When people think about exterior renovations, whether out of necessity, style, or comfort, homeowners have many types of projects to choose from.
Here are some examples for exterior renovation:
- When installing a new roof, a homeowner wants to upgrade with skylights or solar panels.
- Vinyl siding is faded or out-of-date, and the homeowner wants a fresher, more modern exterior.
- A real estate agent may suggest exterior renovations to increase curb appeal and value before putting it on the market.
- A family wants to improve their comfort by eliminating drafts and improving ventilation.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most popular, value-boosting exterior renovation projects.
Roof and insulation
There comes a time when patching a roof is no longer a feasible option. Roofs get older and gradually degrade, causing leaks, mold, and even structural damage to other parts of the house. Any homeowner understands that replacing their roof is a significant investment—it’s also one of the most important, as it protects all other investments you’ve made (and will continue to make) in your home’s interior and exterior.
Replacing a roof has proven to be a homeowner’s most valuable exterior renovation project, with an average return of 107 percent of its original cost. A study by NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) showed that 39 percent of realtors have suggested sellers renovate their roofs before attempting to sell, and 33 percent said a roof renovation helped close a sale.
Rooftop solar energy systems
The demand for solar panels is higher than it ever has been. Why? Rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) systems are becoming more affordable, home buyers are increasingly environmentally conscious, and solar offers savings on utilities–with less reliance on the grid. Aesthetics are another factor, and the availability of new frame colors, backing sheets, wires, and other features now solar panels to enhance a home’s style.
Here are some important facts to know if you’re considering solar energy in Massachusetts:
- Solar panels typically last 20-25 years (about the same longevity as a new roof). The average 25-year savings is $68,073 – $83,201.
- The average payback time for solar panels is 3–3.7 years.
- A study by Zillow found that prospective buyers will spend 4.1% more for a solar-powered home.
- A study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that solar homes sold 20 percent faster.
Of course, these figures vary depending on such factors as where you live, exposure to sunlight, size of the array, the quality of your solar panels, energy consumption, and how much you pay for electricity.
Vinyl, fiber-cement, or other siding
Over time, siding can become dirty, corroded, or damaged by weather, pests, and other environmental causes. These issues can result in leaks, drafts, pests in the home, and even health problems. Upgrading siding materials with vinyl, fiber cement, or innovative composite materials can both beautify your home and increase its overall longevity.
Siding comes in a wide variety of materials, colors, designs, quality, and brands. When you research siding, consider these issues.
- Cost and protection, including materials, labor, and warranties
- Energy efficiency
- Expected longevity, upkeep, and maintenance
- Water-tightness and overall weather protection in Greater Boston’s climate
- Appearance, style options, and curb appeal
- Energy efficiency and savings
- Fire safety and environmental sustainability
- Tax savings and other incentives
Siding allows you to be creative, highlighting architectural features, expressing your personal taste, and making your property shine above the rest. Ask your contractor about distinctive touches for trim, complimentary and contrasting colors, combinations of textures, and other siding options.
To get the full benefits of your investment, hire a top-rated, trustworthy contractor who can expertly plan and install your siding. Look for a company that patiently listens to your needs, provides expert guidance, and has a reputation for completing projects on time, within budget, and with outstanding craftsmanship. For long-lasting protection, also ask about manufacturer’s and workmanship warranties.
Skylights as a part of exterior renovations
Do areas of your home feel dark or cramped? Skylights can make them feel more spacious, filling them with natural light and fresh air. Factors that affect the cost and impact potential energy loss include the size of the skylight, shape (including square, circular, or pyramid), style and type (fixed, tubular, and ventilating), pricing on one versus multiple skylights, and brand—with Velux considered the premium brand. With a 30 percent Federal tax credit, qualified homeowners save an average of $1,300 on the product and installation.
Some questions to ask as you research skylights include:
- How watertight are they?
- What is their energy efficiency rating, and do they protect against UV rays?
- What shapes do they come in?
- What is the cost of the product and installation, are tax credits available?
- What manufacturer’s and workmanship warranties are available?
- Can the skylight be opened manually? With a remote control?
Other renovations that can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of your home include:
Vinyl or wood windows
Old windows may be damaged, look outdated, let in drafts, and increase energy bills. New windows not only look better, but they can be easier to clean and operate, reduce heating and cooling costs, eliminate drafts and street noise, and even increase home security. The recovery value of new windows is 71 percent for vinyl windows and 57 percent for wood windows.
Fiberglass or steel front door
Your entryway makes an impression on everyone who passes by or enters your home. Upgrading your front door can make your house more attractive and welcoming, as well as provide additional security.
Outdated garage doors, especially if in poor condition, can be an eyesore. Many garage doors face the street, so this feature should not be ignored in any exterior renovation project. It’s a good investment financially, too, having an average return of 95% on your original investment.
Get the highest value from your exterior renovation
Exterior renovations can change how you feel about being in your home. It can make you more comfortable, lower your energy bills, better protect you against the elements, and provide a sense of pride. However, the process can be stressful. Hiring the right contractor can give you confidence and a sense of ease throughout the process, from your first consultation call through project completion and ongoing services.
If you’re thinking about updating the exterior of your home in Greater Boston, one local company can streamline the process. Award-winning Golden Group Roofing offers the highest quality exterior renovation services, including siding, roofing, skylights, and rooftop solar energy systems. Contact us today, and our project managers will walk you through the advantages and considerations of each option. Call us at (508) 873-1884 or schedule a free appointment online.