How to make the most of any exterior budget
November 15, 2022
Balancing quality materials, design and labour within the confines of a budget is always a core part of any renovation job or building project. When it comes to exterior updates, the outdoor façade is part and parcel of both building integrity and curb appeal so there can be lots of competing demands.
Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of what you have to work with:
Do the inspection
It’s more than worth it to examine the home for health and safety issues before beginning renovations. The client may not intend to re-pour any foundations or do major structural work, but it’s always best to catch any serious exterior problems like foundation cracks or roof leaks so you can put the money where it’s really needed right away and prevent future damage to fresh work.
Is it more cost-effective to start fresh?
It’s rare, but every so often the cost of remodelling an exterior is better spent on rebuilding all or part of the structure. Before getting caught up in many significant expenses to repair a beautiful exterior, consider whether it isn’t more cost-effective to start anew.
Get on the same page with clients. Ensure they understand what goes into your work and break down the budget openly, so they understand the value. If something they may expect is not included in your contract, let the client know up front. Most homeowners appreciate the explanations and trust an honest and open contractor more fully.
Identify the must haves
Find out what the client requires for a job well-done and what’s mainly a nice to have. Is the outdoor fireplace the centre of their backyard dream or would they be just as happy to spend that money on new stone veneer that boosts all-over curb appeal? This information helps you better adapt and ready solutions in the event of changes down the line.
When deciding what updates to tackle, it’s a smart idea for clients to prioritize elements that add energy efficiency such as windows or doors or upgraded insulation in the exterior walls. Consider how exterior cladding can also help insulate the home; as a manufactured stone veneer made from natural aggregates, Fusion Stone is much better at insulating a property than many other siding options – plus it offers elegant and maintenance-free good looks. This step can make a major difference to a client’s comfort and their energy bills down the line.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
See where you can save on fresh materials when it makes sense to do so. For instance, if the products used in a porch, you’re taking down are still in stellar shape, consider re-using them in the structure or elsewhere on the job. Old gingerbread trim or railings getting a bit tired? Inspect them carefully, sand them down and a provide a fresh lick of paint.
Recommend updates over add-ons
While some clients might dream of a pool or built-in trampoline, these types of extensive outdoor upgrades aren’t always the wisest choice for their budget. They require high upfront investment, added maintenance costs, and can hurt resale value down the line since many prospective homebuyers won’t want the hassle or expense Be realistic with your clients about these considerations – especially if they have a tight budget and weren’t dead-set on a pool anyway.
Be the expert
Experts are important for things like plumbing and electrical, but when it comes to product application look for products that maintain high quality without the need for specialized technicians. Fusion Stone is a mechanically fastened stone veneer so it’s totally mortar-free – that means you can install it easily on a home without contracting out to a mason.
Refresh fixtures and finishes
House numbers, handrails, doorknobs, and the mailbox are all areas that improve the appearance of a home and create a cohesive look just from simple swaps. They can add up in cost, but really create a polished look for the overall home.
Think long term
While a quick fix like painting is nice for the budget in the short term, it’s not particularly durable. Choose materials for the exterior update that will hold up to years of wind and weather, and wear and tear without the hassle of special care.
When it comes to exterior cladding, Fusion Stone is maintenance-free. In fact, the patented rain screen technology, combined with the lack of mortar (the weakest part of a wall) and a special air gap, prevent mould in wet weather and cracking in colder freeze-thaw temperatures – all while giving a serious style upgrade and an exceptional return on investment.