Choosing exterior materials and styles for your home

Turn on any home renovation show and more than likely, you’re going to be wowed by sweeping interior remodeling shots. And rightfully so. After all, it’s common to spend more time inside than outside.

However, your home’s exterior not only creates a first impression, it sets the tone for your whole home’s style. With our beautiful seasons here in Georgia, it’s possible to spend time outdoors nearly year-round. Because of that, having an updated, attractive exterior shouldn’t be overlooked.

When first thinking about an exterior remodel, it’s best to settle on a design style that’s personalized to suit your taste yet fits into the neighborhood. Be sure to check with your neighborhood’s covenants and restrictions when it comes to architectural styles, if they exist as part of your HOA. That will determine what options you may have. If you do not have an HOA to contend with, it’s still important to consider your neighboring homes when deciding on updates and finishes. An exterior style that sticks out too much in a bad way may not win you neighborhood friends or a large buyer pool down the road.

First, let’s think about the most visible components of any home’s exterior – siding and roofing materials and styles. These components can create vastly different statements for your house. Think about how different a home with a classic brick exterior feels when compared to a Craftsman style or even a log cabin

There are so many siding materials to suit any taste or need, including:

  • Hardie, or another composite
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Log, real or simulated
  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Metal
  • Stucco
  • Concrete
  • Glass 

Deciding on siding material is just step one. You’ll also need to consider the style and color(s) of the siding. When it comes to wood, Hardie plank, or even vinyl, you have the options of vertical siding, such as board and batten or panel siding, lap (or horizontal) siding, or shakes. For stucco, there is traditional or synthetic, also known as EIFS. In thinking about stone, you’ll have the options of natural or synthetic, in styles that are rustic, modern, or somewhere in between. And the combinations of the types of siding and colors are virtually endless. It is important to choose a combination that makes sense for the style of your home and neighborhood, as well as your personal taste

For the roof, you’ll go through a similar process – selecting not just whether it’s composed of shingles (asphalt or wood), slate, tile, metal, or other material, but also the color and style – gable, gambrel, hip, flat, shed, etc. These choices will be dictated by your budget as well as the style of your home.  

While some of your exterior finishes and colors may now be decided, there are plenty of other features to consider

Windows – A wall of windows with a view is a tremendous feature for any home. Not only does it give you a spectacular vantage point, but it will leave quite an impression on any passersby. Maybe your home doesn’t overlook the lake or mountains – updating your windows could still give your home a facelift and an energy savings bonus.

Entryways – While the back of the home has been getting a lot of attention lately, as people are spending more time at home and getting creative with outdoor living areas, it’s important to not forget your home’s curb appeal. The front of the home is the first thing people see when they drive up and can really make a statement.  Something as small as changing your front door style or color, can have a big impact. Or maybe you want to go big by adding a front porch or new architectural features.

Decks and patios – An important component for any home, outdoor living areas are a must for lake living. You’ll want to create attractive, comfortable outdoor spaces for relaxation and entertainment, whether it’s a patio for grilling, a complete outdoor kitchen or a wrap-around deck.

Lighting – Tasteful, wet-rated lighting solutions will not just add ambiance to your home at night, but also enable you to entertain and enjoy outdoor spaces when the sun goes down. Replacing old, outdated light fixtures on the exterior of your home can have a big impact on both style and function.

When it comes to home remodeling, don’t forget to think outside the walls and remember your home’s exterior. The options are endless, so be sure to work with a professional to help guide you to the best options for your home.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 edition of Lakeside News.