Whether you plan to sell your home this year or not, it is important to keep up appearances. When you do sell, your home will receive higher offers faster, as a well-kept exterior signals to potential buyers that the entire home has been well-maintained. Making sure that your home’s siding is not caked in moss and mold, or that gutters are not hanging, keeping hedges clipped, repairing patchy lawns, and removing and replacing dead shrubs, all contribute to raising the housing values for your neighborhood. Here are the top value-add projects that will not only maintain your home’s curb appeal, but also increase its value.

  1. Replace wooden door with steel security door. According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing an old door with a solid, secure door will recoup 97% of the door’s cost when selling your home. In addition to increased security, a steel door also provides added insulation for lower energy costs, too.

  2. Replace Windows: Recently upgraded windows, with either wood or vinyl trim, command a resale of almost 80%. In the meantime, if you plan to keep your home a few years longer, you’ll immediately see a reduction in energy costs, and greater comfort.

  3. Garage Door Replacement: You might not notice the dents and scrapes that have occurred over time, but to others, your exterior looks neglected. If you are upgrading your exterior elsewhere, such as with new doors and windows, spend the extra $1-3 thousand dollars and complete the upgrade. It is also an opportunity to change the style to give your garage, and premises a fresh appearance.

  4. Fiber Cement Siding: If you have vinyl siding now, you know it is not low maintenance. Moss and mold must be power washed away routinely, and the material cracks easily, requiring replacement. Fiber cement siding is an expensive product, but it is transformative. Your 1950s rambler will look like a new build and boast a return on investment of about 80%.

Wood Deck: Despite some low or no maintenance composite decking products, wood is the preferred deck material. It recoups about 75% resale, however, expect to have to stain and seal it every few years to extend its service life.