Home Remodeling – Essential Knowledge

Home Exterior Remodeling




home exterior remodeling

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Introducing Home Exterior Remodeling 

Oftentimes, when we are planning home renovations or remodeling we are fixated on the interior. After all, that is where we live. And it is the interior that has the most impact on us.

Nonetheless, we want to avoid that sinking feeling of driving up to our newly remodeled home only to be smacked in the face by an exterior that is still shabby and that will let our interior efforts down.

But we have a budget. We really do want to mostly spend it on the interior. So how do we give the exterior a facelift on the cheap but in such a way as not to let the whole effort down? 

We answer that question below. And we also touch on the big-budget option of structural remodeling.

Establish Renovation Priorities

  1. Safety and functionality: Prioritize projects that will improve the safety and functionality of your home’s exterior. This will include fixing any roof leaks, repairing damaged siding, and upgrading windows and doors.
  2. Aesthetics: Consider the way your home looks from the point of view of a prospective buyer, even though you have no intention of selling right now. Think about the color schemes, textures, and architectural features of your home that will work best with the neighborhood and your home’s individual style.
  3. Budget: Set a realistic budget and prioritize projects that will have the biggest impact at the least cost. 

Hint: think paint. The biggest bang for the buck in home exterior remodeling comes from paint, so long as it has a solid foundation.

By identifying your priorities, you can develop a clear plan that you can execute with confidence.

Restoration and Repair

  1. Prioritize the work: Not all exterior repair needs to be done immediately. See if you can spread it over time to fit your budget.
  2. See how much of it you can do yourself. Shop around for materials. 
  3. Explore alternatives for any repair problem in front of you.
  4. For example, if you have damaged siding, can it be patched rather than replaced?
  5. Find some “how to” help on YouTube. There is a wealth of helpful tutorials on that platform.          
  6. And be sure you are safe if you need to use a ladder. 
  7. When in doubt, use a professional. And be sure to shop around for quotes.

Always think things through before you take action. This is the way to conserve your budget.

Adding Texture to Your Home’s Exterior

By “texture” we mean visual texture. We are not referring to a tactile texture on a physical surface. 

Playing with visual texture can be a creative and inexpensive way to add interest to the exterior of your home. Obviously, how you do this, or even if you do it at all depends on the unique situation of your home. But here are some ideas:

  1. Mix materials: Combining different materials can add texture and visual interest. For example, mix stone, brick, and wood.
  2. Choose complementary colors for the materials you use. Combine warm-colored brick with cool-colored stone. 
  3. Add contrasting trim details, such as millwork window casings or door surrounds.
  4. Consider siding with a natural texture, such as cedar or redwood. This can create a warm and inviting look.
  5. Front yard landscaping can also add texture and a harmonious curb appeal.

Updating Windows, Doors, and Roofing

You should already have a good idea of the condition of your windows, exterior doors, and roofing. If you have lived in the home for a while you will have the experience. If you have just purchased it, you will have a home inspection in front of you. 

Here are some ideas for updating these items:


If you need a new roof, be sure that it stays within the character of your home and the neighborhood. If it looks out of place, it will hurt the resale value of your home. 

Here are some suggestions for the roof:

  1. If the roof is in generally good condition, then repair is the best option.
  2. If the roof needs to be replaced, consider asphalt shingles as a budget-friendly option.
  3. A metal roof can also be a budget-friendly option. Plus they are durable and energy efficient. 
  4. If roof replacement is necessary, check out your financing options. The local municipality may have a grant program.

Be sure to get the advice of a good roofing contractor.


If you replace old and drafty windows with energy-efficient windows, you will save money on your energy bills and also improve the insulation of your home. 

There are many different types of windows available but pay attention to your budget and consider what will look and work well from the interior as well as be in keeping with your neighborhood. 

From the interior perspective, think along the lines of a bay window with a window seat. This can add a bit of a wow factor to your living space.


When you consider window treatments, see if adding working or decorative exterior shutters would be a good idea. Vinyl and composite shutters are more economical than wood shutters. 

Shutters can add a colorful and decorative “pop” to the look of the home. And working shutters can also add an element of energy efficiency and home security.


When it comes to exterior doors, pay special attention to the front door. Your front door and entryway make a statement to your visitors that reflect upon you. So be sure that they give a good impression. Here are some ideas for achieving this:

  1. Paint: A bold color paint that contrasts with the rest of your home’s exterior can create a striking effect. Make sure you use high-quality paint. Hint: A deep shade of red is considered very welcoming.
  2. Hardware: Dress up your front door with new hardware.
  3. Decorative elements: Add subtle decorative elements. Don’t go overboard with this.
  4. Glass: If your front door has a glass insert, change it up. You can add elegance and character with some stained glass.

But always remember to keep what you do to the exterior of your home within the architectural neighborhood and the home itself.

Second-Story Additions and Roof Remodeling

A second-story addition that involves roof remodeling and/or a new roof is a major undertaking, in practical, design, structural, and financial terms. 

And before you start, you must have feasibility established and a clear plan in place. This follows consultations with an architect, a general contractor, and the local authority. You must have financing and permits in hand before you start. 

You may be able to achieve the desired extra square footage in your home by a lateral room extension or perhaps a separate ADU or granny house. These are far less disruptive than a second-story addition. See our separate post on this.

If you take the plunge and put on a second-story addition be prepared to have alternative living arrangements organized for the duration of the project or at least some of it.

By the way, if your house would be the only one in the neighborhood to have a second story, think twice about the project. In a kind of perverse way, making your home this out of character with its neighbors might detract from its marketability on resale.

Adding Exterior Lighting

Here are some low-cost and not-so-low-cost ideas for adding exterior lighting. This is for safety, security, and ambiance.

  1. Solar lights: These are a very affordable and eco-friendly way to light up the exterior. And they require no hard wiring. They are great for walkway lighting and also landscape lighting
  2. Motion sensor lights: These flood lights are a simple way to enhance home security. And they can be enhanced by the use of security cameras.
  3. Wall sconces: These are great for flanking the front door and garage door. They are warm and welcoming.
  4. Spotlights: These are versatile and can provide focused beams to accent architectural features, trees, or plants. Some are solar-powered.
  5. Post lights: These are a good way to light up driveways and walkways. They come in a variety of styles ranging from classic lanterns to modern. 

With care, you can design a lighting scheme that will serve the triple purpose of complementing your home’s style, welcoming visitors, and deterring intruders.

The Driveway

Do not neglect your driveway. A shabby driveway will detract from your other exterior renovation efforts. But upgrading it, or at least repairing it will add functionality and curb appeal to your home. Here are some ideas for driveway remodeling:

  1. Resurfacing: If your driveway is simply worn or cracked, consider resurfacing it with fresh asphalt or concrete renovation.
  2. If your driveway needs to be replaced, consider brick, stone, or concrete pavers arranged in patterns for a custom look.
  3. Borders: Adding a border can add style. It can be contrasting brick or stone. And you could combine it with landscaped flower beds.

Remember to choose driveway renovation materials that will complement the exterior of your home.

Bringing it All Together

For the best results with your home exterior remodeling project, you must aim for cohesion. The look of each element of your project must complement all the other elements. You don’t want anything that looks out of place or is jarring to the eye. And the key to success in bringing it all together lies in detailed advanced planning.

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