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7 Exterior Home Improvement Ideas

Focus on Roofing, Siding, Foundations, and More

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Home with Yellow Siding

As spring and federal income tax refunds come together or you’ve got some funds put back, one thing that's on everybody’s mind is home improvement. Your home’s exterior is a particularly sensitive area of concern.

Both spring and fall are important times to have an HVAC check-up and a roof evaluation, but have you considered hiring a crew of house painters? A home facelift may be in order. Let’s look at the 7 most popular exterior home improvement trends today.

  1. Exterior Painting.

    Every home with traditional wood siding can profit from a paint job; how often this needs to be done depends on your weather conditions and the quality of paint that you use.

    It’s important to chip off the old paint, apply primer, and then apply the finish paint.

    This is a job you can tackle yourself or you can hire a pro after finding a reputable one on Angie’s List.
  2. Siding Replacement.

    Homes have a form of siding if they do not have a brick veneer. Siding can either be rejuvenated by a crew of house painters by cleaning or by completely replacing the siding with a new product.

    Siding is an important part of your home. It provides a barrier against the elements, it has a large role in controlling the interior temperature of your home, and is an important factor in your equity.

    When replacing your siding, be aware that you have choices. Your decision should be guided by climate, budget, future maintenance, energy efficiency, and personal preference. Some choices are wood (such as ship lap), vinyl, metal, and more.
  3. Roofing Inspection and Repair.

    Your roof is one of the only things standing between you and the environment. Have you had it inspected and serviced recently? It just might be time.

    Roof inspections do not take too long but they might save you some big bucks because of preventative maintenance. A professional can spot the tell-tale signs of problems before they worsen, really eating into your bank account. How old are your shingles? The longevity claim on the package is rarely accurate.

    Is your flashing up to par? How about your fascia panels? A simple home inspection will answer these questions.
  4. Check Your Foundation.

    Whether your home’s foundation is on a slab or not, its integrity is one of the most important things you can keep an improvement eye on. Have a foundation company do an evaluation of your property, especially if you have had a dry spell.

    Perhaps the biggest enemy of your foundation is the fluctuation between dry and wet soil conditions. Pooling water in one area near the foundation is also a recipe for disaster. Constantly wet ground near one area of your home from a subterranean slow water leak is easy to detect. Look for soggy turf or abnormal grass growth.
  5. Be Sure to Have Adequate Attic Ventilation.

    Attic ventilation costs homeowners many dollars each year. Be sure that your ridge vents, whirly-birds, and soffit vents are up to snuff.

    One very important thing is to make sure you don’t have both whirly-birds and ridge vents; it might seem like it will be more efficient but in fact it will cause the removal of heated air from your attic to "short circuit"; the whirly-birds will remove air passing through the ridge vents rather than the hot attic air.
  6. How Effective is Your Insulation?

    Insulation may be commonly categorized as an interior item, but it is actually effectively exterior as well. Maxing out on your insulation in your exterior walls and attic can save you a lot of money.

    An interesting type of insulation to consider is radiant barrier paint and foil. It generally goes in the attic but the paint can also be applied to interior walls.

    Note that if you are replacing your roof, new sheathing is now available that has the radiant barrier built right into it.
  7. Energy Efficient Windows and Doors

    Drafts may plague you during the winter, but they can rob you during the spring and summer as well. Do your inspections, replace outdated seals, and tighten things up!

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