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.
But then you’re hit with a big surprise: water damage.
This comes 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 Thumbtack, the nationwide average cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is $260 to $280 per square foot. The price can vary due to a number of factors:
- Geographic location
- Size of the home
- Type of home
- Current condition of the roof
Roofs can last a long time, when the time comes, 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 beautiful 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:
- Fiber cement
- Engineered wood
The two factors that have the biggest impact on the cost of new siding are:
- The material you choose
- The size of your home
For example, vinyl siding typically costs between $2 and $7 per square foot, with stone topping out at $50 per square foot.
Even if your home doesn’t need new siding, you may be interested in this project to immediately boost its curb appeal.
4. Spruce up your landscaping.
No matter how much time and money you invest in your home’s exterior, beat-up landscaping will drag down its overall appearance. A few simple touches can update your home’s style, give it a personal touch and up its curb appeal.
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
Conversely, if you want to take your landscaping to the next level, it’s often best to consult with a professional. It’ll cost more, but you get what you pay for:
- Professional 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 HomeAdvisor, “expect to pay $16,000 for a 16-foot by 20-foot deck with footings, posts, railings with balusters and a built-in bench.”
This varies based on factors such as:
- Material type (wood or composite)
- Height off the ground
- Special requests
Plus, you’ll get to design a new living space, perhaps including furniture, container gardens, outdoor kitchen needs like a grill and more. An outdoor living space may be more of a want and less of a need, but it’s sure to bring joy to your life.
Regardless of why you’re making improvements to the exterior of your home and/or yard, there are a few important questions to answer:
- Do you want or need to take on the project?
- Is it a do-it-yourself (DIY) job, or will you hire a professional?
- How do you plan on paying for the project?
How to Pay for an Exterior Home Improvement Project
There’s no shortage of ways to pay for an exterior home improvement project, with these options among the most common:
- Personal loan
- Credit card
- Home equity loan
- Home equity line of credit
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, it may be the best 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.
Learn how a Discover personal loan can help you get started on your renovations.