expert building constructor
Some home improvement works are do-it-yourself type of work. However, there are some that are very complicated and require high level of expertise. So, if you are embarking on home improvement project that requires expertise, you should try to hire a professional building constructor.
Make arrangement for where your family will stay during the renovation project
This depends on the type of renovation you are doing. In some home improvement project, it is unsafe for the occupant to the house to remain in it while the renovation work is being carried out. You can ask your friends or neighbours to accommodate you during the period of the renovation. If you have a need to remove some of your properties, rent storage facilities and keep them there.
The above tips will help you to successfully complete the project and achieve your target.