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3 Smart Exterior Home Remodel Ideas

February 16, 2021 · 5 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, 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).

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 personal loan rate in just two minutes. Then, when you’re ready, you can quickly and easily apply.

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


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

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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