Home improvement

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Home improvement, home renovation or remodeling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home. Home improvement can be projects that upgrade an existing home interior (such as electrical and plumbing), exterior (masonry, concrete, roofing), or other improvements to the property (ie. garden work or garage maintenance/additions).

Types of home improvement[edit]

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:[1]

Comfort[edit]

Maintenance and repair[edit]

Maintenance projects can include:

Additional space[edit]

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. Such a new unit of construction is called an "add-on".[2]

Saving energy[edit]

Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:

Safety and preparedness[edit]

Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:

Home improvement industry[edit]

Further information: Hardware store

Home or residential renovation is an almost $300 billion industry in the United States,[4] and a $48 billion industry in Canada.[5][full citation needed] 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.

Renovation contractors[edit]

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.

In popular culture[edit]

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.[6] 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kitchen Remodel: 101 Stunning Ideas for Your Kitchen Design". Decoist Magazine. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Add-on". English Oxford Living Dictionary (US). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Use a Programmable Thermostat, Common Sense, to Reduce Energy Bills, Brett Freeman, oldhouseweb.com
  4. ^ Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 2007
  5. ^ "Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement". 
  6. ^ Cerone, Daniel (17 September 1991). "Tim Allen's Power Tools : Television: The comic who had Disney and cable executives abuzz parlayed his luck to develop 'Home Improvement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard Harris, Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914-1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
  • Michael W. Litchfield ; Chip Harley, technical editor (2012). Renovation (4th edition, Completely revised and updated. ed.). Newtown, Conn.: Taunton Press, Incorporated. ISBN 1600854923.