Now that temperatures are cooling off for fall, it’s the perfect time to tackle those outdoor projects that you put off over the summer — who wants to work on a roof in the sweltering hot summer sun? With fall officially here, it is the right time to focus on outdoor home improvements.
Few things add more value than well-planned and executed outdoor home improvement projects. Updates such as adding new flower beds, planting a garden and building a new deck do more than just improve curb appeal; they can also increase property and resale values when it’s time to sell your home.
Getting the most value
Most basic maintenance outdoor updates like replacing siding and garage doors usually have higher returns. Returns are generally based on values of the neighboring homes, the housing market where you live, how soon you sell after improvements, and quality of the projects, according to HGTV.
Adding a steel entry door (85.6% of costs recouped), a wood deck (77.3% of costs recouped) and replacing a garage door (75.7% of costs recouped) gave homeowners the most value for their investment dollars, according to national averages in the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.
If you’re trying to decide which outdoor projects to undertake, here are 10 ideas. Some are DIY, while others will require professional help from licensed, professional contractors.
1. Replace that old roof: Adding a new roof can give your home an instant outside makeover that can account for as much as 40% of your home’s curb appeal. Make sure yours isn’t aging and weathered.
2. Update your lawn: It’s amazing what a manicured lawn can do for a home’s resale value. Simple projects such as adding new flower beds, planting a garden, and edging your lawn and cutting shrubs are easy peasy DIY projects that can make your lawn pop. More extensive landscaping projects like adding shrubs, trees and decorative landscaping generally require professional help.
3. Add a few coats of paint: Nothing changes a room like a few swipes of new paint. The same can be said for exterior painting, because of the exterior facelift it gives a home. Many homeowners may choose to tackle this project themselves, but most decide to let a professional handle it, since a good paint job can last decades. Make sure your paint, trim and outside decor are cohesive.
4. Install a new front door: If your front door hasn’t been updated in a few decades, it might be time for a replacement. A new front door instantly improves your home’s resale value — it’s the focal point of your home and is one of the first things that sellers see. You know the saying that you can’t make a second first impression? Ditto for doors.
5. Install outdoor lighting: Lights aren’t just for inside the home, they’re also for outside. Light fixtures can increase safety and add more interest and depth to your outdoor decor.
6. Replace old windows: You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on your home’s interior updates, but if your windows are old, drafty and look like they need replacing, you won’t get top dollar for your home. Trade those old, drafty windows for ENERGY STAR-qualified windows and it could save as much as $465 in energy costs annually.
7. Update outdoor hardware: Not every update has to cost thousands. Adding a new mailbox, door latches and house numbers in the same finish can refresh the exterior at a relatively low cost.
8. Refresh siding: There’s a reason why exterior siding is one of the leading home improvement projects with the biggest return: No one wants to come home to a house with ugly siding! Replace old, worn siding with vinyl in a variety of colors, styles and finishes (including shingles).
9. Add a new garage door: Forget white or beige. Carriage doors made of wood or composite materials are all the rage. The garage door is one of the most entered doors in your home and is considered the “second door” for its heavy use.
10. Building a new deck: A new deck is a popular project that is relatively inexpensive. For about $500, you can build a simple DIY outdoor deck. Or you can hire contractors for more extensive wrap around and second-and third floor decks that cost anywhere from $3,500 -$10,000 and up.
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About Dallas Hunter Clounch
As a licensed real estate agent and co-founder of Local City Agents, I am excited to help real estate agents and home buyers connect & bring real time data to our communities. Local City Agents is my opportunity to connect communities as they have never been connected before, it’s what drives me and really makes me excited about this opportunity.