modern home exterior at sunset

3 Smart Exterior Home Remodel Ideas

Curb appeal should always be front of mind when you plan to sell your home and want to attract buyers, but it’s just as desirable when you want to boost your real estate’s resale value in general. It also makes your home a more appealing place in which to live in the interim, which is why you may want to consider these smart exterior home remodel projects in the future.

Ideas for Exterior Home Remodel Projects

No matter how beautifully you decorate the inside of your home, the outside offers up the first impression to visitors, and these exterior home remodel ideas can be great investments for you as a homeowner—whether you’re planning to sell your house now or not.

From adding texture to the exterior of your home to swapping out old windows for more contemporary ones to fixing up your front door, a home exterior makeover can be a smart way to make a lasting impact in a short amount of time.

Replace Your Front Door With An Inviting Style

Psychologists say that it takes just seven seconds to make a first impression, meaning your front door is one of the first parts of your house that a guest or potential buyer will see—the catalyst for making a snap decision on how they feel about the home in general. Thus, the front door should be one of the first places you focus your energy when tackling exterior renovations of your property.

Consumers today have a wide range of door styles to choose from, whether a steel-clad metal door, a solid wood door, a curved atrium-style door, or a low-maintenance fiberglass door.

For an open, light-filled look, consider doors with glass panels, or—for more privacy—use mirrored glass in the side panels (that way, you can see outside but people walking by can’t see in). Frosted glass also offers privacy while diffusing natural light.

The overall cost of installing an exterior door is dependent upon complexity, materials, and where you live; it could run you as little as $150 or as much as $20,000. But most likely, installing an exterior door will cost between $510 and $1,607 with $1,045 being the average. The labor alone of having someone install it for you could cost around $450, so if you’re handy with tools, this could be where you save money.

Even if you choose not to replace the door itself, a fresh coat of paint, updated knob and hinge hardware, and a new doorbell to match can go far in improving the curb appeal of your home’s exterior.

Mixing Textures on Your Home’s Exterior

Mixing textures is one way to alter the exterior of your home for a positive effect. Alternating visual patterns between wood, metal, concrete, and stucco requires some experimentation, but the results can be dramatic.

For a contemporary look, consider mixing multiple textures, which could range from different widths of siding or choosing different types of siding like combining cedar shingles and shiplap in the same color .

You can also mix and match levels of gloss, or shapes and lengths of bricks and stone.

For a baseline cost, installed vinyl siding can range in price from $6,116 and $16,143, with the average cost being $10,956. Your costs will depend on the thickness of the siding, how much added style you want as you mix and match textures, the size of your house, how standard the shape of your house is or isn’t, and any added details like moldings, trim, soffits, corners, or vents. If there’s old siding that needs to be removed first, you’ll also want to factor in the additional cost of labor (or consider doing it yourself).

Recommended: Three House Siding Ideas

Upgrading the Windows

Changing the style of your windows will not only give your home’s exterior a brand new look, but potentially be more energy efficient than your current windows, thus saving money on electric bills—something that could be attractive to buyers down the line.

Material selection will dictate the overall cost of new windows. Vinyl, for example, is on the lower end of the price scale, whereas solid wood windows will cost much more.

The cost of new windows also is dependent on the size of each unit, as there are hundreds of common window sizes available. On average, a single window unit runs $85 to $2,500 with installation costing an additional $150 to $800 per window.

The complexity of the windows also affects pricing, and if you plan to add shutters or new blinds, factor in those costs, too.

How Much Could Your Home Exterior Makeover Boost Value?

At a minimum, your home exterior makeover can make your house more appealing to the eye, but it also can help give potential buyers assurance that you have maintained the home’s upkeep.

Projects like fixing up the front door are a great place to start, and while you’re replacing your door, you could consider adding a portico or awning as a design element or to protect visitors from the weather. Also make sure your doorbell is attractive, dovetails with the house’s overall style, and—most importantly—works.

Similar comparative data shows that an upscale window replacement using vinyl can increase a home’s value by an average of 72.3% of its cost. Upscale window replacement using wood boosts a home’s value by an average of 68.9% of its cost. And mid-range siding replacement, on average, boosts home value by 77.6% of the cost.

Funding Your Exterior Home Remodel

Once you have created a plan for exterior improvements, priced out materials, and mapped out a budget, the next item on your agenda should be figuring out the best way to pay for your improvements. If you’ve got the money in savings, then that isn’t an issue. Or, if you plan to use your credit cards but can pay them off in full when the bills arrive, again, you’re squared away.

