AMBLER, PA - According to professional contractor Mark Clement, National Home Improvement Month in May is the ideal time to make improvements to the exterior of your home. By upgrading your home's curb appeal, you increase the value of your house and make a positive impact on visitors.
"According to Remodeling magazine's 2014 Cost vs. Value* study, home improvement projects involving curb appeal have very strong return on investment numbers for homeowners," says Clement, co-host of MyFixitUpLife home improvement radio show. "Their research shows that in a mid-range priced home, up to 67.8 percent of the cost of a roof replacement can be recouped when selling a home.
"For the replacement of a fiberglass entry door the cost recouped is up to 70.8 percent and homeowners can expect to regain up to a whopping 78.8 percent of the cost of replacing older windows with vinyl replacement windows. These numbers show that curb appeal improvements add value to the home overall and can be considered extremely smart investments for homeowners."
Clement points out that homeowners should start each May with a "top-down" evaluation of their home's exterior products. "Begin by checking out the appearance and functionality of your roof, siding, windows, trim and doors," says Clement. "Look for products that are worn out, need repair or re-painting, or simply should be replaced. Tackling these projects in May means you'll have more time to enjoy the results and a carefree summer."
Clement recommends the following checklist for National Home Improvement Month to make sure your home is in top condition:
1. Check the roof. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be “flapping” in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. If that’s the case, research the benefits of polymer shake and slate roofing tiles. These impact- and fire-resistant tiles come in a wide variety of colors. Some roofing tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes® that Clement chose for his home, are sustainable and recyclable. They also have a 50-year limited warranty.
2. Clean and assess the home’s siding. Environmentally-friendly detergents, scrubbing and/or pressure-washing all work well for many homes to remove dirt and algae that can grow on siding. Remember never to pressure-wash trim pieces, doors, windows or screens. The extreme high pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the units. While cleaning the siding, make sure to check for changes in the exterior from the previous year and be alert to buckling, rotting, peeling paint or insect damage that may need to be fixed.
3. Check on the gutters. Don’t underestimate the importance of the gutter system on the home. Each year homeowners should check to make sure their gutters are clean, unclogged, securely attached to the home and remain sloped for proper drainage. Plus, make sure the water running off the roof doesn’t cause damage to the building structure, landscaping or property below the roof.
4. Evaluate the windows. If you find that the windows in your home don’t operate easily, there’s air leaking in or out of the units, or there’s condensation between the glass panes, it may be time to seriously consider replacement windows.
Vinyl framed windows have the highest growth rate in the country due to their energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal and durability. Some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you’ll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows. For his renovation project, Clement selected vinyl home windows from Simonton Windows. The award-winning company impressed him with its strong product warranty, 65+ year history, selection of exterior frame color options and return-on-investment with their ENERGY STAR® qualified windows.
5. Spend time with your doors. If you can see light around a door from the inside, your door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it’s time to consider a new door. Even if you can’t see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.
Think about the weather conditions that your home’s doors face along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing an inefficient entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door. Clement added a Therma-Tru® fiberglass door to his home with a decorative glass doorlite to update the curb appeal of his home while gaining energy-efficiency savings.
6. Look at your home’s accessory features. Spend time with your shutters, trim and louvers to see if they’re rotting. Check the bottoms and tops of columns and near the joints in crown and other mouldings for water spots, decay or peeling paint to see if they’re deteriorating in any way. They may also be suffering from termites, insect infestations or warping. When it’s time to replace these items, low-maintenance polyurethane or PVC products from Fypon are an attractive and durable choice. The lightweight pieces are easy to install and add instant curb appeal to your home.
For more home improvement tips, visit www.myfixituplife.com.
A wide variety of images exist for all products mentioned in this story. Contact Kathy Ziprik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-890-8065 for images to be sent to you.
ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value study results can be found at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/. The Farnsworth Group, an online market research company, programmed and hosted the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value web-based survey. REALTOR® Magazine and the National Association of REALTORS® distributed an online survey to more than 200,000 member agents, brokers and appraisers to obtain estimates of resale value. RemodelMAX, a publisher of estimating tools for remodelers, used Clear Estimates remodeling software to generate cost estimates for all 35 projects in the study in 81 cities. Therma-Tru is one of several sponsors of this study.
Therma-Tru, Fypon and DaVinci Roofscapes are proud sponsors of the MyFixitUpLife radio show.