6 Tips for Planning Your Exterior Home Improvement Project
An extensive renovation project is part and parcel of being a homeowner. While there is a lot of focus on interior decor, exterior home renovation and repair often take a backseat. However, an exterior home improvement project is essential to maintain your home’s curb appeal and real estate value. That being said, exterior home improvement is quite a broad term. So it is important to first define the elements of an exterior renovation.
What is the meaning of “exterior renovation”?
In a nutshell, any renovation where an existing and visible exterior material on a house or property is repaired or replaced with another material can be called an exterior renovation. For instance, adding a new coat of paint to the facade is a part of the exterior renovation, a form of repair. However, it could also include installing or removing materials, just like an interior revamp. For example, during interior renovation, if you want a contemporary kitchen style, then traditional cabinets and appliances can be replaced by shaker-style cabinets and integrated appliances for a sleek, modern finish. Drawing parallels for exterior renovation, the main door and windows can be replaced by new, modern variations.
With a clearer picture of exterior renovation, here are 6 tips you can implement to successfully plan your ambitious project.
1. Choose the right installer
Perhaps the most important criterion is to select the right installer for your exterior home improvement project. In fact, it is even more important than procuring quality materials for the job, as it would be the workers and the contractor who will execute your vision. Therefore, poor workmanship can ruin the quality and aesthetics of even the best materials, and you are left with a sub-standard renovation that costs a fortune.
To avoid this, always look for reputed contractors who have a proven track record of past projects. Talk to them clearly regarding your budget and expectations. If you find a contractor promising a lot at a low budget, chances are that they will most likely not deliver on their promises. Hidden costs and shoddy work are the trademarks of bad contractors who may not have your best interests at heart. However, with the right budget and a quality planner and contractor, the exterior renovation project is guaranteed success.
2. Be Careful While Selecting Fencing Material
For suburban houses, fencing is extremely important. Other than offering a sense of privacy and protection from the outside world, it also adds to the aesthetic value of a property. Hence, if required, fencing should also be promptly replaced during an exterior renovation project. However, you might know the right material for fencing. With some decent research, you will find that aluminum mesh or vinyl fences are the best material for this purpose.
Both materials are known for their extremely durable properties. They can resist some decent wear and tear and have fantastic corrosion resistance properties. In humid regions or areas prone to a lot of rain or snow, they also show excellent resilience, where normal steel fencing might eventually rot. Even with little to no maintenance, a robust fence made of these materials can easily last for 50-plus years, if not more. Lastly, both aluminum and vinyl mesh are known to be quite lightweight. Hence, it is very easy to install and maintain them.
3. Plan Your Timing With Weather In Mind
Any homeowner who has undertaken at least one renovation project knows the importance of weather. The right conditions can ensure a smooth revamp process. Conversely, adverse conditions can hinder or even ruin the entire process. Hence, it is vital to plan the renovation to get the maximum return on your investment. Summertime, particularly around April, is often considered the best time to carry out exterior home improvement projects. However, if you have missed this window or can’t wait until April, then spring and autumn are also a great time to get any major revamp done.
The main season to watch out for is winter. Due to the presence of fog or snow, the overall moisture content in the air is higher. This can cause a form of rot on certain sections of the house, such as windows and siding. Hence, make sure to replace these elements and winter-proof them well ahead of time.
4. Consider a Project Manager to Stay on Time and Budget
Perhaps you have the funds to undertake an extensive home renovation project. You have also hired the best contractor for the task, ensuring your home is in excellent hands. However, there are many other aspects of the project which are equally tedious and require meticulous planning. After all, it is vital to ensure that various tasks like adding new siding or installing a new roof are done on time. But you may just not have the time to oversee and micromanage every aspect of the renovation.
To prevent such hassles, it is best to hire a project manager. This person will handle the logistical side of the operation, including completion time, using quality materials, adhering to the given budget and so on. By simply investing a little more, you can give the responsibility of even hiring a reputable contractor and staff to the manager. Hence, if you are not an expert in home renovation, consider opting for a project manager.
5. If You’re Going Big, Do it in Phases
With time, any home requires extensive repairs and renovations. Maybe your fence needs to be replaced, but your windows also require a makeover. Most importantly, you need to re-tile the roof to protect your home in the coming months. Or maybe, the exterior paint of your house is looking lacklustre and requires a do-over. Doing all these renovations at once can be a major investment and can take a lot of time, money and effort. Therefore, if you looking to save some money, it is best to do a major renovation in phases. For instance, focus on the roof first, and work on the windows and paint in the next season and so on. Alternatively, plan a renovation for the front of the house first as curb appeal is important, and save up to revamp the back of the house next year. Overall, this incremental approach is excellent for those who are not looking to splurge.
6. If You’re Going Small, Replacing Your Entry Doors is a Great Place to Start
If you have a lot of financial constraints and are looking for a small makeover at best, then start with the front door of the property. It is a common consensus among renovation contractors that the front door of the house is often inefficient in sealing the entrance properly and can let in a large amount of air over time. This can be particularly disastrous in the winter months, as the cold will drive up your heating/energy costs. Hence, simply replacing this door will go a long way to save you money during the colder months.
The best part is, along with utility, you can also boost the aesthetic value of a home by going for a new door. For instance, opting for deep, warm hues like red or green will really boost the property’s curb appeal. So, with a small renovation, you can make a major impact on the looks and efficiency of your home.
By following these 6 tips, you can plan an excellent exterior renovation that will not break the bank and give you the desired result. Of course, these tips are not exhaustive by any means, and there might be several factors to consider. However, these general guidelines are still quite effective in making the renovation process smooth and hassle-free.
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