Using your credit cards when you can’t pay them off relatively quickly, however, can be problematic as credit card debt can be tricky to pay off. That’s because most credit card companies charge compound interest, which means you’re paying interest on the accrued interest, with the interest continually calculated and added to your balance. To make matters worse, the interest may typically be compounded daily.

Even if you make minimum payments, the interest just keeps compounding. In fact, it keeps doing so until the balance is paid off completely. If you miss a payment, the situation gets worse, with late fees and penalties often added on.

If you’d like to calculate what you’d actually pay on your remodeling debt, use our credit card interest calculator.

If you decide that it won’t make sense to use a credit card to pay for your remodeling, then consider comparing and contrasting home equity lines of credit versus personal loans. Under certain circumstances, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) may make sense; for example, if you have significant equity in your home, plan to borrow a large amount of money and/or want the potential tax benefits.

Benefits of choosing a personal loan include:

•  You won’t tie up any equity in your home.
•  Fees are likely to be less, and maybe you won’t have to pay any fees at all (like at SoFi).
•  Application and approval processes are typically faster than with a HELOC.

With a home improvement loan from SoFi (not a HELOC; rather, a personal loan for home improvement purposes), you can benefit from:

•  a quick process, one that typically takes seven days from online approval to funding
•  fixed payments, which makes budgeting easier
•  not having your home equity tied up
•  no fees, no surprises, no catches

The Takeaway

Considering exterior home remodel projects can be a way to increase your house’s curb appeal, while also adding value; they also are often the quickest way to turn a real estate investment into long-term value. Exterior home projects can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint to your existing front door or as complex as replacing all the windows in your house to be both contemporary and more energy efficient.

At the very least, tackling these smart exterior home remodel ideas should help you down the line when you decide to sell your house.

To get started, you can find your home improvement loan rate in just 1 minute. Then, when you’re ready, you can quickly and easily apply.

Ready to get started? You can quickly and easily apply for your home improvement loan online.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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modern kitchen countertop mobile

Cost of Countertops & Installation

One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make when renovating your kitchen is what material to use for your countertops, which should factor into your kitchen remodel budget. Choosing your material—whether you go for a contemporary look with solid surface areas or opt for a French country feel with marble—will depend largely on your kitchen style, needs, and budget.

Before you settle on a certain product for your kitchen, though, let’s examine the cost of countertops and installation by material.

Countertop Materials and What They Cost

Choosing your kitchen countertop materials will set the tone for the overall look of the space. Though there are variables in pricing based on where you live, market prices, and the materials you choose, here’s a look at some pros and cons of commonly used materials and estimates of what kitchen countertops cost.


Granite countertops have long been a go-to material in kitchens due to style, quality, and durability. But if granite is your top pick for countertop material, you may have to plan on stretching your budget as granite is one of the pricier materials to use for the project.

However, there are a number of pros to using granite that may warrant paying the price.

Granite is a hard stone and extremely durable; it’s both difficult to scratch and heat-resistant, so you can move hot pans directly from the stove to the counter.

Granite is also stain-resistant. Though it can stain, it is less porous than other materials, making it less likely that a stain will permanently mar your countertops. The polish that the installer puts onto the granite burnishes the stone against all but the most extreme abuse.

Estimated cost of granite countertops: $40 to $100 per square foot


Contrary to how it may sound, quartz countertops are not a natural stone; rather, they are man-made from quartz particles that are then held together with resin. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals on earth, so the resulting material is also extremely durable.

Because quartz countertops are engineered, they can come in many different designs from bright solid colors to patterns that mimic natural stone. They also come in different textures from glassy smooth to matte to stone finishes.

Quartz countertops are not porous due to the resin that binds them together, so they are also stain-resistant and never need to be sealed.

Estimated cost of quartz countertops: $50 to $100 per square foot


Laminate is one of the cheaper countertop materials, making it a common kitchen choice, especially for homeowners on a budget. Laminate is made from layers of plastic that are then glued to a base such as a particleboard; it comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and surface textures.

Laminate countertops do not stand up to heat as well as stone, and they scratch more easily. They are less durable than other materials like granite or marble, so they’ll likely need to be replaced more frequently.

However, laminate is much lighter than stone countertops—and approachable for most home tool owners to cut and shape—so it’s easier to install for those who intend to make their kitchen remodel a DIY project. Installing laminate yourself can help you keep your overall kitchen budget intact.

Estimated cost of laminate countertops: $10 to $40 per square foot

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are made in a similar manner to quartz counters; however, these countertops use acrylic particles bound with resin instead of stone. As another engineered product, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, including those that mimic stone.

