How to Update the Exterior of your Home on a Budget

1. Install Fiber Cement Siding

One of the ways you can improve your home’s appear

One of the ways you can improve your home’s appearance both now and for the future is to replace your existing siding with fiber cement. Fiber cement siding is a versatile material available in multiple styles and colors. It’s exceptionally durable and low maintenance. Fiber cement won’t peel or crack the way that wood or vinyl will, and it’s not susceptible to moisture or insect activity, so you can go longer without maintenance or worry.

Do you need planning permission to change your home’s exterior finish?

Permitted development allows for extensions to be built with materials matching the existing building – but if you’d like contrasting cladding, you’ll most likely require planning consent.

Building Control at your local council will also be concerned that the house meets regulations for thermal efficiency, so always consider whether cladding will alter its eco performance. Some will boost insulation, but it’s vital that airflow is maintained. If you live in a listed building or Conservation Area, detailed consideration needs to be given to how cladding will impact the character and fabric of the house.

Find out more about building regulations in our guide.


Before: Disjointed Exterior

Emily Followill

When it was built in 1927, this Nashville home exuded English Tudor style. At some point, the gables disappeared in a home renovation attempting to give the architecture a French twist. A few new exterior home updates restored the brick house to its original beauty.

After: Beach Home Remodel

Colleen Duffley

To give the beach home a lighter appearance, the exterior was painted a pale yellow with crisp white trim. The porch was transformed into an open-air retreat enclosed only by horizontal white railings. French doors along the back wall of the porch allow more light to enter into the living room. Swinging pressure-treated louvered pine panels painted an olive green camouflage the parking spaces below.

What does a new driveway cost?

  • Costing depends on how much preparation is needed. Factor in £20/m2for groundwork
  • The cheapest surface is gravel which costs from £4/m2
  • Block paving is around £28/m2
  • The most expensive surface is resin-bound paving at £54/m2

Paint the front door


First impressions are made at the front door, so a whole new hue will mean a lot. “I’ve had aesthetically bland listings and simply painting the front doors in bold colors made the homes more interesting and inviting,” says Jean Rosalia of Keller Williams Realty. A fresh coat on the front door will help enhance the exterior, but while you’re at it, jazz up the trim, shutters, porch rails, and patio too. “Not only will it increase your curb appeal, but it will also protect your investment,” Rosalia says.

Step 2 Decide What You Want To Update

Here is a list of updates that would improve your exterior: 


Replacing siding is a huge project, if that is not in the budget, see if you could re-paint the siding yourself.  Especially if you have a ranch style home, it is definitely a doable project.  A two story like our home, isn’t quite as simple to paint, plus consider the shape of your siding.  A few years ago, we had a quote from a company to paint our home and it was around $5000.  We can replace the siding ourselves for less than that, plus our aluminum siding is not in great shape.  It has several dents and holes, which would still be seen if we simply repainted.  So in the end, we thought it was the best decision to remove and replace the siding.  

11 Ways You Can Upgrade Your House Exterior

So now you know the essentials. You understand the easiest ways to add some curb appeal to your house exterior. You get why and how important it is to boost your home’s presence on your residential street.

And now, you’re finally ready to take that extra step and go the extra mile. Here are our 11 tips and tricks on how to let your home stand out.

Start With Your Roof

You’re walking down your street as the sunsets. You love to glance up and see all of your neighbors’ architecture and landscaping looks.

First, you see that one abandoned house that you always think of as ramshackle, as best. The door is almost off its hinges and the lawn is overgrown. Its windows have boards on the exterior and the worst part is the roof. Its shingles are falling off at the slightest hint of a breeze. It’s an eyesore, to say the least.

But you forget about it as soon as you walk a little further and see your next-door neighbor’s picturesque landscape.

As the sun drops lower, there’s a golden glow on everything that highlights the peak of everyone’s house. And you can’t help but drop your jaw at that gorgeous roof.

Does your own roof need an upgrade? It’s not just about the visual appeal. Old roofs can cause serious foundational malfunctions.

