Exterior Enhancements That Add Value to Your Home

Prospective buyers encounter the outside of your home before ever seeing the inside. Make sure they’re captivated enough to get there.

Advice on how to increase the value of your home’s interior can be found at every turn. But what about the exterior, the first thing a prospective buyer will judge about your home? ESTATENVY caught up with Mike Show, Exterior Division Business Manager for design-build company Bradford and Kent Custom Remodelers, to pin down some of the best ways to add value to your home through exterior enhancements.

“Oftentimes, our clients have been in their homes for five to 15 years and have already remodeled the interior,” Show said. “The exterior is one of the last things they do, but it winds up being arguably the most important, simply by the fact that people see the outside of a home first.”

Upgrade with stone veneer

Bradford and Kent’s exterior division has grown from windows and siding replacement to improving the exterior design and curb appeal of homes with a designer’s eye to add to their distinctiveness. Adding stone veneer, whether as wainscoting or as full siding, achieves an elevated look and feel with awesome return on investment to boot.

“A house can be made to look totally different by changing or adding visually intriguing elements to the exterior,” Show said. “Adding stone veneer to the outside of your home has huge ROI. Across the U.S. in 2018, annual cost versus value of manufactured stone veneer was at 97 percent, which is amazing.”

Replace siding

Replacing a home’s siding is another excellent way to add resale value to a home, Show said. Beyond its impact on energy saving, upgrading siding brings back impressive ROI as well.

“Over the last year and a half,” the 40-year home industry veteran said, “Homeowners are seeking more contemporary and edgy exterior enhancements and adding in more architectural elements. Combining stone or stucco with siding or adding panel siding for a more commercial or industrial look has also become prevalent.”

Show recommended James Hardie panels that are made with metal strops to look like paneled siding of old. He also noted the increased popularity of gray exterior coloring due to its versatility. Show said he’s seen clients mix it with natural tones or use it as an accent to dark or medium-dark wood for a more earthy exterior look.

Add a covered front entrance or portico

“Over the last three years, porches and covered front entrances, like porticos, have skyrocketed in popularity,” Show said, noting the trend has become a part of half of the projects Bradford and Kent’s remodeling division takes on. “We’re adding more and more porches and roof overhangs to give homes in subdivisions a different look than neighboring homes,” he added.

Show said if he had to choose a single exterior renovation project to invest in before putting his home on the market, it would be updating his front entryway.

“The ROI is incredible, but beyond that, it makes our clients' homes stand out. Porches and porticos help homes sell much faster and at a higher price. Ask yourself: what will attract a buyer to my home instead of the one three doors down?”

When asked what he wouldn’t bother investing in with the knowledge he'd be moving within three years, Show said he’d be disinclined to take on a window replacement project unless he was staying put.

“New windows aren’t going to give your home’s exterior any pizazz or impact curb appeal meaningfully,” he said. “That said, the energy savings that new windows bring make it a worthwhile investment if you plan to stay.”