Home Improvement 101

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Home improvement is any activity that improves, repairs, restores or adds value to residential real property. It includes everything from installing a new roof to remodeling your kitchen.

Taxes & Insurance

Home improvements that increase your home’s value may also yield tax benefits at the time of sale, such as energy-efficient upgrades. You’ll want to consult with your state’s department of taxation and finance to see how the costs of your project might affect your taxes.

Renovations that add value and resale will typically pay off in the long run, according to experts. The key is to make sure your investments provide a return that outweighs the cost of your improvements.

What to Avoid

Whether you’re planning a major renovation or an update, make sure your work is done by a licensed contractor. Maryland’s Home Improvement Law requires that all contracts be in writing and that contractors pass a test on home improvement law and general business competency before beginning any work.

What to Do

If you’re a homeowner and need help improving your home, contact your local building department to find out about programs and services available to you. Many offer free consultations to give you an idea of what your options are, and how much it will cost to have a licensed contractor work on your home.

Don’t Overbuild

Homeowners often embark on home improvement projects based on the hopes that they will increase their homes’ resale value. Those projects aren’t always a good idea, however, and can actually decrease your home’s value.