Amid evolving news + uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, your financial needs are our top priority.
For individual financial information, click here.
For Small Businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), click here.

Three Smart Exterior Home Remodel Ideas

February 04, 2019 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Three Smart Exterior Home Remodel Ideas

Curb appeal. It’s desirable to have when you plan to sell your home and want to attract buyers, and it’s just as desirable when you want to boost your home’s resale value, in general—and it also simply makes your home a more appealing place to live. What’s not to like about that?

The reality is that, no matter how beautifully you decorate inside your home, it’s what’s on the outside that offers up the first impression to visitors. So, to help you boost your home’s curb appeal, this post will share three smart exterior remodeling ideas, each of which can also be a great investment in your property. They include:

•  mixed textures with siding, stone, brick and more

•  contemporary windows

•  a front door that expresses your unique style

We’ll discuss what’s trending in each of these areas, along with average costs for each of these remodeling projects. We’ll then delve into various ways to fund these home improvements, including the pros and cons of using credit cards. We’ll compare getting a home equity loan to getting a personal loan for these purposes and, again, share the pros and cons of each of these options.

Mix Textures in Your Home Exterior Makeover

For a contemporary look, consider mixing multiple textures on the exterior of your home, which could range from using different widths of siding or choosing different types of siding (perhaps,
FineHomesAndLiving.com suggests, “combining cedar shingles and shiplap in the same color).

If you want to also use brick and/or stone, the site advises to avoid using them as the main focus, instead using them to add interest as you select various textures to “blend as a dynamic look.”

If you add metal touches, according to BoralAmerica.com , today’s decorators favor “color combinations [that] are more monochrome, [and] lines are straighter, texture planes are seamlessly blending together.”

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

As far as baseline costs, HomeAdvisor.com shares that in 2018, installed vinyl siding costs between around $5,600 and $14,200, with the average cost being right around $9,900. Your costs will depend upon where you live, 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), any added details (“Moldings, trim, soffits, corners, vents”), and whether or not you’re paying to have someone remove old siding.

Upgrade Windows: Clean Lines and Simple Shapes

Changing the style of your windows can give your home a brand new look and, as a significant bonus, they’ll likely be more energy efficient than what you currently have. Win/win!

BuilderOnline.com shares what’s most in demand in windows today. They include squared edges with crisp and clean lines. Shapes are increasingly rectilinear, rather than the curved shapes that were once more popular. For an especially dramatic look, consider black windows, including black-on-black with the same color of sashes.

Another contemporary look mixes black and white. If you prefer wood, pine is less popular than it used to be, with white oak and mahogany offering a “fine-furniture feel.” Look for the ENERGY STAR® certification for energy efficiency.

The cost of new windows range from around $2,600 and $7,600, according to HomeAdvisor.com , with the average window cost being $5,100. The size and complexity of your windows affects pricing. If you plan to add shutters, factor in those costs.

Replace Your Front Door With An Inviting Style

Consumers today have a wider range of door styles to choose from, it seems, than ever before. And, freshome.com is sharing some of the latest ideas for welcoming front doors. Metal doors are one suggestion, with the article calling this style artisanal, contemporary and warm.

Black steel is especially popular, with distressed options available, and stainless steel and copper being other fashionable choices. When you combine steel with wood, this door can work well in a wide range of house styles, from country to rustic, contemporary and more.

For an especially open, light-filled look, consider glass doors with glass side panels. For more privacy, use mirrored glass in the side panels; that way, you can see outside but people walking by can’t see in. Or, you can choose frosted glass, which offers the privacy you may want while diffusing light.
What about pivot doors? Curved atrium-style doors? Options are nearly endless.

According to HomeAdvisor.com , you can spend as little as $150 for a new exterior door, or as much as $20,000 or more. Having someone install it for you costs an average of $989 but, once again, there is a broad range of prices, depending upon complexity.

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, and it can cause potential buyers to assume that, if you take this much care on the outside of your home, you must do a wonderful job inside, too.

More specifically, when ThisOldHouse.com interviewed real estate brokers, they pointed out the value of an attractive front door. After all, one broker says, people make up their minds about a particular house within the first seven seconds, and so the front door can have maximum impact. (And, this seven-second rule would also encompass almost any exterior remodeling projects you’ve taken on.)

While you’re replacing your door, this article suggests you consider adding a portico or awning to protect people (including potential buyers when you decide to sell) from rain and sun alike. Also make sure your doorbell is attractive, dovetails with the house’s overall style—and is working.

The 2018 Cost Versus Value Report by Remodeling points out that even a mid-range entry door replacement made of steel can increase a home’s value by a national average of 91.3% of its cost, with that percentage higher than it was in 2017.

As another example, this report provides comparative data on upscale window replacement using vinyl, and this upgrade can increase a home’s value by an average of 74.3% of its cost, a higher percentage than in 2017. Upscale window replacement, wood, boosts a home’s value by an average of 69.5% of its cost. Mid-range siding replacement, on average, boosts home value by 76.7% of the cost.

Funding Your Exterior Home Remodel

Once you’ve created your exterior house design and have priced out your plans, the next question is 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, that’s not an issue.

But, using your credit cards when you can’t pay them off relatively quickly can be problematic, because 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 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). W

•  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

Personal Loans at SoFi

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.


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.
This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice about bankruptcy.
PL18214

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender