There are certainties in life: death, taxes and for homeowners, home improvement projects. Whether they are sparkling bathroom overhauls or big-ticket kitchen and basement renovations, these can be costly and time consuming. But some renovations can also deliver solid ROI when you go to sell, especially if the work is done right.
Some home improvement projects can’t wait, like repairing electrical problems, fixing leaky roofs or replacing worn doorknobs. But most can be planned, researched and implemented within your budget.
The key to staying on track with a home improvement project is accurately estimating the cost in the beginning and adding a buffer to cover any cost overages. NerdWallet’s Home Improvement Estimator tool can help you get a handle on project costs and determine how much to budget for your remodel.
A good contractor will be licensed and insured, and have references from previous clients. Be sure to check those before hiring someone for any work. It is also a good idea to make sure your contractor is registered with the local building department.
When it comes to financing a home improvement project, most homeowners pay cash out of savings for the majority of their projects, according to the American Housing Survey. But larger, more expensive projects are paid for with sources like credit cards, personal loans and contractor-arranged financing. Almost three-fourths of the respondents to NerdWallet’s September survey indicated they would be more cautious about allowing contractors into their homes due to safety concerns over the coronavirus.