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Exterior Home Improvements That Can Increase Home Resale Value

Whether listing your home for sale or just making home improvements, the exterior of your home is what people see first.  It’s the curb appeal that sets the stage, drawing you into the home. What you do on the exterior of your home can help maximize the return on your investment when it’s time to sell.  Here are some top exterior items that will add the most value.

Front Door:

The focal point of your home and one thing that everyone notices in coming to your house.  If your front door is worn and old it might be time to consider a replacement in a more up-to-date style.  Your return on investment on an item like this could be as much as 100%.  Another option is to refresh the front door with a coat of paint in a complimentary colour to the exterior siding.  Not sure what colour to pick?  Your local paint store specialist can help you choose the right colour to match your siding or brick.

Garage Door:

Like your front door, garage doors can make a big first impression. Updating garage doors allows you to change the style of your home slightly from typical panel doors to a more contemporary design (think glass and steel) or a traditional design such as carriage-style garage doors. They now come in many colours as well making them virtually maintenance-free for many years to come.  An in-demand upgrade is the addition of garage door openers. Not only do they make life easy with remote control entry or keypad entry, they also add security to your home. Updating garage doors can add value to the home,  with a return on your investment from 94 to 200%.


Do you have old vinyl or metal siding on your home, or old wood siding that is rotten? Consider re-siding your home.  This will give your home a complete refresh for years to come.  There are many products on the market now such as Maibec and Cape Cod that once installed are maintenance-free for many years to come. Depending on the material you use your return can be anywhere from 70-80%.


Windows have a life expectancy of approximately 25 years, after which the seals start to deteriorate and condensation builds up between the panes of glass.  If the exterior frame of the window is wood, it may also be starting to rot and require replacement.  There are many options on the market these days; from wood windows to aluminum maintenance-free exteriors to vinyl windows. All these windows have different price points depending on size and choices.  Replacing windows can also give you an opportunity to change the look of the exterior and also upgrade energy efficiency of your home.  A professional window company can guide you through what would look best for your home.  Done correctly the return on investment for the window replacements can yield 80% or more.

Luxury landscaping


Landscaping can transform the exterior of your house, creating inspiring spaces to enjoy the outdoors without leaving home.  It softens the yard and adds colour and privacy. If you are thinking of selling, remove old plants and trees that are unhealthy.  Trim back any bushes that block pathways and windows. Remove branches that hang over the roof, as this can be an access route for rodents and raccoons into your attic.  Reseed or resod dead areas of the lawn.  If you need to start over because the lawn has been neglected, we recommend hiring a local landscaping company.  They will draw up a plan that works best for your lot and recommend the appropriate plants for sun and shade areas.  They will prep the beds for plants, sod, plant trees and recommend the installation of an irrigation system for easy maintenance of your plants and lawn.  Expect to spend up to 10% of your home’s value on landscaping.  An attractive and well-maintained landscape can add approximately 20% to the home’s overall value.


A good quality fence can last 15-20 years or more. If you are thinking of selling your home, replace any rotten or broken boards.  If the fence is leaning, you may have to replace the section with new boards and posts.  A new fence will give the yard a clean look. There are many options to choose from; wood, wrought iron, vinyl etc., depending on the level of privacy and aesthetic that you want to achieve.  Return on investment for a new fence is around 50% for wood; when opting for a stone or metal fence it could be as high as 70%.   It eliminates the pressure of negotiating  with new neighbours on replacing or paying for a new fence, a definite advantage that buyers appreciate. As the old saying goes:  Fences make good neighbours!

Luxury Patio


There are many options for decks from wooden decks to maintenance-free composite decks.  Depending on the complexity and size of the deck that you want to put in it can give you an exterior return on investment of about 70%. A large part of the cost of putting in a new deck is the labour. Buyers generally don’t appreciate this cost and assume that the deck is worth less than the actual price installed. How much the buyer likes to enjoy the backyard will be a factor in their perceived value of the deck or patio.  If you are planning on staying in your home, a maintenance-free composite deck can provide years of enjoyment.


Roofs have a life expectancy anywhere from 20-50  years depending on the manufacturer and product used. They vary from shingle type applications to tile, steel or cedar roofs. All these offer varying price points and longevity.  If your roof is aging and shingles are missing it is a good time for a roof replacement..  Never lay a new roof over top of an existing roof to save money.  The roof protects everything underneath it, preventing the elements – especially water – from penetrating and dripping into the house.  Depending on the roof, your exterior and the product you choose, the return on investment can be from 75-100%.  Expensive roofs such as cedar, steel and tile can be an owner’s preference and may not bring back the full investment cost unless you plan on staying a long time.

Outdoor Barbecues:

Barbecuing is a huge hobby and passion these days.  It brings people together for gatherings and sharing a meal together.  Outdoor barbecue areas can be anything from a gas BBQ set in a brick enclosure to outdoor kitchens complete with a smoker, pizza oven, fridge, sink, ice maker and more!  If you are building an outdoor BBQ area for yourself because you love to entertain and cook and plan on staying for a while, go for it!  If maintained they can last for 10+ years.  If you are only planning on staying a few years, limit the design to a BBQ and perhaps a fridge.  Those who love to barbecue will see real value in an amazing outdoor kitchen area.  Those that are not grilling enthusiasts will not appreciate it.  The return on investment for outdoor bbq areas could be 40-60%.


Steps and stairs are a safety feature whether outside or inside the home.  If you are thinking of selling your property, replace any broken, cracked or slanted steps or stairs.  You never want someone falling because steps or stairs were improperly done. At the front of the house, well maintained stairs add to the curb appeal of a well-dressed house.  The return on investment for safe stairs is 80-100%.

Luxury swimming pool

Swimming Pool:

Pools have increased in price over the years especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Obtaining a pool permit from the town or city can be a lengthy process. In Oakville and Burlington pools are very popular.  People enjoy pools as a source of exercise, entertainment with friends and family and as a backyard oasis. Pools can range from a vinyl pool of approximately $60,000 depending on shape and size to gunite pools up to $300,000. The perceived value of pools can be subjective. Parents with small children may be nervous about the safety risks.  Homeowners with older children can enjoy them safely and appreciate the value they offer.   Because pools are a big investment and the perceived value can vary depending on the buyer, be careful how much you spend if you don’t plan on staying too long at your current home.  Your return on investment for adding a swimming pool to your outdoor space is not a lot.  Return on the investment is typically around 7%.

When you are looking at exterior home improvement projects, consider the ideas that you like.  Some may be weekend projects that you can take on yourself while others may require the assistance of professionals.  When evaluating the average cost of doing the job, always consider how long you plan on staying and whether it will add value to the house to potential buyers or if  it is something that you want for yourself.  Replacement of old and broken items such as windows, doors, garage doors, fences, will always add value. Decks, pools, and extensive landscaping can be expensive and you might not get the return on the investment that you expected, but they will bring enjoyment to you if you plan on staying in your home for many years.

Are you looking to get a home evaluation for your property in Oakville, Burlington and surrounding areas? Contact Alex Irish real estate team.

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