It’s no secret that first impressions matter. When it comes to your home, the exterior is the first thing potential buyers or guests will see. Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the near future or just want to spruce things up a bit to increase curb appeal for yourself, there are several things you can do to update your home’s exterior and make a great first impression.
Let’s take a look at all the things you should consider when updating your home’s exterior, including a budget, materials, and HOA requirements.
One of the most important things to consider when updating your home’s exterior is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on this project? If you’re going to sell, which improvements will offer the greatest return on your investment (ROI)? There are ways to update your home’s exterior on a shoestring budget, but if you’re looking to do more extensive work, you may need to set aside a larger budget.
Brick and Batten recommends budgeting for $15,000 to $20,000 for an exterior remodel that will include painting, new doors and windows, and even porch railings or decor elements on the home. Here’s a look at broad estimates for a range of exterior updates many homeowners make:
- New Roof – $5,500 to $11,000
- New Siding – $5,400 to $16,000
- New Fence – $1,667 to $4,075
- New Landscaping – $4,000 to $20,000
- New Driveway – $8 to $18 per square foot of concrete poured
The exterior projects with the greatest ROI are often new windows, new doors, new siding, landscaping, and new decks or patios. The design experts at Burbach Companies do a lot of residential renovations, and can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in quality products such as James Hardie or vinyl siding when doing exterior upgrades. Not only are they beautiful products that increase curb appeal, but they are durable and last for years to come.
Existing Architectural Style
Do you want to complement your existing architectural style, or scrap it and go with something completely different when you remodel? The materials and colors will make a big difference in the overall style of your home.
If you’re not sure what remodeling projects are right for your home, definitely defer to a designer who has experience in either improving the existing architecture or starting fresh. The good news is that you can maintain a certain aesthetic outside while still enjoying luxurious upgrades inside, such as stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, or spa-like bathrooms.
The materials you use for your home’s exterior make a big difference in its overall appearance. Are you looking for something that requires little maintenance? Or are you willing to put in the work to keep your home looking its best? Consider the climate in your area when making your decision – certain materials may not do well in extreme heat or cold. There may be a reason certain materials were used in your home in the first place; some materials are specific to certain styles while others are designed to withstand the climate where you live.
Picking the right materials to fit in with your aesthetic, and that of the neighborhood will obviously be influenced by your budget. You may need to find something that mimics the look you want without breaking the bank. Some budget-friendly building materials that give the look for less include:
- Cement board aka concrete sheets
- Prefab panels
- Reclaimed brick
- Reclaimed wood
- Stone veneer
The colors you choose for your home’s exterior can also have a big impact on its overall look. Do you want something that will stand out? Or are you looking for something more subtle? Keep in mind that dark colors can make a home look smaller, while light colors can make it look larger. Also, choose the right colors to suit the style of your home, such as neutrals for a Craftsman and deep hues of red and brown for a Victorian. A quick online search can help you create a mood board of colors that complement the architectural style of your home and how to implement them on the structure as well as in the landscaping.
Yes, don’t forget about your landscaping! This can make a big difference in the curb appeal of your home. Trimmed hedges, well-maintained flower beds, and a green lawn can all help to boost curb appeal. Be sure your landscaping goes with the style of your home, and save money by investing in native plants that will thrive in your climate.
If you’re not much of a green thumb, consider hiring a professional to help you create and maintain your landscaping. Or, talk to your local nursery and get recommendations for hard-to-kill plants that give the look you want or fit your budget.
Maintaining Neighborhood Aesthetic
Is it important to you that your home’s exterior match the rest of the neighborhood? This can be a crucial consideration, especially if you’re looking to sell your home in the future. Buyers often want a home that fits in with the surrounding area, so keeping this in mind when updating your exterior can be beneficial.
While some neighborhoods do have houses that stand out in a good way due to their unique design, others may have Homeowner’s Association guidelines to follow when remodeling the exterior of a home.
If you live in a master-planned community, such as Cadence in Henderson, Nevada, your HOA may have regulations regarding the materials, colors, and vegetation you use on your property. This can actually be helpful as it keeps you within specific design parameters and allows you to narrow down a plethora of choices. It also gives the neighborhood a cohesive look and really ties it together visually.
In a community with an HOA, refer to your Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for an outline of acceptable improvements that can be made to your home.
Whether or not you live in a master-planned community or one with an HOA, you can find inspiration just by driving around your neighborhood. See what jumps out to you and look for ways to incorporate those elements in your own design.