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They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but when it comes to improving the appearance, energy efficiency and comfort of your home, the outside is pretty important too.

Making a few improvements to your home’s exterior produces a big difference when it comes to enhancing livability for you and your family or preparing your house to be sold.

How Do I Upgrade the Outside of My House?

Before you change the exterior of your house in Delaware, you should identify a specific purpose for the change first. Are you simply wanting your home to look better? Are you trying to lower your monthly energy bills? Do you need to repair damage or improve the structural integrity of the house? Do you have an older home and you are deciding if it’s even worth remodeling? Once you’ve identified the problem or pain point, you can select the right solution. As you explore options with your Delaware general contractor, here are eight common exterior home improvements that payoff well:

1. Repair Your Roofing System

If you’re looking at home upgrades that add value, start from the top down. Asphalt and wood shingle roofs typically need replacing after about 20 to 25 years, while rubber and metal roofs last considerably longer. However, you’ll need to do some upkeep before then. Check your roof for issues such as missing, loose, cracked or damaged shingles; sagging; mold or rot; holes or dark spots; or signs of water damage or leaking. If you see these problems, hire a roofing company for a roof repair or replacement. If you want to further increase the value of your home, consider going with a higher quality or grade of materials. Additionally, mid-tone or darker shingles are more popular and perceived as a greater value-add than lighter shingles.

2. Upgrade Your Windows and Doors

Along with your roof, check the status of your windows and exterior doors, including your garage door, and consider upgrading these features. If you plan to replace your windows and doors, choose varieties that both look appealing and increase energy efficiency. Fiberglass doors are particularly desirable because they are weather resistant and offer as much as four times the insulating R-value than wooden doors. Pay particular attention to your front door, as your entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. For windows, consider double-paned varieties and glass with a higher low-E coating. Finally, don’t neglect your garage door. Although it might be a greater investment, you are likely to recoup most of the cost in resale value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report.

3. Put on Fresh Siding and Paint

In terms of curb appeal, you can do wonders for your home’s façade by replacing the exterior siding or adding a fresh coat of paint. If you’re going to paint older siding, which is the less expensive option, first pressure-wash your home to remove old dirt and debris. Make sure there’s no mold growing as well. Replacing your exterior siding requires a greater investment of time and money, but Remodeling Magazine reports it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to increase your home’s value if done correctly. Choose your siding material based on energy efficiency and how it aesthetically complements both the style of your home and the character of your surrounding neighborhood. Make sure it is installed by a professional siding company in Delaware.

4. Add an Outdoor Entertainment Area

Outdoor living spaces are also in high demand. For your exterior home renovation project, consider building a deck, backyard patio, gazebo, or other welcoming space to use for cooking outdoors, hanging out with family, and entertaining guests. A wooden deck addition costs about $15,000 in the tri-state area and the estimated return on investment (ROI) is about 67%. Composite decks are more expensive upfront—or about $21,000—but the ROI is closer to 72%. Just as important, exterior living spaces improve the quality of life for you and other household members by giving you a means to stay connected to nature and enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and outdoor activities on your own property.

5. Install Ramp or ADA-Accessible Walkway

If you want to enhance your home with a universal design, meaning it is accessible to anyone regardless of age or ability, consider adding a ramp and ensure the path to the entryway is safe and accessible. You will need to be a little cautious when designing your ramp, as you want to make sure that it blends seamlessly into the rest of your property, otherwise, it can look awkward and out of place which actually detracts from your home value. If you can, attach the ramp to your deck or porch and build it out of a similar, long-lasting material to create cohesion. The landscaping you choose also can complement your ramp or even partially conceal it.

6. Refresh Your Landscaping

Speaking of landscaping, that’s another focus area that adds value to your Delaware home. At the very least, trim and maintain the trees and plants you already have on your property and clean up outdoor pathways and trails in your yard. If you’re feeling more ambitious and would like a greater ROI, tackle a comprehensive outdoor makeover that involves a modern landscaping design, new plants, and hardscaping. Using a creative mix of landscaping materials and shrubbery along with blooming perennials and annuals adds texture and appeal to your outdoor living area.

7. Light Your Exterior

You want to create a warm, welcoming environment that encourages you to make the most of your exterior living spaces. One often overlooked way of adding value to your home is improving your outdoor lighting for safety, security, and ambience. Proper lighting ensures the safety of your family and guests as they’re coming to and from your home at night. Additionally, it can help deter burglars and trespassers. As you plan for replacing or upgrading your lighting, consider architectural lighting to illuminate the features of your house, porch lights for your deck, and landscape lighting to accent surrounding walkways, trees, and bushes.

8. Integrate Amenities into Your Deck

A deck in and of itself is a valuable feature for your home. If you want to take it to the next level, add an outdoor fire pit, hot tub, or summer kitchen. These amenities help you maximize the use and enjoyment of your outdoor space while also appealing to homebuyers. You don’t need flashy features for them to be effective. For example, for an outdoor kitchen project, an inset grill, a 60-square-foot concrete countertop, stainless steel drawers, an ice chest, and a sink are all you really need to efficiently cook meals outdoors with your family and friends.

Upgrading the Exterior of Your Delaware Home

If you want to add value to your home with exterior upgrades, it’s helpful to have a certified roofing and siding contractor to ensure the project is done properly and cost-effectively. Bromwell Construction Company offers a range of exterior home improvement services such as windows, doors, siding, roofing, and decks. With top-notch materials and excellent craftsmanship, we can help your home’s exterior function and look as good as what’s on the inside.