Howard Construction
Remodels - Custom Homes - Additions
Remodels
While "home improvement" often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, it can also include improvements to lawns, gardens, and outdoor structures, such as gazebos and garages. It also encompasses maintenance, repair and general servicing tasks. Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:

Comfort

Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems.Waterproofing basements.Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.

Maintenance and repair

Maintenance projects can include:

Roof tear-off and replacement.Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.Repairing plumbing and electrical systems.

Additional space

Additional living space may be added by:

Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms, home theaters, or home offices – or attics into spare bedrooms.Extending one's house with rooms added to the side of one's home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof.

Saving energy

Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:

Energy-efficient thermal insulation, replacement windows, and lighting.Renewable energy with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, programmable thermostats,[1] and geothermal exchange heat pumps (see autonomous building).

Safety and preparedness

Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:

Home fire and burglar alarm systems.Fire sprinkler systems to protect homes from fires.Security doors, windows, and shutters.Storm cellars as protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.Bomb shelters especially during the 1950s as protection from nuclear war.Backup generators for providing power during power outages.

Professional versus do-it-yourself

Typically, there are three alternative approaches to managing a home improvement project: hiring a general contractor, directly hiring specialized contractors, or doing the work oneself.

A general contractor oversees a home improvement project that involves multiple trades. A general contractor acts as project manager, providing access to the site, removing debris, coordinating work schedules, and performing some aspects of the work.

35% of homeowners, according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report bypass the general contractor, and hire tradesmen themselves, including plumbers, electricians and roofers.

Another strategy is to "do it yourself" (DIY). 67% of homeowners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report. Several major American retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, specialize in selling materials and tools for DIY home improvement. These stores host classes and carry numerous books to teach customers how to do the work themselves. DIY websites also provide information, in the form of how-to videos, articles and step-by-step instructions.

Marketplace conditions that can motivate DIY home improvement include (1) the economic benefits of DIY, (2) a perceived lack of goods and service quality, and (3) the limited availability of desired goods and services. Besides a finished product, individuals can create higher order outcomes such as Producing a Better Life, Control in Life, Fun and Excitement, and a Sense of Self-Improvement.[2]