There are few things as rewarding, and potentially frustrating, for homeowners as taking on a home exterior makeover. There are many advantages of remodeling your exterior, from increasing value in preparation for sale to simply turning your house into a home you'll be proud of. However, it's all too easy to get excited and jump into a remodel without carefully planning ahead. The end result is often unplanned expenses and potential disappointment.
Simplify the process and enjoy yourself more by following these 13 tips and ideas for tackling your own home exterior makeover project.
1. Create a Plan and Stick to It
The worst mistake is to rush into an exterior remodel without a plan. Plan for the big picture of what you'd like your exterior to look like, then start small. Determine which projects are the most important and start there. For example, if your roof is already leaking or your siding is damaged, focus on that first. Hiring a contractor as a consultant can help you find out what areas of your exterior should be a priority.
2. Drive Around Your Neighborhood for Ideas
Perhaps one of the most useful ways of gaining insight into what you might like your new exterior to look like is to drive around your neighborhood. Do a little sightseeing and take notes on what seems to be popular in the area. You certainly don't need your home to be a cookie-cutter copy of everyone else's, but blending in with the overall style of the region looks attractive and can help if you decide to eventually sell.
3. Focus on High ROI Projects First
If your home's exterior doesn't have major problems, then consider focusing on high ROI projects first. ROI, or Return On Investment, projects will be those that have the best cost vs value when it comes to selling your home. Examples of high ROI exterior projects would be new siding, a classic wood deck, or an inviting new entrance door.
4. Don't Overestimate Your DIY Abilities
Although there are plenty of DIY projects that a family handyman can take care of, be sure you don't overestimate your abilities, or those of a loved one trying to help out. More often than not, a DIY project ends up being just as expensive as if you had hired a pro. Not only will you have spent as much or more money doing it yourself, but you'll also have invested a lot of your own time and possibly end up with a less-than-professional result.
5. Hire a Contractor Experienced with Your Style
Any professional, reputable contractor will likely be able to help you with your needs, but try and pick one that tends to work on the same exterior style you want for your home. If the vision you have for your exterior is rustic and western, chances are a contractor who specializes in modern or minimalist styles could struggle. Take a peek at prospective contractors’ website galleries and go from there.
6. Look for Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency
Every homeowner can clearly benefit from lowered HVAC bills. You can lower the costs of running your house while also giving your exterior a facelift in a few different ways. Replace aged or damaged siding and roofing with new materials (more on that below). Select a new entrance door that is beautiful but also insulated. Don't forget about your window and door frames. Replace weather stripping and repairs any holes or cracks.
7. Consider Seasonal Weather Limits
Spring and early fall are great times to plan for remodeling and general exterior projects. Temperatures during these times are warm but not uncomfortably hot or cold. Spring is a great season for installing decks, as the ground is dry, but still soft enough to be easily dug compared to summer or fall. However, other projects might benefit from high heat, such as roofing (higher heat = proper sealing).
8. Install Soffit and Fascia to Improve Your Roof
Want to keep your home cooler in the summer while also giving it an attractive finishing touch? Fiber cement soffit and fascia should be considered a must-have for a properly designed roof. Soffit is the siding located under the roof eave while fascia is the board along your roof's edge. Fascia is a great finishing touch when it comes to curb appeal, but soffit keeps moisture and pests from getting into your roof or attic. Vented soffit also allows for air flow into the attic, which cools the home by preventing heat buildup and also helps prevent ice dams in the winter.
9. Invest in Professional Landscaping
Unless you happen to have a green thumb, it's best to leave initial landscaping to a professional. After the initial landscaping is done, be sure you properly maintain it or hire a service to do so. Strongly consider having your landscaper include native plant species when possible, as they help the environment and reduce maintenance needs. You may also consider limiting the size of your lawn to reduce watering and mowing needs, as well.
10. Ensure a Balance Between Aesthetics and Function
Focus too heavily on the looks of your exterior, and end up with a high-maintenance, expensive home to care for. Focus too heavily on function, and you instead might end up with a home that is too utilitarian and anything but welcoming. Find a balance between both and you'll end up with a home that is dripping in curb appeal, but also offers functional benefits.
11. Replace Old Siding with Something Superior
Think twice before replacing old wood or vinyl siding with the same material. Wood is high-maintenance and vinyl is apt to crack and peel over time. Since you'll already be removing the siding, kick these materials to the curb for good and opt for fiber cement siding instead. Not only does it come in a variety of colors, but you'll also get a much longer life from your new siding with the most minimal effort on your part.