Do you prefer a modern home exterior? If so, take advantage of architectural roof shingles. They are multidimensional and much more unique than the traditional asphalt ones. If you like your home to feel cool on the interior, these are a great option here, too.

These modern shingles reflect UV rays so that you can stay cool all day long.

Another option for a modern house exterior is a standing-seam metal roof. Metal roofs come in a lot of cool tones, as well.

Maybe you want to keep the charm of your mature home. A tile roof is a great choice for older properties. New concrete designs are durable and striking, unlike many of the traditional clay tiles. You can choose any number of styles, shapes and patterns for an eye-catching roof.

Add Some Texture

Are you big on your home’s interior and home decor? If you are an interior design buff, you know the importance of texture.

Your cozy bed has a lot of it. You have blankets, quilts and throw pillows for a carefully crafted look. You have a woven quilt and a velvet throw pillow. You have cotton and wool. You remember that every time you have a houseguest, they moon over your bed because of all the texture.

Do you have any outdoor or indoor plants? Imagine your miniature greenhouse in your living room or your front porch that’s robust with plant life. There are greens, reds and oranges in all different heights and textures. Your planters have various designs, feels and patterns.

Why do they look so great? It’s because of texture.

Don’t skimp out on texture for your house exterior, either.

You could boost your home’s exterior appearance with a natural stone accent wall. You can sweeten it with a brick veneer skirt. If neither of those sound right, add an accent of cedar shingles to a portion of your exterior.

Are you a lover of all things modern? Consider corrugated metal panels or architectural wall panels. Think about stucco as an option, too.

Use Bold-Colored Accents on Trims

Have you ever vacationed in New England? Maybe you recently went to a fishing village in Rhode Island or took a trip for some classic New England dining.

But something else caught your eye while you were there, too. Even if you went up the coast long ago, you still remember the houses. Why?

It’s all in the accent trim.

There are white houses with black trim and a pomegranate-red door to add a pop. Think of cobalt-blue siding with bright-white trim. There are deep-maroon structures with black or chocolate brown accents.

Bring back a taste of that New England charm by appending some bold trim to your property. Here are some ideas of where to accent your house exterior:

  • Your front door
  • Shutters
  • Trim
  • Decorative woodwork

You want your exterior house colors to mesh with the rest of your home. But you still want it to grab the attention of passersby. Remember: it should be a pop. So don’t use a gaudy color on a huge scale.

Change Your Shutters

Suburbia has many perks. But sometimes, the overwhelming sense of sameness gets boring. Of course, check with your HOA before making any property changes. But a great way to stand out is through a small change, like switching out your shutters.

A lot of people forget they even have them since they are so standard. A lot of the time, they aren’t even functional.

There are massive amounts of shutter styles for you to choose from today. If you like that cottage-core chic look, opt for a country design for your shutters. If the mid-century modern appeal is something you can’t get away from, you have several gorgeous choices, too.

Your shutters have to flatter the rest of your house exterior. And there are many strong colors out there as well.

Be Creative With Your Driveway

A lot of the time, you think of your driveway as just a functional piece on your property. You don’t even register its appearance. At the end of a long workday, it serves as a haven. You pull up to it and breathe a sigh of relief: I’m home.

So why let boring asphalt stand in the way of that? We promise that you’ll be even more glad to be home if you have an updated driveway.

It’s usually the first thing one of your visitors notice as they arrive. It’s both yours and their first interaction with your living space. So get creative with it!

If you need a stable and long-term fix, check out permeable driveway pavers.

For that creative approach, you can lay bricks or stamped concrete pavers.

Enhance Your Entrance

The entrance to your home is similar to your driveway in that they’re both crucial to curb appeal. They are also some of the first things you or anyone else notices when they step foot on your property.

There are two essential parts in your entrance as a whole: your walkway and your entryway.

For a dazzling walkway, you can lay an elaborate paver path. Consider comfy seating areas along your pathway. Lighting is also a functional and gorgeous addition.

As for your entryway, you might want to think about opening up the space. This works well for almost any style of home. You could widen your steps or expand your front door with some panels. A Colonial-style tower is yet another wonderful option.

