Beauty and Weather Protection: Focusing on Your Home’s Exterior Design Elements
Real strength and beauty are found on the inside, people always like to say, but this isn’t entirely true when it comes to your home. A home should be sturdy and beautiful both inside and out–a showcase of painstaking care, maintenance and pride of ownership. For this reason, homeowners should promptly deal with any issues plaguing the exterior. But why exactly should you invest in an exterior remodel? We expound on that below:
- You want to update your home’s look. Do you increasingly feel like your home could do with a facelift? A remodel will take care of that. Remodeling jobs can take care of worn or faded siding, replace small and insignificant windows with newer, larger ones, and help your home become more inviting with an elegant new front door. Basically, an exterior remodel helps your home stand out for all the right reasons in the neighborhood–the real deal when it comes to “curb appeal.”
- You want to keep your home dry and damage-free. The weather can be particularly harsh on your home, frequently dishing out new issues that may worsen when left unattended. A leaky roof or warped siding, for instance, will allow water to seep in and weaken your home’s structure. To avoid long-term damage, you might want to consult a trusted remodeling company for the necessary solutions.
- You want a healthier and safer home. Water damage is an all-too familiar issue for homeowners. When overlooked, water issues can cause rot, mold and mildew. These problems aren’t just unsightly, they can also compromise your home’s structural integrity and lead to health issues. Mold, in particular, emits VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can cause poor indoor air quality and other health risks.
- You want your home to be more energy-efficient. Aside from structural and aesthetic benefits, a remodel can also help you reduce energy consumption, allowing you to save money while contributing to the environment.
Once you’ve decided to invest in a remodel, take the time to walk around the outside of your home and decide which areas need crucial work. Here’s a quick rundown of select exterior remodeling projects and how they can improve your home:
- Roof replacement. Your roof doesn’t just keep the harshest weather conditions at bay; it’s also a highly visible design element. That’s why a replacement is often the best solution for a system that’s looking old and worn down. Starting anew means you can choose your preferred roofing material, one that best suits your home. The options may range from asphalt shingles, tile, and metal–all of which come in a wide selection of colors, designs and thicknesses.Some roofing materials provide better weather protection than others. But each also has distinctive features that can make for the ideal choice, depending on your needs. Looking for a cost-effective and versatile option? Asphalt shingles will likely fit the bill. Do you need a roofing system that can reduce heat transfer in your home? Metal roofing has inherent reflective properties that will address this need.
- Window and Door Replacement. Your front door and windows are among the first things visitors to your home will see, so make sure to get newer, better ones when your existing units have reached the end of the road. Depending on your choice of window or door style, you can further improve your home’s access to natural light and ventilation, maximize your viewing area and make the best use of available space.
- Siding Installation. Wrapping your home in a vibrant, durable siding material will hit all the marks in terms of beauty, comfort and energy efficiency. The most popular options today include fiber cement and vinyl, with each option offering excellent features to meet your home’s specific needs. Siding is also available in a wide range of designs, color choices and textures. A new exterior can help you to head off moisture and water damage in the home.
- Home Additions. This may include installation of a porch or portico, living area expansions and other upgrades that can make your home more functional, comfortable and visually appealing.
Tips for a Successful Exterior Remodeling Project
Planning your exterior remodel carefully allows for a more stress-free experience. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. When choosing paint for your exterior, take the surface into account. You might need to use different brushes or paints to get the best results. Painting a metal surface, for example, will require considerable prep work, according to James and Alicia White of Homey Improvements. You’ll need to strip the surface, remove rust and flaking and wipe the dust away. This smoothens the surface so that the paint holds better.
2. Set aside a contingency fund. Unwelcome surprises sometimes occur in a remodel, especially when damage has been overlooked for too long. To deal with this and avoid overspending, make sure you have some extra money set aside, just in case.
