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Editors Blog

Four Exterior Projects That Should Be at the Top of Every Homeowner’s Checklist


By Lauren Topor-Reichert

Before you start that backyard deck addition or begin to break ground on that extended master suite project you’ve been thinking about, you should know that all home improvements are not created equal. Some improvements have high returns, while others can be major flops when it comes time to sell. What are buyers looking for these days? And, what are homeowners working on? Here are four exterior projects that are popular today.

Adding Security Around the Property

Home security should be top of mind for any homeowner. In 2016, for example, it is estimated that there were 1,515,096 burglaries across the United States, according to FBI data. That same figure accounts for just over 19 percent of property crimes across the country. There are a number of ways homeowners can take action to safeguard their homes. And some of these measures are a no brainer. Flood lights, for example, can offer a layer of security to the front or backyard. And when paired with a security monitoring system, can keep criminals from targeting your home.

Vinyl or Cement Siding Replacement

This exterior home project can recoup 76.7 percent of the job cost when it comes time to sell, according to the 2018 Remodeling magazine Cost vs. Value report. There are a handful of benefits to replacing siding. Vinyl siding is available in a range of colors and fade-resistant finishes that can stand up to the test of time. And, it means you will never have the paint the outside of your home again. Fiber-cement siding is also a viable option, and is considered by many to be a more quality option. Which at selling time, is a factor that a lot of buyers look for.

Roof Repairs or Replacement

The average roof can last around 25 years. However, there are some exceptions. Clay, or Spanish-style, roofs have a lifetime of 100 years. And roofs made from materials such as metal can last up to 50 years. The right roofing choices can keep a home looking good for decades. If shingles are missing or curling, shingle granules are clogging up the gutters or more obvious tell-tale signs of roof decay like sun shining through or leaks occur, it may be high time to make necessary repairs or replace the entire roof altogether.

Window Replacement

Old, outdated windows can run up an energy bill. Dated single-pane windows can let the outdoor elements in, including cold drafts in the winter and heat during the summertime. But homeowners can save money on their utility bills, and spruce up the exterior of their homes, by updating their windows. Energy Star-rated windows can save homeowners anywhere from $126 to $465 annually on their utility bills. Plus, most contemporary, energy-efficient windows are also more secure, and more fashionable than older types.

From updating the windows or replacing the roof, these four exterior home improvements are great investments with even better returns.

Lauren Topor-Reichert is a full-time freelance writer and alumna of Arizona State University. Her professional work has appeared in a variety of publications from lifestyle mags to business websites. Follow her on Twitter @laurentopor.