12. Quality LED Lighting Adds Instant Appeal
LED lighting is cost-effective and surprisingly easy to install. The average homeowner, even someone that isn't super handy, can likely install their own LED lights throughout the home's exterior and/or landscaping. Solar lights are an excellent choice as well, particularly if you live in a climate that gets plenty of sun. Consider installing LED lights on staircases, exterior walls, under deck railings, and along walkways.
13. Be Prepared to Deal with Waste and Scraps
Unused building materials like extra siding and decking can often be returned to the store, sold through online classifieds, or simply given away. But be prepared to dispose of any old materials, scraps, and general trash that comes with a remodeling project. Chances are high that you may very well need to rent a dumpster.
With careful planning and keeping these tips in mind, you'll avoid unnecessary problems, stay on budget, and achieve your dream home exterior with far fewer obstacles.
7 Siding Ideas Using the Trendiest Neutral Color
Thursday, May 03 2018
When you want a neutral house color that still has some personality to it, grey is a fantastic choice. Light or dark, with warm or cool undertones, grey can convey a lot of interest and dynamic visual appeal to a home. Unsure of how grey would look on your siding? Check out these seven images for ideas.
1. Sterling Grey Shingles
Beach homes are well known for using many shades of grey to complement the colors of the sea, sky, and sand nearby. Paired with fiber cement shingles, which hold up well in the sea air environment, the color grey in this case is the perfect complement to both the environment and the siding itself. The light grey color also pairs well with the oversized windows, creating a very cohesive design.
2. Varying Siding Types
Using a single color and texture over the entirety of a home exterior can mean that the home ends up lacking in depth. This home solves that issue by changing from horizontal lap siding to board and batten accent areas. The entire home uses a deep grey color paired with black and white accents. The grey has enough cool undertones to it to give it some depth, keeping the exterior from becoming flat.
3. Fieldstone Match
The use of natural materials on and around the home can help the property blend in better with its landscaping. In this case, natural fieldstone is used in the landscaping as well as on the chimney. To complement the stone and help achieve a cohesive look, the home is clad in a rich, grey shingle. The combined color and texture of the siding helps to match and highlight the fieldstone, creating a natural look.
4. Varying Texture
For large properties, breaking up the exterior walls can help add interest and detail to the façade. In this case, an irregular shingle is used on the upper story while a horizontal lap siding is used below. Both are painted the same rich grey hue, which falls perfectly between the tones of the white trim and black shutters, giving the home dimension and depth without a lot of overwhelming detail or decoration that might overtake a home of this size.
5. Two-Tone Exterior
Because grey is a neutral, it has the ability to pair well with numerous other shades, both light and dark. In this case, the front of this home features an accent wall of a rich, dark brown. The rest of the home is done in a medium grey hue. The grey keeps the property from getting too dark, as it would if the brown were used over its entirety. This way, the brown gets to become a focus and decorative accent that still works with the home’s plain and simple architecture. The front accent color wrapping the corner of the building adds an extra element of depth that helps elevate the entire design.
6. Sleek Contemporary Design
While grey can be used to beautiful effect on traditional homes, it also makes a nice complement to contemporary properties, as well. This modern home uses pale grey horizontal lap siding to highlight the lines of the building. An accent feature of natural wood-look siding warms up the façade and helps keep the grey from becoming too cool in tone.
7. Triple Tone Exterior
Using a mixture of lights and darks or warm and cool tones over the exterior can help to create a very dramatic effect. While analogous colors like black, white, and grey, are used to create more subtle effects, this play of warm wood tone off cool pale grey with a mix of deeper, darker grey helps make an exterior design that really catches the eye.
Give Your Home a MakeoverIf you’re not a fan of bold colors on the façade of a home, but you want something with a little more personality than white or beige, consider using a shade of grey. Whether your home is traditional or contemporary, they are many ways you can use this dynamic neutral to create the look you want
Exterior Home Trends for 2018
Wednesday, November 29 2017
The exterior of your home is arguably one of the most important parts – driving a large part of its value and how people view it. For that reason, keeping your exterior current with popular trends is a great way to ensure continued value or a quick sale if you’re putting it on the market soon.
While many trends often arch over several years – the definition of a trend being a popular style that lasts at least 10 years – every year a few new ones arise which bear watching. These exterior home trends for 2018 are sure to make homeowners sit up and take notice as they begin renovations in the new year.
