Renovation5 min

Start Planning Now for Your Dream Exterior Remodel

If you're considering an exterior home remodel this spring or summer, now is the perfect time to start planning. Whether you want to take on a simple exterior remodel or totally change the exterior of your house, being prepared and building a detailed home project plan can help reduce your stress and help keep you on budget.

Here are some tips and home remodel checklists to help guide you through things to consider when remodeling:


Before we discuss steps for remodeling a house or even the cost to remodel the outside, let's think about all the things you want to do. Take a sheet of paper and write down the answers to these questions. This exercise will help you put together a vision that matches your dream result.

  1. Appearance: Write down what you want to do. Do you want to change siding? Do you want to change the appearance of your house and update windows, doors, gutters, shutters and trim?
  2. Current condition: Is your exterior remodeling project based on maintenance or a repair that needs to be done? Is there wind or hail damage? If your current home has damage, you may need to accelerate your work schedule based on the severity.
  3. What’s your ‘Why’?: Determine what is driving your desire to update your home’s exterior. Are you planning an exterior home remodel or reside job to maximize curb appeal to sell your house? Are you updating your home to differentiate it from the neighbors? Or are you simply trying to update its appearance?
  4. What are your “Must Haves’?: Writing down the elements that are mandatory will help you put together a realistic budget as well as prioritize the various aspects of your project.
  5. What would you ‘Like’ to have?: Now that you’ve written down your priorities, what are some of the elements you would like to add to your remodeling project if you have leftover time or budget? Is there anything you want to splurge on? Check out this blog about “7 Places to Splurge or Save During Your Home Renovation.

So, are you ready to move forward? If you’re anxious about making the investment, here’s a recent article that may address your concerns about the ROI of remodeling spending.

Set a Remodeling Budget

The key to putting together an accurate budget is to write down expenses line by line. Be realistic about how much materials and labor really cost! It's easy to start with the big line items but remember that it's often the small things-the easily forgotten ones-that certainly add up. Make sure to remember costs including dumpster rentals and equipment rentals which can quickly put you over budget.

Planning for the unexpected is important. Some homeowners automatically add 10 percent to any budget for unexpected contingences. Others add 15 percent. Even the most professional and talented remodeler could have a problem. Or, they might uncover an issue you didn't know you have, like a plumbing leak, termite concerns or water damage.

Find Inspiration

This is the fun part! It’s time to start researching materials and colors for your exterior remodel. There are plenty of ways to get ideas for your remodel. You can attend home shows, visit local showrooms or simply look online. Make sure you include manufacturers’ product pages and visualization tools to learn about different products, styles and colors. There are many different home styles, so it helps to know the difference in terms like Victorian, Colonial, Bungalows, Modern Farmhouse and more.

As you're researching, take special note of the features and product characteristic you especially like or feel should be required. For example, if you're planning to re-side your home, what are the functional benefits you require in a product? Common things to think about with siding include:

  • The longevity of the product if you are you planning to stay in your home a long time
  • Durability if you have kids who play ball outside
  • Excellent weatherability if you live in an area with extreme weather

Interviewing Contractors

It's not surprising that homeowners are most anxious about finding a well-qualified contractor who can deliver the remodel or siding renovation of their dreams. Since you're starting early, take the time to investigate contractors.

LP Building Solutions has a program that helps homeowners find highly skilled and well-trained exterior home contractors and remodelers in their area. The LP® BuildSmart Preferred Contractor Program provides extensive LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding product training to its contractor members, so homeowners can be assured of this important skillset.

Planning now helps ensure you have a really great experience when you do the remodel or reside job—and so you can be pleased with a beautiful, durable result for years to come.

For more information, download the LP SmartSide Trim & Siding Smart Guide to Renovation Planning. And don’t forget to browse through the inspiration gallery for many great ideas!

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