How to update the exterior of your home

5 simple ways to update your home’s exterior

Give your home an exterior makeover that will add value to your property

By Ifeoluwa Adedeji, Knule Barker |

Painting, cladding, rendering and reconditioning brickwork are just a few of the options to consider when giving your home exterior a new look.

With plenty of choices available it takes careful planning to select the right materials and decide on improvements that will enhance your property’s appearance and add value.

Here are five easy ideas to update the exterior of your home and get more bang for your buck.

Revamp your roof with solar panels

Your roof might not require a complete overhaul – perhaps just the replacement of cracked tiles and cleaning using a pressure washer will instantly improve its appearance. However, if you’re considering extending upwards and wish to change the entire set-up then consider solar panel arrays, which come in the form of solar tiles that can blend in with traditional slate tiles, or even whole roof systems.

‘You could consider a building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV), such as Sunstation. The system fits into the roof itself and is less visible because it does not protrude, but integrates with the existing roof structure,’ says Susannah Wood, chief marketing officer at Solarcentury. Remember that if you do decide to replace the entire roof you will need to bring it up to the latest building regulations standard.

Add aluminium or galvanised steel guttering

Broken downpipes and gutters filled with debris are an eyesore and can cause significant damage to a property’s exterior as water, instead of draining away, finds its way into the bricks and mortar. Replacing old guttering could not only stop further damage to your property exterior, but also add visual appeal with different shapes and materials, from gleaming aluminium and galvanised steel, to heritage copper.

As the autumn leaves start to fall, the future build-up of debris is inevitable. Consider installing products such as gutter brushes, which keeps debris out while allowing rainwater to drain away.

brown white house slanted roof van ellen granddesignsmagazine

Photo: Van Ellen

Upgrade your windows and doors

Updating your windows will have a big impact on the appearance of your property. ‘There are various ways you can alter or improve, depending on the style of your house, the planning restrictions of the local area and the size of your windows,’ says Rebecca Clayton at IQ Glass. You could, for instance, trade in ageing timber or dated PVCu frames for new aluminium versions that will allow you to install larger panes.

‘This can increase the feeling of light and space within the home, and aluminium frames also offer a cleaner, smoother finish, which can instantly update the external appearance of a home,’ says Clayton.

New windows will also give you the chance to fit versions with a very high insulation value, such as units with full thermal breaks, double or triple glazing, a gas filling and low-e coating. This will not only add kerb appeal, but will increase the thermal efficiency of your home.

Replacement doors need not require expensive and time-consuming structural changes. Get sleek bespoke designs made to fit the width of an existing opening. And consider removing the brickwork below a window to create an opening for a feature door. ‘Try sourcing affordable and stylish doors from suppliers such as Smart Systems Aluminium Windows and Doors, which are available in a choice of finishes, glazing patterns and colours,’ says Jeremy Foster of J Foster Architects.

Choose welcoming outdoor lighting

‘Lighting can be viewed as purely functional,’ says Sanjit Bahra at Design Plus. ‘However, the right lighting can completely transform the look and feel of an entire home.’

Make your external lighting practical and stylish by installing floor-mounted recessed solar lighting or a system that switches on when it detects movement. You can illuminate your external walls with soft, warm lighting to make your home look welcoming at night. All of this can be automated and easily retrofitted into a space with very little disruption. There are wireless lighting systems that require minimal rewiring, designed especially for refurbishments and heritage buildings.

Keep on top of garden maintenance

A simple tidy-up can do wonders for an overgrown garden; sweep up fallen leaves, move brimming bins out of sight and replace broken paving slabs. Sometimes that’s all it takes. You may, however, wish to work with landscapers to help you design something that’s truly inspiring, yet manageable, too. If you decide on hard landscaping, add colour with potted plants, which will soften the scene and can be easier to maintain than a lawn.

A beautiful, well-kept garden can add up to 20% to the value of a property, but it’s important to be realistic about the level of maintenance you can manage, and choose plants accordingly. Garden centres can offer advice on suitable plants for your garden’s soil conditions and aspect, and they also offer a planting service – try Boma.

Artificial turf is an option and products have improved a lot in recent years. It looks good all year round, is low-maintenance and is particularly useful for areas with limited light.