They are non-porous, so they’re stain-resistant, and scratches can usually be sanded and polished off the surface. As an acrylic, they don’t hold up well to heat. They can withstand boiling water, but they might begin to warp at temperatures as low as 250°F.

Estimated cost of solid surface counters: $52 to $120 per square foot


The price of wood countertops can vary widely by the type and thickness of wood. Exotic woods can cost a pretty penny, but counters made from cheaper species such as birch tend to cost only a bit more than budget options like laminate. Wood countertops are often made of butcher block, which comprises pieces of wood with their edge grain-up, glued together to form a hard, continuous surface.

As a material, wood is relatively soft, so it may get banged up a bit. However, scratches can be sanded out and the surface restored. Wood or varnish may also burn when hot pans are placed atop it so, depending on how you want to use your kitchen can often inform whether wood is a good choice. Skilled DIY home renovators can install wood counters themselves, which can help control costs.

Estimated cost of wood countertops: $30 to $200 per square foot


Tile countertop is another material whose cost will vary dramatically depending on what the tile is made of.
On the cheaper end, ceramic tiles can cost as little as a couple dollars per square foot, while a marble tile might cost more up to $25 per square foot.

Depending on the tile you choose, where it’s from, and how it’s made, the price per square foot can rise considerably.

Tile materials—which can range from ceramic to glass to stone—tend to be durable and both heat- and scratch-resistant. That said, tile may also be brittle, potentially chipping if something heavy is dropped on it.

Tiles can be easy for DIY installation; however, if you don’t have a lot of experience setting tiles, mixing grout and finishing the seams, you could end up with an uneven surface.

Estimated cost of tile countertops: $5 to $30 per square foot


Marble has a long history as a key art material, dating back to the construction of ancient statues, and is commonly used as a design statement in upscale or trendy restaurants and bars. With a price similar to granite, marble is also an accessible material for home countertops.

As a stone, marble is relatively durable; however, it’s much softer than granite and scratches easily. It’s also more porous, so it stains more easily, as well.

Marble countertops may be subject to damage from acidic foods like lemons, which interact with the stone’s chemical make-up. Marble can be sealed to prevent some of these issues, but the process must be repeated on a regular basis.

Marble is heat-resistant, meaning you can put hot pots and pans right on it. And if you’re a baker, you may be drawn to marble for its use as a surface to make pastries on, as it is prone to staying cool in the summer months. Marble is heavy, so it may be difficult for a homeowner to install himself.

Estimated cost of marble countertops: $40 to $100 per square foot

Stainless Steel

Long used as a countertop of choice in commercial kitchens, stainless steel is popular for counters in residential homes, too.

Countertops made from the metal have a lot of advantages—they are easy to clean, and they don’t burn, rust, or stain. They are usually recyclable should you ever change your mind and remodel your kitchen again.

There are some disadvantages to the materials, though, including that it can be loud—think: pots and pans clattering against metal. And though durable, the material does have a tendency to scratch or dent. The thicker the stainless steel, the less likely it is to be damaged. The gauge (or thickness) will also affect the material price.

Estimated cost of stainless steel countertops: $80 to $215 per square foot

Cost of Countertop Installation

The cost of new countertop materials isn’t the only expense associated with upgrading your kitchen counters. There’s also the cost to install the countertops, which will typically vary by material and amount of square footage.

For example, having stainless steel professionally installed can add about $10 per square foot to the price of the countertops, whereas professional installation of quartz countertops can add $60 per square foot.

Installing countertops yourself is a great way to reduce costs, but it can be challenging depending on the material.
You’ll also need to consider what types of modifications to the materials are needed. Cutting a hole in a granite countertop for a sink, for example, can add to the overall cost and in many cases requires the use of specialized tools with diamond-tipped bits.

One option to control the costs of kitchen countertops is by mixing materials. If you have your heart set on a granite countertop, consider using granite for a small portion of the kitchen—such as a prominent feature like the island—and a cheaper material like tile for the larger counter spaces.

The Takeaway

To estimate the overall cost of countertops, you’ll want to consider a few different factors: the materials you plan to use, whether they’ll require installation or you can install them yourselves, and the area in which you live.

Choosing materials like laminate countertops or wood can be a smart way to save money for those remodeling a kitchen on a tight budget, while granite, marble, or quartz countertops may be preferable for those wanting a more high-end look. For homeowners looking for something unique, tile countertops might be a route to take in order to further customize your kitchen remodel.

