3 Smart Exterior Home Remodel Ideas

By Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow · July 05, 2023 · 7 minute read

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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 or boost your resale value. But it can also help make your home a more appealing place to live.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your home’s exterior, consider these smart home remodel projects

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 or not you’re planning to sell your house right now.

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. This means your front door is one of the first parts of your house that a guest or potential buyer will see and will help set the tone for 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.

For an open, light-filled look, consider doors with glass panels. Want more privacy? Use mirrored glass in the side panels, which allows you to 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 depends on complexity, materials, and where you live; it could run you as little as $150 or as much as $20,000. But on average, installing an exterior door will cost between $495 to $1,771. The labor alone of having someone install it for you could cost around $1,094, 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 $6,370 and $17,615, with the average cost being $11,676. 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).

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. This could end up helping you save money on electric bills, which may 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 $150 to $800 with installation costing an additional $60 to $300 per unit. 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 68.5% of its cost. Upscale window replacement using wood boosts a home’s value by an average of 61.2% of its cost. And siding replacement, on average, boosts home value by 94.7% 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 home improvement loans, which is a kind of lump-sum personal loan. 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 home improvement 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

•   Application and approval processes are typically faster than with a HELOC

Recommended: How Much Does It Cost to Remodel or Renovate a House?

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The Takeaway

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.

Of course, the more involved a project is, the more expensive it can be. If you need help financing an exterior home remodeling project, you have options, including using cash, using a credit card and paying off the balance quickly, or taking out a personal loan.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get some home repairs or renovations done, see what a SoFi personal loan can offer. With a SoFi Home Improvement Loan, you can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000 as an unsecured personal loan, meaning you don’t use your home as collateral and no appraisal is required. Our rates are competitive, and the whole process is easy and speedy.

Turn your home into your dream house with a SoFi Home Improvement Loan.

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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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