June 17, 2024

A woman and man holding hands with a child in front of a home.

Your home is your sanctuary. No wonder you spend so much time and effort cleaning, decorating, and improving it—both inside and out.

Exterior home renovations might very well be part of your plans, and summer is one of the best times to tackle these outside projects. Choosing the right ones may pay off in big ways, including possibly increasing your home’s value.

Not sure where to start or which exterior home remodeling projects may offer the best return on investment? Here are some exterior renovation ideas and what they might cost, plus some tips on how to pay for them.

What exterior home improvements can cost

Home size, type of project, materials used, and location all affect exterior renovation costs. A bigger home often means higher project costs because it could require more materials and labor, especially if you hire a contractor.

Where you live may also impact the price of exterior home improvements. Inspection and permit costs vary by jurisdiction. So do construction and labor costs. That’s why renovations are likely to cost more if you live in a state with a higher cost of living, such as New York or California. Still, certain projects might pay for themselves if they boost your home’s value in the long term.

Home value may not be the only reason for an exterior renovation project. Whatever project you take on should make you love your home even more. You may not always recoup what you spend on beautiful landscaping, a new walkway, or a four-season deck. But it’s hard to put a value on the happiness you get from looking at or using these things every day.

If you have exterior home renovation projects on your list, here are some ways to prioritize them based on costs, the size of the project, the value they may bring, and how much enjoyment you may derive from the appearance of your home.

Exterior home remodel projects with a big impact

Replace your roof

Roofs often last a long time . But when the time comes to replace one, it’s critical that you don’t wait. Doing so may result in exterior and interior home damage, which might only increase future costs.

Roof replacements are among the most expensive exterior home remodeling projects, but they also offer a solid return because they may help improve the energy efficiency, appearance, and living conditions of your home.

Where you live, your home size, material selections, and your roof’s current condition might impact the price of this exterior renovation. This project may cost about $11,500 for an average-sized home.1

Upgrade your siding

Few things improve your home’s curb appeal like new siding. Imagine your satisfaction when walking up to your newly sided home feeling as if you’re stepping into a brand-new space. You can quickly take your home from drab to fab by upgrading the material, style, or color.

Some of the most popular siding options include:

  • Vinyl
  • Fiber cement
  • Wood
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Stucco

Installing exterior siding may cost between $8,000 and $26,000, including materials and installation, for a 2,000-square-foot house.2 The good news is that you might get back most of the money you spend on this project if you decide to sell. For example, according to the Journal of Light Construction (JLC), vinyl siding may provide an 80.2% return, while fiber cement siding might deliver an 88.4% return.3

Give yourself a new garage door

As with a new roof, you may get a full return or more when you install a new garage door.

The price to replace a garage door may vary depending on the materials . Steel and aluminum doors are typically less expensive than wood composite, which may cost a few thousand dollars more. 

The anatomy of a garage door is complex. There are springs, hinges, tracks, locks, and weather stripping. This may not be a project many people will want to tackle themselves, so it makes sense to hire a professional . Although it might increase your costs, you may have more peace of mind—and be safer—knowing the job was done right.

Spruce up your landscaping

No matter how much time and money you invest in your home’s exterior, shoddy landscaping may drag down its overall appearance. A few simple touches might help update your home’s style, give it a personal touch, and make your neighbors swoon.

The nice thing about a landscaping project is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. An upgrade may range from a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) job to a more complex professional project that may run into the thousands of dollars. This might include hardscaping, planting or removing trees, clearing land, or just planting a row of hedges.

Here are some easy and affordable landscaping tasks you might tackle on your own if you have the time and energy:

  • Add a fresh layer of mulch
  • Plant perennials
  • Grow native plants
  • Improve edging around your patio

For most homeowners, upgrading the landscaping starts with setting a budget. From there, decide if it’s a DIY project or one that requires a professional. Either way, improving your landscaping may be worth the effort. Landscape upgrades might deliver a 100% return.4

Enjoy the great outdoors with a new deck or patio

There are few things more enjoyable than a comfortable outdoor living space. For many homeowners, this starts with building or repairing a deck or patio.

The average cost of a new patio is $10,500 and may generate a 95% return on investment. The average cost of a new wood deck is $16,900 and could offer an 89% return.4

Patio and deck projects also produce joy among homeowners. On a scale of 1 to 10, a new patio and a new wood deck have joy scores of 9.9 and 9.8, respectively.4 Some homeowners say that these projects improve the functionality and livability of their homes.4 A significant return on investment and a potentially higher home value are just bonuses.

Make exterior home improvements without breaking the bank

Whatever your reason for exterior renovations, cost may affect how you prioritize and when you complete these projects.

First, you’ll want to decide whether each project is a DIY job or if it requires a professional. Then you can research the price ranges for each project. Consider using an online home-renovation calculator or consulting with your local hardware store.

Your personal needs and wants may also affect when you tackle certain improvements. Weigh all these factors as you create your project list and potential budget.

Once you set your budget, decide how you want to cover renovation costs. You can pay for exterior home improvements in several ways: 

  • Savings
  • Personal loan
  • Credit card
  • Home improvement loan
  • Home equity loan

Some of these choices may suit your needs better than others. Savings are great if you’ve put aside enough money and can afford to pay out of pocket. A credit card, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit (HELOC) might work well if you don’t have enough cash on hand. But you should pay close attention to interest rates.

Comparing home improvement financing options

With a home equity loan, you are able to borrow a specific dollar amount against your home’s equity. Home equity loan interest rates are typically fixed, repayment terms generally range from 10 to 30 years, and you receive funds from the loan in one lump sum. But there may be disadvantages to using a home equity loan for a renovation. For example, this type of loan is secured by your home , you might have to add a second monthly mortgage payment, and you may have to pay closing costs on the loan.

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit you are able to use as you need it. The withdrawal period is usually anywhere from five to 10 years, and the repayment period may last up to 20 years. HELOCs typically come with variable interest rates, so a disadvantage with a HELOC vs. home equity loan is that the interest rate may change over the borrowing period. You must also use your home as collateral to secure a HELOC.

With both a HELOC and a home equity loan, you will need to provide several financial documents. The approval process may also take a relatively long time compared to other options. Using one of these secured loan options to pay for a renovation may also reduce your home’s equity, which you should consider carefully, especially if you plan to sell soon after you renovate.

A Discover® personal loan may be a good option if your project costs between $2,500 and $40,000. You can design your loan around you. Pick the amount you need and the repayment term you want from the options offered, and find a combination that fits your budget. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 13.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you'll pay just $309 per month.

In addition, with Discover Personal Loans there are no fees of any kind as long as you pay on time. When discussing their own experience, one new Discover Personal Loans customer said in December 2023, “After needing some additional cash for a home improvement project, Discover made the process quick and easy. By far the best rates with a company I have trusted for years.” 

Create a home exterior you love

Whether you replace your roof or take your landscaping up a notch, exterior renovations may make you fall in love with your home all over again.

As you decide what projects to tackle, research different financing options to find out what works best for you. Dipping into your savings is the simplest approach, but a personal loan may offer more flexibility. You also have the option to go the DIY route to reduce costs.

The choices are endless. Explore all of them to transform your home into the ultimate sanctuary, inside and out.

Learn More About Home Improvement Loans

Articles may contain information from third parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third party or information

1 https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/roofing/roof-replacement-cost/
2 https://homeguide.com/costs/siding-cost
3 https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2024/