Skip to content
Home Repair & Renovation Loans

Take Your Home Exterior from Drab to Fab

As winter fades to spring, you may step outside of your home and realize that you need to repair a broken gutter, replant a dead tree or just spiff up your home’s curb appeal. Here are five home improvement projects you might consider tackling this year:

1. Improve, repair or upgrade a drainage system

It’s easy to take your home’s drainage system for granted. When it rains, you simply assume that the water is being moved away from your home in an efficient and effective manner.

Water damage can come as a big surprise, and in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Basement or crawl space leaks
  • Landscape damage

A properly functioning drainage system is critical to your home’s integrity. While most properties have a gutter drainage system, yours may require additional measures to prevent water damage. Basic residential drainage systems can include:

  • French drains
  • Footing drains
  • Grading drainage
  • Sump pumps

Updating your drainage system(s) isn’t the most exciting project. But it can help keep mold and mildew at bay, prevent water damage or resolve problems with flooded walkways and sidewalks, among other critical improvements.

2. Replace a roof

According to Forbes Advisor Home, the average price to install new shingles is $8,000 to $9,000. The price can vary due to a number of factors:

  • Geographic location
  • Size of the home
  • Type of home
  • Material
  • Pitch
  • Current condition of the roof

Roofs can last a long time. But when the time comes to replace one, it’s critical that you don’t delay. Doing so can result in damage to the exterior and interior of your home, which will only increase your cost in the future. Plus, a new roof can beautify your house.

3. Replace exterior siding

Few things alter the curb appeal of your home as much as siding. You can quickly take your home from drab to fab by upgrading the material, style and color.

Some of the most popular options include:

  • Vinyl
  • Fiber cement
  • Engineered wood
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stucco

The two factors that have the biggest impact on the cost of new siding are:

  • The material you choose
  • The size of your home

Vinyl siding may be more economical, but it might not suit your home’s architectural style. You’ll have to balance budget with visual appeal and architectural fit.

Even if your home doesn’t need new siding, you may like that this project could immediately boost its curb appeal.

4. Spruce up your landscaping

No matter how much time and money you invest in your home’s exterior, ratty landscaping can drag down its overall appearance. A few simple touches can 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 complicated as you want, or can budget for.

For example, it’s a great DIY project (plus great exercise and family fun) if you have time and energy. You can:

  • Mow your lawn
  • Pull weeds
  • Clean up your mulch beds
  • Add a fresh layer of mulch
  • Swap out dead shrubs, trees and flowers
  • Plant container gardens

If you want to take your landscaping to the next level, you could add a rain garden, grow your own fruits and vegetables, build out a patio and so much more. It’s often best to consult with a professional. It may cost more, but you get what you pay for:

  • Expert guidance and advice
  • Several mockups to provide a better idea of the end result
  • Professional installation
  • Access to the best variety of shrubs, trees and flowers

For most homeowners, upgrading their landscaping starts with setting a budget. From there, you can decide if it’s a DIY project or one that requires professional assistance.

5. Build or enhance a deck or patio

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a comfortable outdoor living space. And for many homeowners, this starts with the installation of a deck or patio.

According to HGTV, a pressure-treated wood deck can start at $15 per square foot, including materials. The more elaborate your structure or materials, the more you’ll pay.

This varies based on factors such as:

  • Material type (wood or composite)
  • Size
  • Height off the ground
  • Special requests

Plus, you’ll get to design a new outdoor living space, perhaps including furniture, container gardens, outdoor kitchen needs like a grill and more. In all likelihood, this is a “want to have” project rather than a “need to have project.” Either way, it’s sure to bring joy to your life.

How to pay for an exterior home improvement project

Regardless of why you’re making improvements to the exterior of your home and/or yard, you should ask yourself:

  • Is this project driven by a want or a need? (This can affect your timing and how you plan your financing).
  • Is it a do-it-yourself (DIY) job, or will you hire a professional? This can change the final cost.
  • When do you want to start and finish?
  • How do you plan on paying for the project?

There’s no shortage of ways to pay for an exterior home improvement project. Some of the most common are:

  • Cash
  • Personal loan
  • Credit card
  • Home equity loan
  • Home equity line of credit

Are you financially ready for your exterior home renovation? Use our checklist as you plan and budget for your home remodeling project.

How you pay is more of a personal decision than anything else, but there are some key questions you can answer to help make the right decision:

  • What’s the estimated cost of the project? For example, if you’re tackling a small landscaping project for $5k or less, it might not be personal loan territory. Instead, you might be better off paying with cash or a home equity line of credit (if you already have access).
  • What does your timeline look like? If you require fast funds, such as to complete an urgent project, you don’t have time to wait around for a home equity loan approval. A personal loan may fit nicely here, as you can usually receive a same-day decision in most cases after accepting the terms of the loan.
  • How comfortable are you with repaying a loan? If you can pay with cash, it’ll prevent you from taking on a monthly obligation. But if that’s not an option, consider the impact a loan will have on your long-term finances. For instance, a personal loan has flexible repayment terms – typically ranging from 36 to 84 months* – so you can settle on the option that best suits your budget.

If the cost of your project falls within the typical range of a personal loan, which may be no more than $35,000, this could be a smart choice. Benefits include:

  • Fast funding
  • No collateral
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Competitive, fixed interest rate
  • No origination fees, no closing costs and no prepayment penalties

Take action to improve the exterior of your home

An exterior home improvement project can enhance the curb appeal of your property. And in many cases, it can also provide peace of mind.

Now that you have a better idea of the most common types of projects, you can shorten your list, plan the details and make a final decision of how to pay for it.

A Discover personal loan can help you get started on your exterior home remodel project.Learn More

*For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 6.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you’ll pay just $256 per month.