Renovating your home can be a way to boost your home’s value. If you don’t have the cash on hand to make improvements to your house, one option to consider is an unsecured personal loan. These loans can be used to cover costs from small repairs to major remodels and do not use your home equity or other assets as collateral.

Learn more about financing your kitchen remodel with SoFi Home Improvement Loans.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


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living room interior

Garage Conversion Ideas Worth the Effort

Consider this: You’ve decided you need more living space, but maybe you’ve priced out building a new addition onto your home and it’s simply not practical—or maybe there isn’t enough space on your property to make it a reality. If your house has a garage, converting it could be a potential solution to adding living space. Redoing your garage may be one of the more affordable ways to expand your current home, not to mention one of the quickest.

What a garage conversion will cost and how much time it takes depends on the purpose of the remodel. We’ll break down some of the most common reasons people convert garages into living space, how a garage conversion could add value to your home, what you might need to consider before you get started, and how to tackle some of the biggest tasks. We’ll also share garage conversion cost ranges, as well as potential ways to finance such a project.

Do Garage Conversions Add Value?

You may define value in myriad ways, but one of the most important considerations in converting a garage is what value it might add to your life in general. If you have a big family, you might want more room for privacy—a quiet space you can retreat to when you need a breather. Or you may want to convert a garage into a playroom where your children can keep their toys, thus decluttering your main house.

If you frequently house guests, building a garage apartment or in-law suite can function as extra living space for friends and family to use when visiting town.

To help your garage conversion planning process, we have tools for streamlining the planning phase, including our Home Project Value Estimator and our Home Improvement Cost Calculator.

Adding Living Space to a Converted Garage

How you use a converted garage space depends on whether it’s attached to your house or a freestanding structure. If the garage is attached, you could create a room that becomes part of your home.; this might be a recreation room, a workout room, a family room, a home theater, an extra bedroom or a multipurpose room where you can host friends.

If your attached garage is connected to your kitchen, you might consider expanding your kitchen into a home chef’s playground or a spacious dining and entertaining room.

A detached garage could become an apartment for your child as a young adult or teenager; you could create an art studio that has all the privacy inherent of its own building; or you could build out a home office so you can work remotely without ever leaving your house. The options are endless, so the first step is figuring out how a converted garage may provide the most value for your specific needs.

Need help funding your garage conversion?
Check out home improvement loans with SoFi.

Converting a Garage to an Apartment

If you’ve decided to convert your garage into an apartment, whether to create an in-law suite or a private space for your older child, you’ll want to consult your local planning board to find out what permits are needed if any. Often, if you’re building a new structure or making modifications to existing structures, a permit will be required. In fact, it’s important to double-check whether a permit is needed even for light remodeling.

Before you begin converting your garage, you might want to map out where everything is going to go or what you’ll do with the belongings that currently fill the space. To streamline that process, you could divide the items into one of three categories:

•  Keep
•  Donate
•  Throw Away

Once you’ve donated and thrown away items, it’s time to determine where you want to store the remaining items. Do you have a basement or attic where you can pack away everything you’ve stuffed into the garage over the years? How can you make those areas more storage-friendly? You could add any ideas to your list for this remodeling project.

If you still want to use a portion of your garage for storage after conversion, you might think about how to partition off that section so that the rest of the garage looks attractive and not cluttered. If you don’t want to use your garage for storage after the conversion, you could consider building an outdoor shed, provided your HOA or neighborhood association allows it, in which to store your remaining belongings, or a remote storage unit for things that you’ll rarely need.

Garage Floors and Doors outlines how garage floors and doors are crucial to a successful conversion. If you have a traditional garage, the flooring might be a concrete slab with no insulation, and the garage floor may fall several feet below the floors in your home, sloping toward a floor drain or the garage door, in which case floor leveling is a necessity of a garage.

Then there’s the garage door to consider. If you remove it, you’ll likely have a large, gaping space. You might want to install a patio door to let in the light or create a new wall that contains a large bay window. What you do might depend on whether or not you want the spot where the garage door existed to be an entryway.

Garage Roofing, Ventilation, and Insulation

Before beginning a garage conversion, check that the garage roof is watertight. If not, some roofing upgrades could be necessary. If the plan is to install a kitchen or bathroom in your converted garage, ventilation issues might need to be addressed. To create a comfortable space, you may want to ensure there is proper insulation in the walls, roof, flooring, and anywhere else it’s needed.

