The summer solstice has long passed and inevitably the days are getting shorter and summer is quickly slipping away. As fall approaches it is time to think about exterior renovations which are very dependent on weather and outdoor temperature.

Exterior renovations can be grouped into 3 categories – maintenance or necessity, curb appeal or cosmetic and function or quality of life. The first category, maintenance or necessity, involve any improvements that are required because of the lifespan of building materials. This includes roof shingles, window replacement, exterior painting or any repair required to the exterior to maintain a homeʼs integrity. This type of renovation will not typically alter the appearance of a home significantly but these improvements protect a home and help maintain its value well into the future.

The next category, curb appeal or cosmetic, can include many different renovations from something as simple as changing the exterior colours of a home, to something more complex like re-building entire elevations.

New exterior finishes are continuously being developed and are becoming very popular. An exterior renovation of this type can completely transform the appearance of a home without altering the interior whatsoever. Popular finishes including stucco, fiber cement siding, natural stone, manufactured stone and aluminum longboard siding provide a long lasting, durable surface that will modernize the look of a home. Aluminum soffit, fascia and eavestroughs can replace existing wood soffit and fascia and galvanized eavestroughs. This eliminates the painting cycle and will provide you with a maintenance free finish. We have all seen homes with façades that just do not look balanced because of the size or placement of windows. These design flaws can be rectified by designing a façade that will incorporate proper proportions. Changing window size, placement and style can add much to the curb appeal of a home.

A false dormer or changing roof lines can modernize a home. A false dormer can add interest to what would otherwise be a plain façade. One of the best compliments that you can receive regarding an addition is that it looks as if it was an original part of the house. The roof line is one of the most important components to consider. An addition’s roof should have similar slope and style as that of the original house, however, if an addition has been added to a home in the past, quite often this is not the case. A flat or incorrectly sloped roof can be changed to create rooflines that tie into the existing roof.

Landscaping also falls into the curb appeal or cosmetic category. A professionally designed landscape plan will enhance curb appeal and properly balance the house and lot.

The third and last category includes renovations related to function and quality of life. This type of renovation includes patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, social gathering areas, hot tubs and swimming pools. Today many people forego purchasing a cottage or taking exotic vacations and instead choose to create a personal oasis in their own back yards. During the fair weather months this exterior space is considered by many families as a getaway and an area to entertain family and friends. Covered patios can provide useable outdoor space when Mother Nature does not co-operate and a screened in porch provides protection from the pesky bugs that annoy us at certain times.

The possibilities for an exterior renovation are virtually limitless. When you are ready to begin planning, a consultation with a professional renovator is very beneficial. An experienced renovatorcan provide sound technical advice and design assistance to ensure overall satisfaction with the finished product.

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