Renovating a home is an exciting time for homeowners.  A Home Renovation project renews and refreshes old, outdated, worn, or damaged interior or exterior features of a house.  Many home features are worthy of renovation dollars, but many still think of kitchens and baths first when it comes to home remodeling.

There is no question that kitchens and bathrooms are worthwhile and rewarding renovation projects, but many types of home renovation projects are initially overlooked and a number of these projects lend themselves to improved curb appeal – which is what initially attracts visitors and homebuyers alike to a home.

Home Exterior Remodeling projects find themselves front and center when it comes to both protecting one’s residential investment and enhancing curb appeal.  Whether it is Siding Installation, Replacement Windows, Exterior Doors, or Patios, Exterior Home Renovation projects that can be seen from the street, back, or side yard are arguably more valuable than many interior home remodeling projects.

According to Remodeling Magazine, the top 22 Cost vs. Value remodeling projects in 2020 that retain the most value at resale based on a survey of 3,000 real estate agents and firms are listed below.  It’s interesting to note that 9 out of the top 10 projects are exterior home remodeling projects.

2020 National Averages
Project Job Cost       Resale Value       Cost Recouped
Manufactured Stone Veneer $9,357          $8,943              95.6%
Garage Door Replacement $3,695          $3,491              94.5%
Minor Kitchen Remodel | Midrange $23,452        $18,206              77.6%
Siding Replacement | Fiber-Cement $17,008        $13,195              77.6%
Siding Replacement | Vinyl $14,359        $10,731              74.7%
Window Replacement | Vinyl $17,641        $12,761              72.3%
Deck Addition | Wood $14,360        $10,355              72.1%
Window Replacement | Wood $21,495        $14,804              68.9%
Entry Door Replacement | Steel $1,881        $  1,294              68.8%
Deck Addition | Composite $19,856        $13,257              66.8%
Roofing Replacement | Asphalt Shingles $24,700        $16,287              65.9%
Bath Remodel | Midrange $21,377        $13,688              64.0%
Bath Remodel | Universal Design $34,643        $21,463              62.0%
Roofing Replacement | Metal $40,318        $24,682              61.2%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Midrange $68,490        $40,127              58.6%
Master Suite Addition | Midrange $136,739        $80,029              58.5%
Bath Remodel | Upscale $67,106        $37,995              56.6%
Bathroom Addition | Upscale $91,287        $49,961              54.7%
Bathroom Addition | Midrange $49,598        $26,807              54.0%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Upscale $135,547        $72,993              53.9%
Grand Entrance | Fiberglass $9,254        $  4,930              53.3%
Master Suite Addition | Upscale $282,062      $145,486              51.6%


Return on Investment (ROI) for exterior home remodeling projects can be substantial if the right projects are undertaken.  ROI encompasses many areas, including greater resale value, enhanced curb appeal, everyday enjoyment, increased functionality, and substantial energy and maintenance savings.

Does your home appear welcoming?  Does it beckon others to stop and appreciate its exterior beauty or energy efficiencies?   Exterior remodeling can make all the difference between a home standing out from the rest of the neighborhood and one that blends in like all the others.  ROI can be measured in various ways.  Many think of ROI in terms of resale value, but ROI also corresponds to quality of life and ease of homeownership.

What makes Exterior Home Remodeling Worth the Investment?

Add On – Home exterior remodeling can help augment other remodeling projects such as home additions.  A home addition can either be an “add on” and not be included in the way the rest of the home looks or it can be seamlessly integrated into the existing structure through exterior remodeling that helps integrate the new living space into the existing structure.

Resale value – To boost resale value, many homeowners smartly undertake exterior remodeling projects to enhance their home’s curb appeal and update the look of their home. Adding siding to a worn exterior, installing replacement windows, or hanging a new entry or patio door, for example, make popular upgrades that will continue delivering to homeowners a high ROI in terms of resale value.

Repairs / Replacements – When home repairs are needed they often turn into more extensive exterior remodeling projects.  For instance, if a homeowner needs to replace some old windows, not only are they able to choose the type of window, but also the size, shape, and configuration.  When rolled into a comprehensive exterior remodeling plan, the home’s exterior can be entirely modified to match the new style.

Enjoyment – A home is meant to be enjoyed.  A relaxing, functional, and enjoyable home plays a big role in the ROI mentioned above.  If funds are going to be allocated to exterior home remodeling for future resale, curb appeal, increased functionality, and ease of maintenance, it might as well be enjoyed at the same time.  Homeowners often relish the idea of exterior remodeling as a quick way to give their home a different look.  Adding a relaxing patio, sunroom or additional windows for more lighting can make a home both more enjoyable and well prepared for a potential sale down the road.

Which Home Renovation Projects Make the Biggest Difference?

Based on Remodeling Magazine’s top 22 costs vs. value remodeling projects listed above, nine of the top 10 projects are home exterior remodeling projects that include Siding Replacement, Window Replacement, Patio Replacement, and Entry Door Replacement.  These projects return more investment dollars than most renovation projects and they are great for enhancing the comfort of the home, creating more curb appeal, and increasing resale value.

Exterior Walls –  If painting or maintaining wood siding is not your favorite activity or if it’s simply time for a change, Vinyl Siding and Insulated Vinyl Siding make a huge difference in looks, durability, maintenance, weatherproofing, soundproofing and insulation values.  Home siding comes with a lifetime warranty, which is hard to beat when it comes to an exterior remodeling project.  Some siding even contains bug repellent built in and adds to the already inherent resistance to anything nature can throw at it.

Windows, Entry Doors, and Patio Doors – New windows give a home a fresh, “like new” look that not only looks more attractive but improves a home’s energy efficiency as well.  Windows and entry doors are very visible signs to visitors and potential home buyers that a property is well maintained and investment continues being made to the property.  Patio doors aren’t as visible from the street typically, but add value when the interior is viewed and in ease of entry and exit to the back yard.

Patio Covers – The addition of Patio enclosures, including Patio Covers, Screen Rooms, Pergolas, and All-Season Patio Products are another great way to add value to your home while enjoying the family-friendly addition.  Patio covers don’t generate as much ROI as siding, windows, or doors, but they come close and provide a lot of enjoyment as well.

In the end, even if you aren’t currently considering selling your home, the right types of exterior remodeling are worth the investment and will pay big dividends if you decide to sell your home.  In the meantime, they will provide years of greater energy savings, increased functionality, continual enjoyment, and significant savings in maintenance costs.