While “home improvement or renovations” in the area of San Diego often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, such as earthquake protection, 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:
- Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems.
- Waterproofing basements.
- Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.
Maintenance and repair projects can include:
- Roof tear-off and replacement.
- Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.
- Repairing plumbing and electrical systems.
Additional space/living may be added by:
Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recreation rooms, 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.
Saving energy where Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:
- Energy-efficient thermal insulation, replacement windows, and lighting.
- Renewable energy with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, programmable thermostats, and geothermal exchange heat pumps
Safety and preparedness and Emergency measures such as:
- Home fire and burglar alarm systems.
- Fire sprinkler systems to protect homes from fires
- Security doors, windows, and shutters.
- Storm cellars as protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.
- Bomb shelters especially during the 1950s as protection from nuclear war.
- Backup generators for providing power during power outages