An exterior home remodel doesn’t have to be expensive. By the time you’re through reading this article, you’ll have a number of exterior remodeling ideas that are beautiful, functional, and economical.
Let’s dive in!
20 Economical Exterior Home Remodel Ideas
#1. Repaint the Siding
Exterior home renovations don’t always have to involve massive overhauls!
Between UV rays, rain, wind, and all of mother nature’s other elements, your home’s exterior paint takes a beating. Even before it starts to peel or chip away, it loses luster.
Even if all you do is apply a new coat of the existing color, your home will radiate newness. Of course, you can do a more dramatic exterior home remodel by changing the color altogether.
Cost: $2,500 for the average 2,400 sq. ft. home; do the painting yourself to cut costs further.
#2. Let There Be Light
This is one of those exterior home renovations that is as practical as it is beautiful. Exterior lighting is great for security and can make your house stand out on the block at night.
There are a number of lighting options out there. If you have ample space in front of your home, consider landscape lighting to create a grand look.
Wall-mounted sconces will work great for illuminating vertical surfaces on a home of any size.
Cost: $100-$200 per LED fixture, installation included
#3. Upgrade Your Siding Material
Vinyl has been the most popular exterior siding material in the United States for years. It’s cheap and comes in many styles. If you’ve had your vinyl siding in place for a while, though, you may have noticed that it tends to age poorly. Vinyl will crack and sag, for example.
Upgrading to a material like fiber cement siding may be a more drastic exterior home remodel idea but the results speak for themselves. Fiber cement siding is increasing in popularity due to its toughness and aesthetic appeal.
Cost: $4.50 to $9 per square foot
#4. Add Fencing
Fencing is another one of those exterior home renovations that are easy to overlook because of their simplicity. A fence will make your property look more well-intentioned and provide additional security.
Masonry fencing is perhaps the most impressive but can also be costly. Consider a classic treated wood picket fence instead.
Cost: About $10 per square foot (picket fence); closer to $15 per square foot for masonry
#5. Mind the Grass
When remodeling the outside of a house, you’d be remiss to ignore the lawn. Lawns are such a major part of an exterior home remodel that there are all sorts of crazy competitions out there.
You don’t have to get too obsessive about your lawn, though; just water the grass frequently and trim it to a height of about 2.5 inches.
When you trim also matters; wait until the grass is about 3 ⅔ inches high, which will prevent you from damaging it by removing more than one third of the blades.
As the winter months approach, aerate and fertilize your lawn ahead of the first frost.
Cost: Potentially free, assuming you already have a lawn mower; just maintain a regular mowing schedule and remember the height suggestions
#6. Clean Your Doors
Many people look for the major exterior remodeling ideas and miss the little details like this that can make or break a home’s aesthetic appeal.
To clean your door, use a diluted solution of soap and water with a rag to scrub scuff marks, grime, and other debris off your doors. Be sure to pay attention to any specific cleaning instructions your door paint manufacturer might have recommended.
#7. Replace (or Repaint) Your Door Hardware
Chances are that your door hardware is basic brass. If you’ve had this brass hardware in place for a while, it may even have worn into a very dull hue. Even the best of the best replacement door hardware is very cheap as far as exterior remodeling ideas go; consider matte black for a very contemporary look.
Cost: As low as $30 for a simple matte black door knob; $250 or thereabouts for a quality handleset
#8. Change the Numbers
Here’s another exterior home remodel idea that’s all about the details. You probably never think about the numbers that display your house’s number. For people visiting your house for the first time, though, those numbers are among the first things they’ll see — and first impressions count!
You don’t need anything fancy but illuminated (i.e. backlit) numbers can make a statement while costing very little.
Cost: Roughly $50 for an LED sign
#9. Create Dimension with Plants
Some strategically-placed plants on your porch can add some great dimension to your property. You have lots of options; hanging plants, potted plants, vines, you name it. Find something you can take care of and that is suited to your climate. With the variety of plants out there, there’s definitely something for you.
