It’s never too early to start making plans for the summer – especially if you plan on tackling a few large-scale home improvement projects. But where do you start? Should you spend the money on a new roof? Are new windows worth it? What about siding? Which improvements will boost your home’s resale value the most?
To answer that question, we surveyed the folks at our Austin-area office. They told us which options were the most popular with their customers – and which options gave you the biggest return on investment, resale-wise.
Here’s a list of our four top picks from Austin. Don’t live in Austin? No worries. These tips are equally awesome if you live in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Lake Charles, Louisiana!
1. Build a deck. Nothing says “summer” quite like a deck. Whether you’re considering a fancy new deck with built-in seating and planters, or a simple outdoor space with just enough room for a grill and a dining table, a deck is a great way to turn an ordinary backyard into everyone’s favorite summer gathering spot.
Decks are also endlessly customizable. Keep things traditional by choosing a wood deck stained to match or coordinate with your home’s exterior (wood is also great for resale value – you can usually recoup around 90% of the cost of a wood deck when you sell your home). If you prefer to keep things green, consider an Eco-friendly deck material. Composites such as EverGrain or Latitudes look and feel like real wood – without the splinters, swelling, or fading. Another green option is Trex, which is made out of a 50/50 combination of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. Click here for more info
2. Invest in James Hardie Siding. New siding can make any home look like new – and our Austin team was unanimous in recommending James Hardie Siding. What makes James Hardie Siding so great? For starters, it’s made of super-tough fiber cement – which means that it’s going to last a long time without breaking, cracking, peeling, or warping. Plus, James Hardie siding comes with a 15-year finish warranty, plus a separate 30-year transferable product warranty.
James Hardie Siding can be painted to match your home’s existing color scheme, and it’s available in a wide variety of styles and textures. James Hardie Siding costs a little more than vinyl or wood siding – but we think it pays for itself when it comes time to put your house on the market. Folks who invest in composite siding such as James Hardie Siding can expect to recoup around 91% of the cost when they sell their homes. Click here for more info
3. Replace the roof. A new roof can do more than improve curb appeal: Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against rain, heat, pests, mold, and sky-high energy bills. Choose specialized “green” roofing like Eco-Star or keep things simple with shingles, tiles, slate, or composition roofing.
Depending on the material you choose, you stand to recoup somewhere around 73 to 75% of the cost of your new roof when you sell your home. Click here for more info
Signs that it might be time for a new roof:
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- Mold, mildew, or decay
- Blistering or peeling paint around the roof
- Attic leakage
- Stained interior walls or ceilings
- Dark spots
- Increased heating or cooling bills
- Missing or cracked shingles
4. Update your windows. New windows can help make your home more attractive — and they can help lower your heating and cooling costs, too. Choose wood, vinyl, or aluminum, and consider investing in windows with extra features like impact-resistant glass or Energy Star certifications. (Investing in Eco-friendly windows may also qualify you for a government tax credit – see our previous post for more information.)
New windows are also good for your home’s value: You can reasonably expect to recoup anywhere from 72 to 78% of your investment when it comes time to sell. Click here for more info
Need some suggestions for your summer home improvement project? Call M & M Roofing, Siding & Windows today at (512) 219-1242 for a free consultation. Or, leave a comment below and tell us how you plan to improve your home this summer: