Home improvement refers to the remodeling, altering, repairing, or modernizing of residential or non-commercial real property. It can also include the construction of a new house or structure. Other examples are adding an addition to a home, building or remodeling a deck or patio, installing a swimming pool, landscaping, and making changes to a house’s interior. The term is generally contrasted with “renovation”, which implies a more cosmetic change to a house’s appearance and does not include major structural changes.
The home improvement industry has boomed since the 1970s, with cable television’s This Old House and Fixer Upper among its most popular shows. In addition to promoting the popularity of DIY projects, these programs contributed to blurring the distinction between the male-dominated realm of carpentry work and the supposedly feminine sphere of decorating and design. In fact, by the 1990s, advertisements for power tools began to acknowledge that women were increasingly participating in the activity.
As homeowner spending on home improvements grew, so did the interest in creating homes that are uniquely historic. This trend, in turn, helped fuel the resurgence of historic architectural styles such as Victorian motifs.
More than three-fourths of homeowners say they have money set aside to pay for home repairs/improvements, according to a NerdWallet survey conducted in September. However, half of those surveyed said they would be more cautious than usual about allowing home repair/improvement professionals into their homes due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.