Garage Windows and Walls

In order to build your walls, stud framing and drywall might be required. Insulation work and moisture-proofing also might need to be done, as well as any wiring in the walls. What closets do you want to add to your converted garage? Now is the time to lay those out, too.

One way to make a garage quickly feel like home is through access to natural daylight, which can be achieved by installing large windows strategically throughout the space or punching holes in the ceilings to install skylights.

Window styles that match those on your home give it a cohesive look, especially with attached garages.

Garage Heating, Plumbing, and Wiring

If you have an attached garage, consider whether your current HVAC system can heat and cool your converted space. You may want to think about supplementing what you currently have, whether through a floor heating system, electric baseboards, wood stoves for the winter season, or an air-conditioning unit to cool off the space in the hot, sticky months of summer.

With plumbing, consider how to run pipes to supply water to the garage, as well as how to effectively drain the water back into the sewer system. If you need to add plumbing to the new space, this could be one of your bigger expenses .

What It Costs to Convert a Garage

Costs for garage conversions depend on what kind of space you are converting your garage into. estimates converting a two-car garage will run between $20,000 to $50,000 in cost depending on the complexity of your project and the features you choose to add.

If you intend to add a bathroom to your converted garage, you could be looking at an additional $15,000 to $25,000. Needing plumbing and extensive electrical work can be where the expense significantly rises.

Of course, pricing is likely to vary based on where you live, what time of year you are renovating, what overall changes you’re looking to make and whether you’ll be doing a significant portion of the work yourself.

The Takeaway

Converting a garage can be a great way to expand your livable space or turn your garage into something more functional than its current use, while also adding value to your home. A garage conversion can be used to add a new room—like an in-law apartment for guests or family, a rec room for the kids, or even a chef-style kitchen—or you could turn it into an art studio or workshop.

Whatever direction you take your garage conversion, you’ll want to research if permits are required and come up with both a plan and a budget before you begin.

When it’s time to fund your garage conversion ideas, an unsecured home improvement loan might be the right fit for you.

The benefits of a home improvement loan with SoFi include:

•  Quick process, with the average time from loan approval to funding being seven days
•  Fixed-rate payments
•  No collateral, which means home equity is not on the line
•  Zero hidden fees and no surprises
•  Competitive interest rates

If you’re ready to get started financing your garage conversion, it’s quick and easy: You can find your rate in just 1 minute.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

Painting your house can be the quickest way to dramatically alter its appearance, but how economical is it? Depending on the size of your home, the cost of painting a house will vary based on materials used, whether you hire professional help or do it yourself, and the size and texture of the surface area to be painted.

There are several reasons a homeowner might want to refresh a house via a coat of paint: to change the overall look or aesthetic, to brighten a room and enhance natural light, or to maintain the integrity of the material from weather elements. Plus, keeping your home updated may increase its value.

Here are some factors to take into consideration when trying to figure out how much it will cost to paint your house.

How much does it cost to paint an interior?

Let’s start with the paint job you’ll spend the most of your time looking at: the interior. The cost of painting an interior space varies greatly due to the type of paint materials you choose, what condition the previous surface is in, if you’re planning on doing the doors and trim in addition to walls, if you hire a professional painter, and how many rooms you’d like to paint.

Cost to paint per square footage

You may expect the cost for an average-sized room, approximately 10 feet by 12 feet in size, to be somewhere between $300 to $1,000 for a professional job using $2 to $6 a square foot as a price baseline with $3.50 as an average. If you do it yourself, the cost of the paint and materials might set you back around $200 to $300 .

When looking at material costs, consider that a gallon of paint normally covers around 400 square feet and know that sometimes labels overestimate how much surface area a gallon can cover. If you’re painting a textured wall, you’ll likely require more paint because the texture increases surface area, and if you’re painting a raw material like fresh drywall or bare wood, the absorption into the substrate can quickly increase the amount of paint you’ll need.

When hiring help to paint your home, how quickly you want the job done also may affect the overall cost. An experienced painter might be able to cover a wall faster and therefore cost less, whereas a more methodical painter may need more time. Generally, you can expect a painter to be able to cover about 100 to 120 square feet in an hour.

Cost to paint by paint type

Prices vary based on what type of paint you choose and how much material you need, but you can base estimates off the fact that most paint is priced in the range of $15 to $40 a gallon for higher-end paint, and you’ll probably need between one to two gallons of paint per room.

Primer, which is a necessary first step for most projects, might cost around $10 to $20 a can, but if you’re on a budget or time crunch, you can purchase paint colors that combine primer to save time. If using primer, which is especially necessary when painting a lighter color atop a darker one, you’ll typically use at least two quarts of primer to cover one average-sized wall.

