Most homeowners have, or will at some point, improve their home, either structurally, functionally, cosmetically or all of the above. Some home improvements can be done fairly easily, even DIY'd, while others may require professional assistance. Some of the key areas to consider when first contemplating a proposed home improvement include:
Cost: the cost of home improvement generally will include both time and materials, but may also include the cost of permits, plans, utilities and tools.
Necessity: is the proposed improvement a "nice to have" or is it a necessity? Is the improvement required by circumstance (for example, damage to the existing structure or a change in living situation which requires expanding the home).
Benefit: there are both short term and long term benefits to improving your home.
Value: does the cost of the project pay for itself in terms of improvements to your quality of life and/or monetary gain (increased house value, ability to generate an income from working from home, etc.)
Once you have looked at the cost/benefit analysis and have decided to move forward with your project, be sure to look at the following:
This section covers some of the items listed above, and also contains articles on renovations, upgrades and DIY resources.