The Home Improvement Industry

Home improvement, also called house remodeling or residential renovation, is the process of upgrading a dwelling through construction or repairs to make it more pleasant and functional. This industry includes the sale of building materials, appliances, decor and other items used to enhance the home, as well as the work performed by contractors or tradespeople on those projects. The home improvement industry saw strong growth during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a spike in consumer spending on upgrades.

Some home improvements do not add value to the property, or may even detract from it. For example, installing a swimming pool in the backyard of a modest suburban house might not appeal to buyers looking for a family home. It is important for homeowners considering any significant improvements to talk to a real estate professional to ensure the project will be attractive to prospective buyers and is in line with the average price of homes in the neighborhood.

When hiring a contractor for a home improvement project, consumers should read contracts carefully to ensure they understand what is being done and the costs involved. Maryland law requires a contract to be in writing and signed by both the consumer and contractor before any work begins, and to include an arbitration clause. It is also a good idea to establish a payment schedule, withholding final payment until the work is completed and all inspections and certificates of occupancy are issued. If you have any questions, contact the MHIC for assistance.

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