January 13, 2021
The importance of “curb appeal” should not be under-estimated when it comes to increasing your home’s resale value.
So, whether you are looking to sell your home in the near future or add value for the longer term, exterior home upgrades are the best starting point.
But which upgrades are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck?
Just before we get into the top six value-adding ideas for the exterior of your home, let’s consider the huge power of curb appeal not only to “wow” passersby but to boost your home’s resale value.
If you are in any doubt about the power of curb appeal, the following results from a HomeLight survey should dispel them.
In the 2019 survey of the top real estate agents in the U.S., 95.5 percent responded positively to the “true or false” statement: great curb appeal adds value to the seller’s bottom line.
So, if you want to add value to your home, curb appeal seems the obvious place to start. Specifically, then, which home improvement projects will add the most resale value to your home?
Each of the following types of upgrades is proven to provide an excellent return on investment, providing (of course) that the project is completed to a high standard.
1. REPLACE YOUR ROOF
According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), replacing a roof recovers 107 percent of its cost at resale.
That means if your new roof costs $20,000, the average value at resale is $21,400.
Roofs that are 15 or 20 years old often show major signs of wear and tear – especially if your home is located in a part of North America that sees regular hail storms or other types of extreme weather.
In particular, roofs made of asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, or even slate can experience problems over time, leading to expensive repairs, costly water damage, etc.
Switching to a more durable roofing material using the latest roofing technology not only saves you the hassle of ever having to replace your roof again – but it can also add impressive resale value to your home.
Two identical homes in the same location – one with a 15-year-old shake roof and another with one of our Euroshield® rubber roofs – are not identical in value. The rubber-roofed home will be worth more.
The beauty of rubber is that, from the curb, one of our Beaumont Shake, Ranchlands Shake, Rundle Slate, Vermont Slate HP, or Vermont Slate roofs look equally as impressive as hand-cut cedar shake or fine quarried slate roofs.
However, being made largely of recycled rubber tires and promising unmatched durability and a 50-year transferable warranty against hail, it will be the last roof you (or a new owner) will ever need to replace.
2. GET A PROFESSIONAL PAINT TOUCH-UP
Fresh paint should be a no-brainer for creating a great first impression with your home and increasing the value before you sell.
It is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a difference.
If most of the house still looks reasonably freshly painted, just focus on any flaking areas and paint the front door and trim, while also pressure washing to remove any dirt and mould.
3. REPLACE THE SIDING
Even if your siding still looks good, you may face questions from prospective buyers.
If your siding is looking worse for wear, definitely consider replacing it with new fibre-cement or vinyl siding. This is an energy-efficient way to provide a fresh new look for your home that adds significant curb appeal.
According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, replacing old siding with either of these newer types is one of the top ways to add resale value to a home, ranked only behind a roof replacement and new windows.
4. REPLACE THE MAIN EXTERIOR DOORS
You may be able to use the existing motorized opener to save costs on your garage door replacement but for a few hundred dollars, you get a brand-new look at the end of the driveway for a small investment.
For the front of your house, you might like to consider a steel front door. This can create an excellent first impression for visitors – steel conveys security, durability, low-maintenance, and energy efficiency, which are all important factors to home buyers.
If you prefer a slightly softer and more welcoming appearance, fibreglass is another great option for a new front door.
5. LANDSCAPING SUCH AS TREE-PLANTING, DECKS, AND FENCING
A few strategically planted shade trees, flowering shrubs, and colourful plants can make a big difference to the first impression from the roadside and approach to the front door.
Depending on your location, trees generally attract birds and other wildlife, which can be an attraction for city buyers too.
Your landscaping efforts do not have to involve hard work if you choose the right low-maintenance plants and get good advice from a landscaping professional or your gardener.
Next, your deck and fence can add to your home's broader appeal. Potential buyers look for homes that are move-in ready and require minimal investment beyond the purchase price. Hiring a professional deck and fence company to spruce up your backyard can increase your home's resale value considerably.
6. REPLACE OLD WINDOWS
Apart from creating a good first impression, people know that new windows are more energy-efficient and less likely to allow heat (or cool air-conditioned air) to escape from the home.
You might like to consider vinyl windows for their extra durability or more traditional wooden ones.
If you’re looking to sell your home in the future, it might be tempting to assume that people will judge your home based on what’s inside.
The unfortunate fact is that nobody will get past an obviously leaky roof – they will be on the lookout for signs of water damage. For example, a common issue found with a flat roofing system is water ponding. Nobody is likely to even step foot inside your home to inspect it if the first impression from the outside is lousy.
Most buyers want to take the basic systems for granted and tick off a few cosmetic items that mean they don’t need to get their hands too dirty as soon as they buy.
This generally means a roof that doesn't leak, windows that don’t look shabby and let in drafts, and a front door that doesn’t scare children away!
Of course, superb granite benchtops in the kitchen and the finest bathroom fittings can make a big impression once visitors are inside – but if you want to score some big points first up, focus on what you can do to improve the exterior of your home.
Why spend money on expensive rewiring or plumbing work that might go largely unnoticed?
It makes more sense to make aesthetic improvements that add curb appeal and also remedy obvious faults that house-hunters will be looking for.
Cost vs. value: A small investment today for big dividends tomorrow
Upgrading the outside of your home is about more than making cosmetic changes.
Whether it’s upgrading the roof, replacing the siding, or one of the other tips mentioned above, the exterior of your home is both the first line of defence against the elements – and the first aspect of your home to make an impression on potential buyers.
A faulty or damaged roof or shabby siding will stick out like a sore thumb. So, external home upgrades are really the place to start if you are looking to add quality and value to your home.
Some of the exterior upgrades mentioned might be “big-ticket items” but these kinds of projects generally pay for themselves quickly. Think of exterior improvements as high-interest investments in the long-term value of your home.