Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on June 15, 2023

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Betterments refer to a change or addition made to one's property that adds value and improves assets.

This could be a new garage, an expanded living room, or even a walk-in closet. Typically, these changes are made to accommodate the homeowner's lifestyle and need for a growing family.

For example, adding another bedroom can allow for more space if you have had another child since your initial home purchase. In some cases, it may not add value to your property but will add functionality that its occupants need.

Types of Betterments

Types of betterments can include:

Major Betterment

Major betterments refer to renovations that create a significant change or addition to the property, which may require permits and even construction by professionals depending on their complexity.

Examples include adding an additional room such as a family room, expanding living space, or adding additional square footage.

An outdoor kitchen on your patio or poolside is also classified as a major betterment because of its functionality and increase in value for future resale.

Minor Betterments

Minor betterments refer to smaller changes that are considered permanent fixtures but do not change the overall footprint of your home, which typically requires no permits or professional installation.

Examples of minor betterments include closet shelving, new flooring and cabinets in your kitchen, a built-in bookcase, etc.

These changes can add significant value to your home when it comes time to sell if you are looking for an easy upgrade that will also increase the resale value of your property.

Importance of Betterments

Betterments are important in the home improvement process because they add value to your property when you're looking for a quick way to update your space and any future resale.

When it comes time to sell, betterment installation is often an easy upgrade that can increase its marketable price by thousands of dollars.

Homeowners should consider making a betterment to their property if the desired improvement will add value and appeal.

Tips for Betterments

If you plan to make a betterment, here are some tips to keep in mind when making your plans.

Tips for Betterments
  • Understand the factors that impact installation costs for any projects you have done on your home.

    For example, construction materials, labor cost, and time needed can all be factored into the overall budget of any project before you start.
  • Always make sure to obtain the proper permits before beginning any renovation that may impact your property's safety or function.
  • Keep resale value and market demand in mind while making changes to your property because they will directly impact how much money is made back once it comes time to sell.
  • Consider how long you plan to stay in your home before making a permanent change. If it is just for a few years, minor betterments are probably the best option to consider.

    If you plan on staying for several years or even indefinitely, a major betterment may be the more cost-effective solution in the long run because it will add value and functionality right away without future renovations required down the line.
  • When considering your options, always consult with professionals that can help advise you on the best way to proceed with your home improvement plans.

    These experts will be familiar with local ordinances, codes, and regulations that you should consider before making any changes to your property's structure or function.
  • If possible, try visiting different homes in your area for inspiration when planning out certain betterments so that they fit in with current trends in your neighborhood.

Even small changes can increase the resale value of your home when you are ready to sell, so always keep this in mind while planning renovations for any projects on your property.

As long as the betterment is cost-effective and adds value or appeal to your space, it should be considered a possible option.

Tying It All Together

Working with professionals to make betterments is important because they are familiar with local ordinances, codes, and regulations that homeowners should be aware of when making changes to their property's structure or function.

If the desired improvement adds value or appeal, then you can consider working on your home yourself or hiring a professional for help. Minor betterments can be easy to do yourself, and they also add value when it comes time to sell the property.

In contrast, major betterments are more permanent but will provide additional benefits as well. It is always best to consult with professionals that understand your area's building codes before beginning any home improvement project on your property.

Betterments FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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