While these prices may fluctuate, here is a breakdown of popular paint brands and the average cost of paint per gallon:


Average cost per gallon

Behr $30-$57
Benjamin Moore $42-$80
Farrow & Ball $80-$120
Sherwin Williams $37-$102
Valspar $13-$55

Prices were accurate at the time of publication.

Professional Painter Costs

On average, professional painters cost $30 to $40 per hour per painter. The overall cost to paint your house can increase based on the prep work needed before painting and any equipment rentals such as scaffolding or a lift that may be required.

If on a set budget, when negotiating cost with a painter, consider proposing a project fee versus an hourly rate, as well as doing any prep work yourself. The added time required for properly preparing a surface for a topcoat of paint may be the highest cost of a project.

Non-Paint Costs

When painting your home, you’ll encounter a variety of costs for the tools required to paint. Some of these supplies like brushes and drop cloths can be used again, so in the long run, purchasing your own tools may save you money. If paying for labor, you may be able to deduct the costs of supplies if you provide your own, though professional painters typically use their own reusable supplies.

Necessary painting supplies may include:

•   Painter’s tape:To protect areas like ceilings and trims from getting paint on them
•   Dropcloth: To cover floors and furniture that could be damaged
•   Ladder: To paint a high wall or harder-to-reach areas
•   Paint tray or bucket: You’ll add a small amount of paint to this tray or bucket to use while painting to efficiently use a roller and to preserve the unused portion of the original gallon of paint
•   Paint rollers and brushes: A roller covers larger areas more evenly while a small brush can be used for touch-ups and corner cut-in

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior?

The national average cost of painting a home exterior is $2,928, but a 2,500-square-foot house can range from around $1,250 to more than $8,750 depending on a variety of factors. Painting the exterior of your home could increase your home’s value, potentially improve the structural integrity of the building and give you the chance to make any needed exterior repairs at the same time.

Two of the biggest factors that determine how much it costs to paint your home exterior are square footage and how many stories your home has (hint: the more stories, the higher the price). Additionally, the type of window framing (wood, metal, or vinyl) can increase the amount of time required to complete the work and affect the price.

While costs vary based on factors like location and type of paint, this chart from HomeAdvisor should give you an idea of what it may cost to paint your house. Please note that these estimates include labor costs as the painting of the exterior is a job better suited for a professional.

Home Stories

Square Footage

Cost Range

Single Story 1,000–1,500 $1,500–$3,500
Two Stories 1,500–2,500 $3,000–$6,200
Three Stories 2,500–3,000+ $4,500–$10,000+

Exterior painting can get complicated due to the variety of materials you can find on the outside of a home. Different materials require different paints and tools in order to prepare them for the outdoor elements.

To budget for how much it might cost to paint the exterior of your house, you have to look at each type of material you’ll have to paint. The following estimates look at the costs of painting a few materials, including the tools, paint, and labor possibly required to complete the paint job.

Concrete Siding

Cost estimate: $500 (app. 250 sq. ft.) to $3,000 (app. 1,000 sq. ft.)

Why: Because concrete walls have to be prepared before painting, you may be required to remove previous finishes to ensure the paint won’t peel or chip off, which can increase labor costs. In order to prime the concrete, you may need special sealants, paints, and primers to help the final coat of paint endure against the elements.

Metal Siding

Cost estimate: $400 to $3,500

Why: Metal siding, generally made of aluminum and galvanized steel, may require cleaning before painting. If any of the metal is rusted or damaged—or there are missing pieces—a professional may have to repair the metal. If the damage is severe, old paint likely will need to be removed from the area around the problem in advance of painting.

Stucco Siding

Cost estimate: $1,400 to $6,000

Why: Depending on the state of the previous paint job, stucco can be one of the easier materials to paint. The smooth and limited variability of the surface might make a stucco project more affordable than painting other types of materials. The process may involve cleaning the stucco, caulking windows, and filling in surface cracks, although if the previous paint has deteriorated to the point of peeling or bubbling, the amount and nature of preparation work can increase.

Vinyl Siding

Cost estimate: $600 to $3,500

Why: Vinyl siding needs to be cleaned and repaired, if necessary, before beginning to paint, and a careful evaluation of the benefits is often the best approach. It can be about the same cost to replace vinyl as it would be to paint the surface, as vinyl is typically installed with the chosen color embedded within the plastic. Additionally, the plastic is often brittle with age and doesn’t always warrant the investment in money for a paint job.