While previously most color trends dictated that your home’s color palette needed to both complement its architecture and its landscaping and surroundings. And while those are all fantastic ways to complete your exteriors, trends for 2018 are beginning to dictate that it’s even more important to make a statement with your home’s color palette, as well as complement the exterior.
In most cases, this means creating a mixture of lights and darks over the exterior, rather than using a more subtle palette. For example, using a very crisp white trim against a dark gray siding, with a bold red door as a focal point. Or, using a very dark blue siding with a light gray trim and a vibrant lime green door accent.
The idea is to create a color palette for your exterior that is bold and dynamic, utilizing light and dark shades of similar colors – blue, gray, black, white and other tones – combined with one very bold accent to make the entire design pop.
This can still be done capitalizing on other color trends at the same time; simply choose the main color from your home’s architectural palette or surroundings, and find complementary shades at the other end of the light/dark spectrum to get the look.
Blends of Siding Types
Another trend that’s beginning to show up in forecasts for 2018 is a slight variation on previous trends seen in the past few years. While texture has been a big trend for exteriors, now the emphasis is being placed on blending different textures and styles across one surface.
For example, while previously the trend was merely to include some type of texture such as brick or stone, now the trend is to mix as many complementary styles as possible into one façade to create that texture.
One method of doing so involves using siding of different widths blended together for a rustic appearance. Another method involves using different styles of the same siding, such as a blend of ship lap and cedar shingles both using the same color, so that the texture is the emphasis of the design.
Using brick or stone is still considered on trend, but it should no longer be the focus of the design; instead the brick or stone should blend in with the rest of the home’s exterior to create a dynamic look that uses texture, but isn’t defined by it.
One thing is sure for 2018 is the continuation of certain themes that have already been seen in 2017, such as durability, eco-friendliness, and low maintenance facades. This makes fiber cement siding a great choice for home exteriors going forward.
Not only does it come in many of the colors and styles that are on point for 2018, it also meets homeowners’ needs for durability, sustainability, and maintenance. Fiber cement is an exceptionally durable product made from a blend of sand, silica, cellulose fiber, and Portland cement. It doesn’t crack, peel, fade, chip, or rot and is resistant to moisture, freeze/thaw cycles, and insect activity. It also comes in a very wide range of styles – many of which are currently on trend, such as architectural panels, several widths of plank siding, and irregular cedar-look shingles.
This means that homeowners choosing to use fiber cement siding on their homes can easily embrace several of today’s trends at the same time. So, no matter where your particular style is taking you, you don’t have to sacrifice style, durability, or low-maintenance care to get there.
Be on Trend in 2018
Exterior home trends for 2018 may be a slightly subtle shift away from those that have been showcased in previous years, but the movement toward more dynamic and easy to maintain facades cannot be ignored. Whether you’re looking for a minor update or a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, consider looking at some of these exterior home trends in 2018 to help complete the look, and transform your home’s façade into the showplace that you’ve always wanted it to be. Dynamic lights and darks, mixtures of siding and textures, and a move toward durable, low maintenance fiber cement will help create the home exterior you’re looking for.
Sometimes its the details that take your siding project to the next level. At The Exterior Company Ltd we have all accessories to make that happen. Your clients will value the extra attention that you give to there home. Be it mitred inside and outside siding corners, custom colour siding, or just light and electrical plates, they will take notice. It is these finer details that will get you referal business.
The Exterior Company Ltd is a boutique siding accessory manufacture and distributor. We manufacture the siding industries best one piece mitred siding corners, numerous siding accessories, and offer custom pre-finishing on all brands of fiber cement and engineered wood siding and trims including our Roughsawn Series of finishes.
Contact us to discuss how we can help your company can take your projects to the next level.
CHOICES FOR EXTERIOR WOOD CLADDING
POSTED IN: MAY 25, 2012 BY EMILIO BONILLA | NO COMMENTS
The exterior of a home says a lot about the people who live there. The surfaces that form the exterior of a home — such as the wall, windows, doors and trim — are referred to as cladding. Different types of exterior wood cladding are available to finish the look of a home as well as to provide protection against the elements.
When it comes to walls, there are many siding materials that can be used. These range from stucco to masonry to wood products, such as shingles, shakes, plywood, and hardboard. Additionally, vinyl as well as fiber-cement can be used here. Water resistance is an important part of exterior wood cladding, as is thermal insulation features. Wood siding is typically held in place by nails, being attached through building paper and sheathing to structural members, like studs.
