The concept of home improvement, home renovation, or remodeling is the process of renovating
or making additions to one's home. Home improvement can consist of projects that upgrade an existing home interior (such as electrical and plumbing), exterior (masonry, concrete, siding, roofing) or other improvements to the property (i.e. garden work or garage maintenance/additions).
Types of home improvement
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:
and air conditioning
*Upgrading rooms with luxuries, such as adding gourmet
features to a kitchen or a hot tub spa
to a bathroom.
*Increasing the capacity of plumbing
rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.
Maintenance and repair
Maintenance projects can include:
tear-off and replacement.
*Replacement or new construction windows.
repairs to the foundation
*Repainting rooms, walls or fence
Additional living space may be added by:
*Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms
, home theater
s, or home office
s – or attic
s into spare bedroom
*Extending one's house with rooms added to the side of one's home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof
. Such a new unit of construction is called an "add-on".
Homeowners may reduce utility
*Energy-efficient thermal insulation
, replacement window
s, and lighting
with biomass pellet stove
s, wood-burning stove
s, solar panel
s, wind turbine
s, programmable thermostat
s, and geothermal exchange heat pump
s (see autonomous building
Safety and preparedness
safety measures such as:
*Home fire and burglar alarm
*Fire sprinkler system
s to protect homes from fires.
*Security doors, windows, and shutters
s as protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.
especially during the 1950s as protection from nuclear war.
for providing power during power outage
Home improvement industry
Home or residential
renovation is an almost $300 billion industry in the United States,
[Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 2007](_blank)
/ref> and a $48 billion industry in Canada.
The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.
Professional home improvement is ancient and goes back to the beginning of recorded civilization. One example is Sergius Orata, who in the 1st century B.C. is said by the writer Vitruvius (in his famous book De architectura) to have invented the hypocaust. The hypocaust is an underfloor heating system that was used throughout the Roman empire in villas of the wealthy. He is said to have become wealthy himself by buying villas at a low price, adding spas and his newly invented hypocaust, and reselling them at higher prices.
Perhaps the most important or visible professionals in the renovation industry are renovation contractors or skilled trades. These are the builders that have specialized credentials, licensing and experience to perform renovation services in specific municipalities.
While there is a fairly large ‘grey market’ of unlicensed companies, there are those that have membership in a reputable association and/or are accredited by a professional organization. Homeowners are recommended to perform checks such as verifying license and insurance and checking business references prior to hiring a contractor to work on their house.
Aggregators are companies that bundle home improvement service offers and act as intermediary agency between service providers and customers.
In popular culture
Home improvement was popularized on television in 1979 with the premiere of ''This Old House'' starring Bob Vila on PBS. American cable channel HGTV features many do-it-yourself shows, as does sister channel DIY Network.
Danny Lipford hosts and produces the nationally syndicated ''Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford''. Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete co-host the nationally syndicated ''The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show''.
Movies that poked fun at the difficulties involved include: ''Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House'' (1948), starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy; ''George Washington Slept Here'' (1942), featuring Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan; and ''The Money Pit'' (1986), with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. The sitcom ''Home Improvement'' used the home improvement theme for comedic purposes.
*Maintenance, repair and operations
* Richard Harris, ''Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914-1960.'' Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.