Wood Siding

Cost estimate: $700 to $3,000

Why: Similar to painting wood furniture or floors, wood siding that is damaged due to element exposure can be painted or stained. This process may help defend wood siding against sun, humidity, pollen, mold, and other environmental elements like insects. The cost might increase if the wood has holes or other issues, but the painting process should help protect your home’s exterior from needing more repairs later on.

Tips on How to Pay for the Cost of Painting Your House

Because painting supplies and labor costs are often different depending on regional aspects and the large variety of substrates, it can be difficult to know your final cost of painting your house until you research supplies and professionals in your area. In the meantime, you can check out this paint cost calculator for an idea of how much you may spend to paint the inside or outside of your home.

The Takeaway

The cost to paint a house is dependent upon the size and texture of the surface area, the kind of paint used, and whether you hire a professional or tackle the painting yourself. If you don’t have the available cash to pay for the costs of painting, it’s often preferable to find ways to save up for your project.

As an alternative, you can consider applying for a SoFi home improvement loan to help with home improvement projects. Unsecured personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes and can go a long way to help making your home improvement ideas a reality.

With a quick online application process and lower rates than most credit cards, SoFi Personal Loans can help you transform your house into a dream home. Check your rate in just 1 minute.

Need a change of color? Find your rate for a SoFi home improvement loan today.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.


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painting a room renovation

6 Tips for Doing Home Addition Projects the Right Way

Home additions and renovations can be purposeful, aesthetic, functional, or a need that strikes deeper into your personal idea of living space. Perhaps you’re building a guest cottage, new garage, or outbuilding; adding a deck; installing a pool; or upgrading the bedrooms and bathrooms to better reflect the current situation and age of your family.

Although the specifics of each of these undertakings may vary, the same underlying principles apply to each of them, so we’re sharing six tips for tackling home addition projects the right way.

How to get started with a home addition

Home additions can boost the value of the home while enhancing aesthetics and functionality. In fact, home additions and renovations can be among the most effective ways to increase your home’s value, and you can tailor the construction to your particular stage in life in a way that is customized to your needs and wants.

To transform your home addition ideas into a completed project, there are a few steps to consider first:

•  Create a plan

•  Set a clear budget

•  Work with trusted professionals

•  Decide what parts of your home addition you can do yourself

•  Research and obtain permits

•  Fund your project

Create a Plan for Your Home Addition

Perhaps you’re adding an extra bedroom and bathroom to the back of your house for a place for guests to stay. As part of the process, you’ll need to first make sure that the addition will fit within your property lines; you’ll also want to check with your local government to see how closely codes in your city allow you to build next to someone else’s property.

While creating your home addition plan, also ensure that any construction will not interfere with utility lines or pipes, as well as whether the structural changes you’re considering will fit into the framing and foundation of your building.

As you design the bedroom and bathroom, think about them from two perspectives: first, how these rooms will add value to your living space; then, how the construction will impact the outside of your home, architecturally speaking.

You’ll also need detailed plans drawn up by an architect or builder that describe the scope of the work and the materials needed. To consider how home additions may increase the value of your home, discover the resale value of your next real estate improvement project with our Home Project Value Estimator.

One strategy to approaching home additions is to create your dream list, then have alternate choices in mind if your budget, material availability, or other external factors create a need to alter the project down the road. For example, you may love the look of marble flooring, but its price point might be higher than you’d initially estimated—or perhaps it doesn’t blend in with the rest of your house once you’ve started laying out the plans. Having a back-up plan—and one that’s cost-efficient at that—could help keep your budget in check.

According to , home additions can typically cost anywhere from $14,000 to $150,000, with the average home addition cost being $40,915. This figure doesn’t take into account factors like where you live, the size and scope of your addition, or the slope of your property, all of which can vary across the country. Plus, if you want your addition to blend in with the rest of your house, you also may need to plan for improvements in existing rooms.

Set a Clear Budget for Your Home Addition

According to , major upgrades like a bathroom remodel or family-room addition typically run $100 to $200 per square foot; sometimes, they can cost much more. This article recommends that you set a budget for your home addition by first obtaining bids from three professionals, then adding in 15 to 20 percent to the overall project price given by the contractor to cover unforeseen costs.

If the ballpark figure is too high and doesn’t align with your budget, then you might want to look at alternative choices for materials that will still give you the general renovation you desire. You could also scale back on your plans or save some of the more costly home addition projects for the future when your budget allows.