Since water damage can be a significant threat, having the wood siding materials be at least 8 inches above grade should be followed as a matter of course. Siding materials too close to grade are usually the results of poor original construction or the grade levels having been changed during landscaping work. Rotted wood, cracking, and buckling are typically the damage that results to wood-based products.
Timber cladding is a popular means in use today due to its natural resistance to decay. Woods such as larch provide resistance against the weather and have a pleasing look that is all out of proportion to the economy of its pricing. Companies offering these materials provide cladding profiles that detail the materials. The homeowner will be able to choose between a sawn and a machined profile. Examples of sawn profiles are square-edge, feather-edge and waney-edge. Examples of machined profiles are shiplap, half-lap and splayed. Species of wood that apply here include green and dry oak, western red cedar, larch, Siberian larch, and elm. Species are available from varied locations, including those British grown and from Canada.
Another wood material to consider for cladding is plywood. Besides projecting a clean and straightforward appearance, plywood can be treated for termite resistance as well as for resistance against fungal attacks and intrusion by insects. In many cases the plywood, say, Pine plywood, is sourced from sustainable plantation forests. This not only creates less of a strain on the planet’s resources, but it also ensures the continuation of the material for future homeowners’ use. Going green, in this case, is as good for the homeowner as it is for the planet.
How to Keep Your Sanity During the Product Selection Process May 28, 2018 Ben Barrette Home Remodel Projects, How-Tos Leave a comment
Even if you are lucky enough to find the perfect remodeling contractor, the remodeling process can still be a long and emotion-packed journey. One of the most important steps in a home remodel is the product selection phase. Decisions surrounding the selection of materials and products for your remodel must be made decisively or you risk drawing out the process (and the cost) even more. But when you’re just not sure what you want – yet you know you may have to live with the decision for decades – every choice can feel overwhelming.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid becoming overwhelmed when selecting building materials.
CEDAR SIDING - What You Need To Know
POSTED IN: DECEMBER 19, 2015 BY EMILIO BONILLA | NO COMMENTS
Cedar siding is a type of traditional wood siding made from cedar trees. Raw cedar is processed and fashioned into siding for homes. One of the great things about cedar is the ability to effectively insulate a home from any type of climate. It is naturally resistant to decay and damage from insects such as termites. Cedar also offers the beauty of classic wood siding; many sidings will strive to mimic the look of a wood siding such as cedar. The versatile look of wood is something that many homeowners seek.
Cedar can be suitable for all homes, especially because it can be used for a number of styles, ranging from traditional to modern. It is stable and firm, and many homeowners will like the fact that it can give their home a rustic appearance. Cedar is a great choice among wood siding options because it has a 50% less likeliness to warp or swell due to water damage. This makes it incredibly easy to work with, whether it is cutting, gluing or finishing. The siding can be painted in any color, but requires a finish before installation. The finishing process usually takes place in a factory. Cedar boards are rolled onto a belt where a machine will check the boards for moisture. The boards are then flooded with coating, and the coating is evened out with rollers. This finish ensures protection against water.
One of the biggest letdowns about wood siding in general is the amount of maintenance required. It is always significantly higher than any another type of siding, such as vinyl, cement etc. Cedar is especially reactive with iron, so it is important that the siding be installed with stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized nails. This prevents rust and other chemical reactions. Installers of cedar will be aware of this issue and it is easily remedied. Another drawback is that cedar can react with water, making it discolored. It can also be susceptible to mildew. Both of these can be prevented if the cedar is cleaned and maintained properly, which can take some time. Luckily, cleaning cedar is not a difficult process. A non-phosphate detergent is usually recommended and will keep the siding clean and durable.
Cedar siding prices are an important factor for homeowners when deciding whether or not to purchase it. It comes at a high price, but offers a high aesthetic value. There are two costs associated with cedar: the installation itself, and then the additional cost of staining. Cedar siding can cost around $150 per square foot. Staining the wood for shine and protection will cost around $2 per square foot. Labour costs will add another $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot. The quality of cedar surpasses that of other wood sidings, and if taken care of well, can last homeowners years.
Cedar is a great siding for many residences. Cedar trees grow very quickly, ensuring that it is in ready supply. It is a sustainable material that offers durability and protection. It offers the real look of wood siding without the vulnerabilities of other types of wood.