6 Outdoor Home Investments That Will Last and Pay Off in the Future:
Buying a house is a choice that needs to be made with complete confidence, unlike, say, changing your wardrobe every season or style. It’s also an investment that will last a lifetime, so it needs to be strong both inside and out. But because of global warming, the weather changes quickly these days, and you never know what Mother Nature will do. Because of this, your house needs to be seriously protected from the weather over the long term.
“The outside of your home, like the siding and roof, is the first line of defence,” says Dan DiClerico, home repair and outdoor director for Good Housekeeping. “Today, it’s more important than ever to invest in durable materials.” The good news is that these choices also have a positive effect on the curb charm. “Some of the best returns on investment for home improvements are exterior improvements.” He says, “They’re one of the best ways to add value.” Find out some of the ways we think you should do it by reading on.
6 Outdoor Home Investments That Will Last and Pay Off in the Future
1. Rethink your roof
A roof that is too old can make your home look bad and cause problems like leaks and bug infestations. Asphalt shingles are the most common choice in most of the country because they are both affordable and good at what they do. But depending on where you live and the weather, there are other choices you might want to think about.
“Metal roofs are popular in the north of the country, for example, because they can handle heavy snow well,” says DiClerico. On the other hand, he says, concrete and clay tiles are very safe in warm, dry places where wildfires are common.
2. Upgrade your siding
Siding is the one thing that can instantly make your front look better. It’s also important for keeping your home safe from the weather and using energy as efficiently as possible. Fibre cement is a good choice that is becoming more and more common. According to DiClerico, the cloth is very durable and doesn’t show any signs of wear or tear. “Plus, it doesn’t need much upkeep—unequal to other materials that need to be painted or stained every 10 years or so.” Fiber-cement flooring from James Hardie was his choice. It doesn’t burn, doesn’t absorb water, and doesn’t attract pests. One type is standard Hardie Plank lap siding, which has the Good Housekeeping Seal behind it. Another type is more modern Hardie Panel vertical siding. Hardie Siding also comes in a number of styles, such as Select Cedarmill, stucco, and smooth, so it can match any style.
3. Don’t forget trim
This is what your appearance needs to finish off. “It’s like jewellery for the house, so it can really make it look better from the street,” says DiClerico. And Hardie Trim boards can make any feature stand out, no matter how small. They come in a range of styles, such as Rustic Grain, which is a traditional board-and-batten look; Smooth Batten, which is a modern take on the classic; Rustic, which has a texture like old wood; and Smooth, which looks smooth.
4. Pick your panes
While windows can be an afterthought, they can have a major impact on a home’s style, performance and appeal. “And thanks to features like insulated glass and low-E [low-emissivity] coatings that minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through, new windows can also make a home more energy-efficient,” DiClerico says. Good Housekeeping recommends wood-clad windows, in which the outside wood is covered in aluminum or vinyl. “This reduces the upkeep, as well as the chance of rotting and insect infestation,” DiClerico notes, adding that composite windows, which are usually fiberglass-based, are another good option. “The best versions have the look of real wood without the need to paint or stain,” he says. “They tend to be very durable, too, making them a good option in extreme climates,” he says.
5. Add hearty hardscaping
Hardscaping makes outdoor areas better for use and more attractive, whether it’s a patio in the backyard or a path leading to your front door. A lot of people like it, especially in parts of the country that often get droughts. “More and more people are replacing some or all of their lawn with hardscaping,” says DiClerico. “Most options don’t need to be watered, and they’re almost completely maintenance-free.” His favourite type of paths are made of concrete pavers because they “provide better traction than a paved surface, making slips and falls less likely.” Also, the pavers move on their own, so they won’t break or crack as easily as a surface made of poured concrete.
6. Light it up
After dark, outdoor lighting is the best thing you can add to your house. It shows off your home’s building details and makes it look its best, but DiClerico says it may be even more important that it keeps you and your guests safe by lighting the way inside. He says, “the key is to create different layers of light,” just like in interior design. Task lighting on paths and at the front door are two of the best choices. Accent lighting can be used to show off trees, foundation plants, and buildings.