If you intend to work with a specific contractor, then your chosen company may be able to help you find lower-cost options—for example, replacing granite countertops with laminate ones—and offer creative solutions gleaned from years of industry experience. Or you may want to look at reducing the scope of your project to a smaller addition or even asking the contractor for competitive pricing for the off-season.

Work with Trusted Professionals

Whether you do some of the home addition work yourself or plan to have the professionals of your choice build the addition, it’s crucial that you hire the right contractor for your needs. Tips for working with contractors include:

•  Get three to six bids, then research companies that seem like good matches. You can check for information about these contractors at LinkedIn , Angie’s List , and the Better Business Bureau . Have any complaints been filed at your state’s contractor board? (You can find state-by-state licensing requirements for contractors here .)

For contractors who interest you, reach out to references they provide for personal experiences from past clients.

•  Be wary of suspiciously low bids. If a quote comes in significantly lower than that of the other contractors who bid your home addition project, it’s possible that contractor may not understand exactly what you want; this can lead to significant problems if you hire this company without clarifying specifics.
•  Hire a contractor who you think you can work well with, but don’t base your decision largely on emotion.

Decide What Parts of Your Home Addition You Can Do Yourself

Say the home addition ideas you have are necessary to solve space problems, perhaps you’re having a baby, or maybe your mother is moving in with you—but you’ve got to find a way to adjust the costs of a home addition. In this case, it might make sense to figure out what you can do yourself.

If you’ve got the experience needed to do the demo work safely without damaging load-bearing walls, electrical wires, and the like, this can save you some money on labor. If you’ve got professional-level skills in plumbing or drywall, you might talk to your contractor about taking on those tasks yourself and further reducing the cost of labor. Or you can attempt the finish work, such as sanding walls, painting, and general cleanup.

Research & Obtain Permitting Requirements

Unfortunately, a home addition isn’t as simple as deciding what you want to do, saving up, then paying for the work. You also need to make sure your home is appropriately zoned for the home addition or remodel. Depending on the scope of the project, you may or may not need a permit.

For example, if you want to build a deck in some states, you need a permit if you intend for it to be more than 30 inches off the ground. Getting to know your local codes can help surmount significant hurdles as the project unfolds, which often will save time and money for homeowners.

Strategically Fund Your Project

To find materials for your home addition on a budget, you could shop at stores like a Habitat for Humanity ReStore , attend auctions, or explore similar options to find salvaged materials. Before you go this route, though, if you’re employing a contractor, make sure he is willing to work with recycled materials and ones that may not be standard size.

When adding a room to a house that’s a higher priced project, it might be tempting to use credit cards to pay for expenses. If you’re doing this to maintain a record of your spending or to take advantage of credit card reward points, this can be a good strategy provided you can pay off the balance quickly, ideally within a single billing cycle.

But when you can’t pay off the balances, it can be easy to get caught up in a spiral of debt, and credit card debt is especially challenging. Why?

Credit card companies typically charge compound interest on the current balances on your accounts, which means they charge interest on the accrued interest—in other words, there is interest that’s continually being calculated on a daily basis and added to your balance until you pay it off in full.

To find out how compound interest is affecting your outstanding balances, you can use our credit card interest calculator.

Getting a Home Improvement Loans for Your Home Addition

Consider getting a home improvement loan for your home addition project. At SoFi, we offer competitive rate home improvement loans that can allow you to focus less on your budget and more on building your dreams.

Benefits of choosing SoFi for your personal loan for your home improvements include:

•  A quick process: You’re anxious to get started (who wouldn’t be?) and, on average, it takes only seven days from online approval to funding, allowing you to transform your home addition plans into reality soon.
•  Fixed payments: This is ideal for budgeting purposes.
•  Absolutely no fees: No surprises, no hidden fees, no catches. None.

When it comes to our personal loans, they are 100% fee-free. Plus, the application process is fast and easy, conveniently online, and you have access to live customer support seven days a week.

If you lose your job, we can pause your payments temporarily, and even help you to find a new job.

The Takeaway

A home addition can increase the value of your real estate while also allowing you to retrofit your house to your current lifestyle. There are many factors that figure into a big decision like a renovation, and it’s important to consider it from as many angles as possible.

With a quick online application process and lower rates than most credit cards, SoFi personal loans can help you make your house a dream home. Check your rate in just 1 minute.

Ready to get started? You can find your rate in just 1 minute, with no commitment. When you’re ready to get going with your home addition plans, you can apply for your home improvement loan quickly and easily.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC), and by SoFi Lending Corp. NMLS #1121636 , a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law (License # 6054612) and by other states. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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