Add Drama to Your Exterior Lighting

Cold weather is on its way. Though this may sound daunting to you if you prefer summer fun, don’t panic. That depressing, dark feeling you get when the days become shorter? We have a solution.

Install warm and dramatic lighting for your house exterior. Pick different sconces to go with your house colors and also encourage safety as you walk up to your front door in the dark.

Install Wall Claddings

Wall claddings, or siding, don’t have to be boring.

Here are some options to decide on when you need a big change for your exterior:

  • Natural stone
  • Wood
  • Brick
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl

Consider a Fence

Picture-perfect. That’s what you imagine when you think of fenced property. But don’t just leave it to your imagination!

Any home benefits from a fence, and there are many styles to choose from, too.

They keep your dogs and tiny tots safe while striking the eye of anyone strolling by.

Add Vibrant Landscaping

Landscaping is one of the most fun ways to enhance your house exterior.

Shrubs, plants, flowers and trees all serve many purposes. They can offer privacy if you plant greenery that’s high enough. They add pops of color and interest, too. It’s also a great way to add a new hobby to your repertoire.

Upgrade to Larger Windows

There’s nothing like driving by a new neighborhood and seeing a tall home with massive windows.

Sometimes, those houses aren’t as tall as you might think. Larger windows not only enhance your property value, they give the illusion of extra height and size. It’s a win-win situation.

Pave the way


Made of all kinds of attractive hard materials, including cast concrete, clay tile, brick, and cut stone, pavers are the relatively inexpensive secret to an exterior transformation. You may not have the time or the budget to do an entire patio, but a small walkway is a doable project for most homeowners.

10. Adjust Your Landscaping

Never overlook the importance of landscaping when

Never overlook the importance of landscaping when it comes to your home’s exterior. Adding some well-placed shrubs and plants up against your home can hide a multitude of sins, while at the same time bringing some much-needed color and life to the area. Just take care not to cover windows or light sources as you plant.

Step 4 Get Samples

Once you find a color combination online, now it is time to see it in person!  Get samples, samples and more samples! 

Don’t have a shed to redo…take a piece of plywood and create your own “house.”  Place a shingle sample on top and paint the siding color and trim colors you are thinking of using.  Obviously, the color will vary a little (from plywood to siding)…but move the board around to different sides of your home to see how the light hits it.  If there was ever a time to go overboard on samples…now is the time, especially if you are replacing shingles or siding.  Those are both big ticket items!  I even went as far as taking my siding samples and running up to newer house or condo (that was empty) to see how my sample compared with what I was seeing…or call the builder to ask what siding color was used on a certain house.  

If you are trying to decide on shutter colors…take a piece of wood or an old shutter and paint different colors onto it.  Place it up by a window and look at it during different times of the day.  

You can use a visualizer to envision updates to your home…this one was completed on Certainteed’s website.  I just did it quickly…so some of the lines are not very straight, however, it helps you envision what your home can look like.  Keep in mind, it is still difficult to see exactly what a color looks like in a visualizer and I still recommend going off of samples placed on the outside of your home to get a better idea of how it looks in the light!  We are thinking of adding a decorative peak above our front door…so it was nice to add that into the visualizer.  

Replace the Roof

Replace the Roof

A new roof is a major outlay no matter what your budget. But replacing a leaking or sagging roof sooner rather than later will keep your home safe from the elements and save you from additional, costly problems in the long run. On average, a new roof costs $5,000 to $10,000, with prices varying based on the materials.

Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material in the U.S., are the cheapest, at $70 to $160 per square (a square equals 100 square feet), but will only last 15 to 30 years. Metal is another popular choice. It’s pricier, at $120 to $900 per square foot, but will hold up for more than 50 years. Cedar shingles cost $250 to $600, concrete tiles are $150 to $250, clay tiles are $300 to $600, and plastic polymer is $400 to $1,200. Slate is the most expensive roof material, at $500 to $1,700 per square, and can last 100 years or more.

If you only need to repair part of the roof, expect to spend an average of $872, but a simple leak can be fixed for as little as $120.

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