Scott McGillivray is known for helping homeowners add value to their homes, but there are also many ways to refresh the outside of your home to get top dollar. What your home looks like on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside, and really matters to homebuyers who might be assessing your property.
Start with the Small Details
Install a New Door
Front doors have a huge impact on curb appeal. Everybody sees the front door! Remodelling Magazine's Cost vs. Value routinely reports a new steel front door is the #1 source of remodelling return on investment, with fibreglass doors not far down the list. Pick a door with a price point that's appropriate for the total value of your house. One or one-half of one percent of the total value of your home is a good guideline. And remember, if you buy a new door don't cut corners on the hardware. You need a strong, quality lock that provides good security.
Switch Up Your Accessories
A new mailbox, house number, door bell and lighting are all lower cost items that are worth updating. Splurge a little here to get good quality, stylish pieces.
Spruce Up Your Porch
If you have a front porch, take advantage of this feature. By adding furniture like a small table and chairs, you increase the square footage of your home. It’s a huge selling feature and amps up your curb appeal!
Invest in Hard-Scrapping
There are several different types of driveways including dirt, gravel, asphalt, concrete, and interlock. The value of your home and properties in the area should dictate how much money you should spend on your driveway. Scott recommends interlocking driveways: slate and flagstone tend to chip, so go with engineered stone. You'll get more money back on your hard-scapping if it looks recently done and the best bang for your buck is always a timeless, classic look that complements your existing home.
Just remember, this is not a DIY project. Hire a professional to get the job done right.
Decks are a big deal. They rank right up there with kitchen remodels and can give you an ROI of 68 to 77 per cent or more because ultimately they increase the living space of your home. When adding or redoing a deck, spend somewhere between 2.5 and five per cent of your house's total value. Don't spend more than $10,000 on a 200 square-foot deck if you want a good return on your investment. You can use pressure treated wood or cedar, but Scott prefers composite decking. It will give you the best ROI if you sell your home once the deck is 10 years old or older. Plus, the options are endless and it's environmentally friendly. Just note that the cost can be high, so you need to weigh your pros and cons. Usually the time saved on maintenance is worth it.
This is more of a maintenance project but can add value to a new build. You can share costs with your neighbours, which also ensures your fence can straddle property lines. There are many different kinds of fence options — pressure treated, chain link, wrought iron — just make sure you go with what works with your neighbourhood to ensure a good return on investment. A good tip is to also check with municipal bylaws for fence-height requirements and restrictions before you build.
Home photos courtesy Scott McGillivray