Top 5 home improvements for 2010
by Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List
What are your home improvement plans for 2010? Do you plan to fix up your home and stay a while, or do you have plans to move?
According to a recent nationwide poll of Angie's List members conducted online, it appears the vast majority of respondents plan to stay in their home this year and invest in it by making improvements.
Our annual poll shows 87 percent of the Angie's List members who responded have plans for a home improvement project this year, and plan to spend nearly 5 percent of their home's value on making those improvements. I think this is great news, and I hope it's a sign of better things to come this year.
Adding value to your home — either by remodeling, making aesthetic improvements or by making simple repairs to lingering problems — is a smart investment for homeowners who plan to stay in their home for a while, or for those who hope to sell once the housing market recovers.
Top five home improvements planned:
51% want to make an aesthetic improvement
47% plan to make a home repair
34% are planning an addition or remodel
33% want to purchase new appliances or fixtures
28% plan to improve the landscaping and hardscaping
To preserve your home's value, make sure you first take care of any projects that can't wait. Changing out countertops or flooring is great, but it won't do you much good if you have a roof with missing shingles or mold growing in your crawl space because of a leaky pipe.
I'd be remiss if I didn't remind homeowners to also plan for the unexpected as you work on your home. Make sure you have the resources to cover both your desired projects and any unforeseen repairs that inevitably will creep up throughout the year.
And if you're looking to hire a contractor, there are definitely deals out there to be had. Many contractors are willing to negotiate on price to secure a job. At this writing, we're polling service companies to get their take on the state of the industry and nearly three out of four say they're willing to lower their price.
Of course, there are always unqualified contractors out there offering seemingly great deals. It's vital you preserve the value of your home by protecting it from shoddy work by an unqualified contractor. Do your research on a service provider before you hire and never hire based on price alone.
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