3. Choose door colors carefully. Look to your home’s architectural style and exterior palette as a guide. But don’t be afraid to experiment–a vibrant, bold color can help your home make a bigger impression from the curb. Check out some of these great examples from Colleen Jorgensen on Pretty Handy Girl. “It’s always wise to paint a sample board to hold up to your door so you can see how the natural lighting affects that particular hue,” Colleen says.
4. Prepare your home for the work ahead. This means clearing the work area of any objects that could hinder easy access to your windows or doors. If you’re having your roof replaced, make sure the interior of your home is protected–make sure to have protective covers on hand, take down items from the walls and ceilings, and place valuables elsewhere in the home. Get on the same page with your remodeling contractor about protecting your home from mess and damage.
5. If you’re replacing your roof, make sure you have all the essentials covered. Know when to replace your roof by having it inspected for signs of serious damage. Research different roofing materials beforehand and weigh their pros and cons. Pick out a roof color that complements your home’s style and exterior color scheme. Additionally, make sure to hire a dependable contractor for the roof installation. If you need to hire a roofer, do your research well, says Brittany Bailey of Pretty Handy Girl. “Ask for referrals. Check on Angie’s List. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Do your homework on this one! Investing in a new roof is no small expense and quality installation is key to preventing problems down the road.”
Hiring the Right Home Remodeling Contractor
Whether you need to replace your windows or install a new roof, it pays to turn to a professional for the actual work. A home remodel, after all, will take a considerable amount of your time and money. By hiring a pro, you can ensure that the entire experience will run safely and smoothly. Here are three ways in which working with a remodeling expert can benefit you:
1. They ensure safety. Have you ever tried replacing a roof, or installing new siding by yourself? Roof replacement involves working from a great height, under the heat and glare of the sun. Slipping or falling is highly possible, especially for the untrained homeowner. It’s best you keep both feet firmly on the ground and leave the work to the professionals, who know how to practice the safety measures required in any remodeling project.
2. They have the necessary tools and equipment. Some home remodeling projects can be done more quickly and efficiently if the special equipment needed for a particular job is readily available. If you don’t have the equipment on hand, you’ll need to make a big investment to purchase tools that you may never use again. A pro, on the other hand, will have all the necessary tools and equipment on hand. Plus, they’ll know how to use them effectively, thereby reducing the potential for mistakes and damage to your property.
3. They have significant experience. The largest difference between a DIYer and a remodeler is experience. A pro has worked on countless projects. They’ve undergone the training necessary to ensure your remodel is completed according to budget and schedule, without compromising quality. Because they can get the work done perfectly the first time around, there’s no possibility of callbacks and additional costs. Sherry Petersik of Young House Love cites the importance of hiring a pro in their roof replacement: “We definitely like to take on our share of DIY projects. But after some heavy thought we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t something that we could tackle this time. Basically, we knew our roof had such little time left before it started leaking and potentially damaging our house and our stuff, so we decided to leave this undertaking up to the pros.”
What to Look For in a Remodeling Contractor
You can go through the yellow pages or look for potential remodeling contractors online, but there’s actually a better, more reliable way of doing this–soliciting local referrals from family and friends. Such referrals will give you a clearer, more accurate idea of what to expect from a given contractor. Also, look for these must-haves:
- Licensed to perform remodeling work in your area. A licensed contractor will make sure your project complies with local building codes and safety regulations.
- Bonded and Insured, with workers’ compensation and liability coverage to better protect you and your investment should anything go wrong. Worker injuries and property damage are not unheard of in a remodel, unfortunately.
- Certified, which provides you access to higher quality materials and products from leading manufacturers. You’ll also benefit from the generous warranties these contractors can provide.
- Established with a good client base, earning satisfactory scores and reviews on prominent trade sites.
A remodel offers plenty of rewards, but is still no small feat. If you plan carefully, make informed decisions and work with a trustworthy remodeler, you’re sure to make the most of your investment.
You can count on Colonial Remodeling for extensive, high-quality home improvement services in Arlington, VA and surrounding areas. Call us at (703) 822-7222 to schedule your appointment.