Is House Painting Considered As A Capital Improvement?

There is debate over whether house painting services are considered a capital improvement. To make the long story short, if you are looking to update the appearance of your home, then painting will probably not be considered a capital improvement, no matter how much a painting contractor San Diego professional perks up the property’s appearance. However, some exceptions permit house painting as a capital improvement and are subject to capitalization. Want to learn more? Let’s take a closer look!


What Is a Capital Improvement?

IRS Publication explains that “capital improvements are changes to your property that increase its value, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses.”


Capital improvements are investments made to increase a property’s value or improve its functionality. To qualify as a capital improvement, the work must be a structural change or add value to the property beyond simple repair or replacement. Installing central air conditioning, for example, would be considered a capital improvement because it adds value to the house.


What does it mean to capitalize improvements?


A capital improvement is a project or addition that significantly improves the value of a property. For example, adding a new room to a house or building a new deck would be considered capital improvements.


These projects typically require a substantial investment of time and money, but they can add significant value to a property. In some cases, capital improvements may also be necessary to maintain the property in good condition. For example, replacing an old roof or repairing a cracked foundation would be considered capital improvements.


Ultimately, capital improvements can be a great way to add value to a property, but it is important to weigh the costs and benefits before undertaking any major project.


What are some examples of capital improvements?

Common examples of capital improvements include renovating a bathroom, updating the kitchen, adding a deck or patio, and finishing a basement.


These projects can be expensive, but they typically add more value to a home than they cost to complete. As such, they are often considered wise investments for homeowners looking to sell their property in the future. However, before making any decisions, consulting with an accountant or financial advisor is important to avoid incurring any tax liabilities.


Why Is Capital Improvement Important?

Capital improvements are typically made to increase the value of a property, make it more efficient, or both. In many cases, capital improvements can also help to reduce operating costs.


For example, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can lower heating and cooling bills, and installing solar panels can provide a property with free electricity.


Ultimately, capital improvements can provide a wide range of benefits, both financial and otherwise. Not only can they increase the value of a property, but they can also make it more comfortable and efficient to live in. As a result, any property owner should consider making capital improvements seriously.


Maintenance vs. Capital Improvements

The IRS has a particular definition for what qualifies as a repair rather than a capital improvement. Repairs are seen as necessary work to keep the house in its current condition and don’t necessarily add value or prolong the life of the house.


An example given by the IRS is that if you replace some shingles on a roof, that is considered a repair, but if you replace an entire roof, that is considered a capital improvement. The same goes for windows- if you’re replacing a broken window pane, that’s a repair, but if you’re replacing a window with one that is hurricane-resistant, that’s considered an improvement.


It can be a tough line to toe sometimes, but understanding the difference between repairs and improvements is important regarding your taxes.


How do I know if I am making a capital improvement or just making repairs?

There is often a fine line between making a capital improvement to your home and simply making repairs.


In general, a capital improvement is a major addition or alteration that increases the value of your property, extends its useful life, or adapts it to new uses. Common examples of capital improvements include adding a new room, finishing an unfinished basement, or replacing a roof.


By contrast, repairs are typically smaller in scope and are made to keep your property in good condition. Examples of repairs include fixing a leaky faucet, interior painting a room, or replacing worn-out carpeting.


When in doubt, it is always best to consult a professional painting contractor in San Diego or a tax advisor to determine whether an expense qualifies as a capital improvement.


When Does Painting Qualify as a Capital Improvement?

Painting is generally not considered a capital improvement, but it may qualify if it’s part of a larger project, such as an entire exterior painting project for a building. 


For example, If your home is ever damaged in a fire or natural disaster, and you are required to rebuild it, then all the work you do to restore your house to its pre-loss condition is a capital improvement.


This includes getting professional exterior painting, as well as any other repairs or upgrades that you make. As a result, you may be able to deduct the cost of painting your house from your taxes if it is damaged in a fire or natural disaster.


The rule of thumb is when the paint is part of large-scale improvements to a residence, it is considered a capital improvement. This improvement adds value to the property and can be deducted from taxes.


In order to qualify as a capital improvement, the paint must be applied to an area that has been significantly damaged or needs repair. The repairs must also be substantial enough to warrant the expense.


For example, painting an entire room would likely be a capital improvement, but touching up a few nicks in the wall would not. When making your home look its best, paint is an important consideration.


Will painting my house increase its selling price?

A new coat of paint can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers. In addition, a well-maintained home communicates that the interior is in good condition. This can give buyers confidence that they won’t need to do major repairs or renovations after moving in.


Painting contractors in San Diego know how painting your house could make or break the chances of selling it. A well-done painting job could result in a higher selling price due to increased aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, a painting job that potential buyers do not like could decrease value. That being said, it is important to consult with a painting contractor San Diego homeowners depend on.


Lifetime Custom Painting offers free color consultations to help you choose the perfect colors for your space. So why not call us today and see what we can do for you? We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.


Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to get a permit for capital improvements?

Yes, you will need a permit for any improvement that costs more than $5000. This includes bedrooms, room additions, most decks, garages, and some sheds. Any project that changes the existing support system of your home—changes to load-bearing walls, decks, balconies, and porches—also requires a permit. 


How long do I have to own the property before I can claim the capital improvement?

Typically, you have to own the property for at least one year before you can start claiming capital improvement expenses. This includes improvements like painting, replacing doors and windows, and adding new plumbing or electrical systems.


How do I find a qualified contractor to do capital improvements on my home?

When finding a contractor to make capital improvements on your home, it’s important to do your research first. Any painting contractor San Diego professional considering capital improvements on your home should be properly licensed and insured. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of prospective painting companies, ask each one for proof of insurance. It would help if you also made sure that professional painters are aware of any lead-based paint that may be present in your home. If they’re not experienced in dealing with this type of paint, they could end up doing more harm than good. Finally, get quotes from several painting contractors before making your final decision. This will help ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.



Painting your house may seem like a small job, but it can be considered a capital improvement. This is because painting your house can improve the overall look and feel of your property, which can lead to an increase in its selling price. If you’re planning to paint your house, request a free estimate from our team of professionals to get started on increasing your home’s value today! Our painting contractor San Diego team is ready and waiting to help you get the job done right – and at a price, you can afford.


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