7 Simple Steps To Planning Your Home Exterior Renovations

Updated:  January 5, 2021

The trend for investing in home exterior renovations is changing the face of many Ontario neighbourhoods. With advances in exterior materials, exterior makeovers are more affordable than you might think. As well, with curb appeal always factoring in a home’s value, home exterior renovations should not be overlooked if you are planning to sell in a competitive market. Here we provide the most important steps to consider when planning your home exterior renovations, with tips that will help your project run smoothly.

1. Consider Cost And Budget

Budget is always an important starting point for any home exterior renovations project. Understanding the funds available allows you to narrow down your wants and needs list for your home exterior renovations.

A good place to start, aside from assessing your savings, is to consider the type of financing available. An excellent option for homeowners is looking at home equity lines of credit or loans. If you have owned your home even for a few years, chances are you have some equity you can tap into. This provides you with the budget to do things right, and in turn, also increases your return on investment. Once you have a budget set you can begin putting together a home exterior renovations plan.


2. Why Are You Renovating?

Asking yourself why you are renovating is a good place to start your plan. For example, if your home exterior renovations are driven by need due to a leaky roof, energy inefficiency or something more sinister like a failing foundation, you have little to worry about when it comes to aesthetics.

However, if you are looking to make over the appearance of your home, much more effort is required, with lots of shopping and research needed to help determine the style and materials you wish to use. If you are considering every aspect of your home, such as energy efficiency, structural repairs, and aesthetics, your budget requirements increase exponentially, which means you might have to make sacrifices in the aesthetics.

Other questions to consider for your home exterior renovations plan include:

  • Are you concentrating on the house alone, or will you include landscaping?
  • What are your overall goals: ROI, more curb appeal, lower maintenance, energy efficiency?
  • Are there any design inspirations or even expectations in your neighbourhood?

Answering these important questions provides more focus so you can outline the steps needed to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

3. Preparing Your Plan

Your plan considers your goals and the steps needed to help you reach them. Exterior renovations have some basic steps in common regardless of the project, including:

  • Write out your goals, listing each element of the exterior you wish to address.
  • List some of the things you can’t sacrifice, such as energy-efficiency, green-friendly materials, etc.
  • Set a realistic budget you can share with your contractor.
  • Set a realistic deadline.
  • Make a list of the contractors you wish to quote on the project and begin your initial research.
  • Make a shortlist of contractors following your research and invite them to provide a quote.
  • Research your neighbourhood to get ideas, while also ensuring you don’t over-invest in renovations buyers won’t be willing to pay for.

The basics of your plan will help keep you on track and ensure you don’t miss any details. Once you find the right contractor, your planning focuses on a schedule that will help you meet your desired timeline.


4. What To Look For In A Contractor

When completing an exterior renovation, ideally you want to find a contractor who can manage the majority of the work. This would include:

You can then determine if you need secondary contractors to provide additional services which might include:

  • New construction of something like a garage, porch, or hardscaping projects
  • Landscapers
  • Garage door installers
  • Interlock or stone installers

Having the right team to oversee the project, with experts to focus on specialty services, ensures your job is completed with the best materials, workmanship, and cost-effectiveness.

5. The Design Of Your Home Exterior Renovations

While many people find this aspect of the planning fun, others might find themselves overwhelmed. With more materials and styles available than ever before, it can be difficult to achieve the look you want without getting off track. Some tips to help perfect your design include:

  • Speak to your contractor and ask to see pictures of past projects, or even have them take you to homes they have recently completed
  • Drive around your neighbourhood and look for ideas
  • Look at magazines or search online for ideas
  • Watch fixer-upper shows to get affordable exterior makeover ideas
  • Speak to your real estate agent to ask about trends that sell, and turn-offs for buyers

You can then start looking at the ideas that work best in your area, suit your taste, fit in your budget and that will hopefully have the best ROI when you sell.


6. Compare Budget To Cost

Discuss your ideas with your contractor and have them provide a quote. Together you can review where you might find cost savings, or look at alternative ideas that will give you more bang for your buck. Keep in mind that even basic upgrades such as new windows, a new eavestrough system, or new siding, do add up. The trick is to find the upgrades that will make the most impact while offering the best ROI. Some common home exterior renovations that tend to get the best returns include:

  • New siding
  • Manufactured stone veneer design accents
  • New entry doors
  • New windows

You can combine these upgrades, or focus on the projects that will take your budget the farthest. Also remember that upgrades to your eavestroughs, siding, windows, and entry door all have the benefit of reducing energy costs. This can help offset the cost of your renovations.

7. Think Universal

A big mistake you can make is to allow your own personal sense of style to shine too much. Your tastes might be too eclectic, too modern, too traditional, or too specific which can make your home stand out in a bad way. Therefore taking a more “universal” approach to your design is the best way to ensure your home maintains its value while creating mass curb appeal that will make your house the envy of the neighbourhood.

Click here to get a quote on your home exterior renovations project.


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