The excellent industry magazine Remodeling has recently published their annual Cost vs Value report which compares “36 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale”. It’s an excellent report that can give you a real insight to the best home improvement projects for your area and is well worth reading in detail.
Now, we all know that one of the best ways to improve your home’s resale value is by maximizing its “curb appeal” – anything that you can do to make your house look more inviting from the outside is going to give people more of a reason to come inside! But what are the absolute best exterior projects that will give you the best return on your investment? Let’s have a look a the top 4 exterior investment ideas in detail.
It’s no surprise that having the best quality doors and windows possible is a key factor that will make your home more appealing to potential buyers. But what is particularly surprising is that not all kinds of doors and windows are equally good investment options – for example the Cost vs Value report suggests that whilst a fiberglass entry door will give you a pretty decent 72% return on your investment, a steel entry door is well worth the expense as you’ll get a whopping 101.8% return! Amazing!
Furthermore, you might think it best to go all out on new windows – and that’s not a bad idea as they will get you a return of 72.9% to 78.8%, depending on the material (wood being more valuable). But spending money on a great, mid-range garage door replacement is wiser by far, with an average return of 88.4%. Getting your garage door and entry door to match in style and color will also add to the general good looks of your home.
As home improvement guru John Rita states on HouseLogic.com, “no other building material plays such as key role in your home as siding”. Not only essential to keep your home secure against the weather, siding also dictates the look and feel of your home.
Replacing weathered and damaged siding is not only going to ensure that your home looks amazing from the outside, but depending on the material you use it could prove to be a great investment too: vinyl siding gives a return of 80.7% on average. This is great news, as vinyl siding also happens to be the most cost effective option for replacement siding; but other options such as metal, fiber-cement and wood are all good choices. The bottom line is that good-looking siding is going to help sell your house!
Everyone loves a lovely garden, but everyone prefers a great deck from which to enjoy it! The brilliant thing about adding a deck or porch to your home is that you’ll instantly create the base for an outside room – either as a relaxed al fresco dining space or an informal outdoor living room, defining part of your deck as an outside room will give potential buyers a real sense of how they can use the exterior space to the max.
But beware, your choice of decking material will greatly determine how much of an investment you get out of it: whilst composite decking materials are generally cheaper, they don’t hold their value with a rather disappointing 68% return on the investment compared to a much better 80.5% return for a solid wood decking.
Last, but not least, your exterior yard has to have good landscaping to appeal to buyers and give that all-important “curb appeal” that everyone talks of. Sadly the Cost vs Value report doesn’t take general landscaping projects into account, but it’s common sense really that any effort you put into making your outside look good is going to pay off.
Here are some top tips for choosing the right landscaping projects to focus on.
Firstly, opt for plants that are native to your area as they will require less attentive care than non-native plants, and remember that evergreen plants will provide your garden with interest and color all year round.
Secondly, plant trees – they are great for the environment and psychologically add a sense of permanence to your home.
Thirdly, invest in high quality warm-toned outdoor lighting to help make your home look super inviting for after-hours visits. And lastly, if you have a heavily sloped front garden, consider tiered retaining walls and beds – nobody wants to think about mowing up a huge slope!
Did you invest in the exterior appearance of you home before making a sale? Please share your experience with us in the comments section below. Or even better submit the details of your project and share some design inspiration!