Cost: Negligible for the plants themselves; possibly free if you know someone with a green thumb who is willing to give you a piece of their sprawling plant. $100-$200 for planters
#10. Upgrade Your Windows
This is potentially one of the more expensive exterior home renovations on this list but the return on investment is huge.
Windows are engineering marvels that have been defining the look of buildings for years. Get inspiration from this article for everything from contemporary to modern window styles.
Beyond aesthetics, energy-efficient windows (like those filled with argon) will reduce your HVAC costs. Depending on where you live, there may even be rebates available to offset the costs further.
Cost: About $1,900 per window; possibly much less depending on local rebates
#11. Fix Your Roofing
House remodeling ideas for exteriors can be incredibly practical, and this is another example. Shingles fade and warp over time. By replacing them, you can breathe new life into your roof and save yourself from more expensive repairs down the road.
Cost: $350 to $500 per square foot for an entire re-roofing; substantially less for repairs to existing roofs
#12. Disguise Foundations
Some of the best exterior home renovations are simple tricks that disguise unappealing aspects of your property. If your home has an exposed foundation, you can get pre-cut slabs resembling stone. They instantly give your house a more luxurious appearance.
Cost: $100 or so per panel
#13. Upgrade Your Mailbox
Community mailboxes may have taken over in most neighborhoods — but that’s no excuse to neglect your individual mailbox if you happen to have one.
A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. If you want to go a step further, cover your old and worn-down wooden post with a cast stone cap.
Cost: $200 for a mailbox revitalization kit
#14. Repaint Your Shutters (or Add Shutters)
If your home has shutters and you haven’t given them much TLC in a while (or ever), some fresh paint will work wonders for remodeling the outside of the house.
If you don’t have shutters, consider installing them. They’re a thoughtful addition to your home and can really tie the place together when you coordinate their color with other elements, like your siding.
Cost: About $70 for a pair of shutters
#15. Pressure Wash Regularly
Here’s another example of house remodeling ideas for exteriors disguised as a cleaning hack. Most people think, “eh, my bricks/wood decking/siding is outside, so it’s just gonna get dirty; the bare minimum cleaning is fine.”
Pressure wash the surfaces around your home’s exterior to remove years of built-in grime. Your entire house will glow once you’re done.
Cost: Free if you have a pressure washer; otherwise they cost about $100 but can be rented for a negligible amount of money
#16. Window Planters
When conducting an exterior home remodel, framing is key. Window planters can help you achieve this by adding depth to your windows, along with some organic appeal. Plus, unlike many of the other exterior remodeling ideas on this list, window planters also look super cool from inside.
Cost: Roughly $100 per planter
#17. Redo Your Driveway
Your driveway takes a beating regardless of the climate you live in but particular damage occurs in places with cold winter months. After a while, your driveway will show signs of weathering. Luckily, resealing is a quick exterior home remodel idea that’s also super cheap.
Cost: Under $150
#18. Put Flower Beds Around Your Tree(s)
Developers of most modern homes place at least one tree out front these days. These can be the bane of existence for many homeowners, who probably have all sorts of ideas they’d rather implement in that space.
Whether you feel like this or not, make the most of that tree by adding a flower bed around it. This will ‘frame’ the tree and make it seem like less of an afterthought.
Cost: Dependent on the type of flowers; potentially free if you take grafts from elsewhere but almost certainly negligible as far as exterior remodeling ideas go
#19. Frame Your Flower Beds
If you have flower beds (or even just an area of your front or back yard dedicated to hedges), frame the area off using stones. It’s as simple as gathering the stones around the spot. Create a slight depression in the area to keep the stones from wandering off.
Cost: As low as $20 per yard of landscaping stone
#20. Hide Your AC
Let’s be honest. No matter how sleek your air conditioning unit is, it looks out of place. Throw some fencing or loose shrubbery around it; as long as you keep a clear path for airflow, you won’t have any issues.
Cost: $10 per square foot of picket fencing