Exterior Projects

The first thing everyone sees is the exterior of your home. Through landscape design, siding, roofing, decorative accents and other curb appeal, upgrade your exteriors with latest ideas from those who work in the home design industry. There are incredible new technologies and color theories that can add a brilliant new look to your home's exterior. The front of your home isn't the only thing that people look at. Backyards and gardens are just the beginning for your outdoor renovation project. You can create the perfect outdoor scene for parties, entertainment, family gatherings and barbecues. Hot tubs and swimming pools aren't the only way to add an exciting outdoor oasis. Whether you want to add an outdoor entertainment area, new landscape or even a greenhouse, your exterior projects can define how your exterior flows with your home and define you as a creator and designer.

One of the biggest DIY remodeling projects is a backyard deck. These wooden structures do not have to be so traditional. You can create decks from wrought iron, wood, and even glass. Decks are perfect for creating a flow from your interior to exterior, placing a hot tub, or a safe passage to an above ground pool. These structures are also amazing for picture perfect views. Decks can overlook lakes, pools, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Changing an exterior is an intensive project. You have to provide for structural defects and weather damage. You also want to make sure that you are choosing durable furniture, ready to outlast constant sun and rain exposure. The typical outdoor areas can still require the help of an architect to plan and direct the outdoor space that you have to work with. You may also have to change your interiors to create a better flow throughout your home. For example, if you're adding a sunroom or screened porch area, you may want to tear down a wall to make it more open and provide space to install stairs. From green landscapes and hot tubs to flower gardens and luxurious pools, your exterior designs can really improve the value and beauty of your home.

Siding Composite Wood

Composite wood siding is a type of siding for your home’s structure. It provides a beautiful, traditional look to your home. There are different types of wood to be used for siding, with cedar being a popular option. Composite siding is a project you can do yourself by learning the important techniques, learning how to choose the right materials and getting necessary tools. It also gives your home a brand new look and can even increase its value when you do it right. If you want wood siding but don’t feel confident in your own remodeling skills, hire a contractor to install it for you.

Project Ideas

You have some options when it comes to installing composite wood siding. You can go for cedar plywood strips, also known as batten siding. This isn’t the most common, but provides a clean look for your home. Another style is channel siding which creates a more rustic appearance and is great in multiple climates. Hardboard lap siding is the most affordable type of composite wood siding and is very often found on manufactured or track homes. It is made from a combination of resin, wax and wood fibers. This is designed to appear like lumber, but very cheap to purchase materials. It is also easy to install. Decide on the material you desire before figuring out the costs and continuing with the project.

Remodeling Considerations

Composite wood is a natural material for the siding of your home, so in many cases, it is more environmentally friendly than aluminum or vinyl. It is more expensive than other siding, so keep this in mind when considering if this is your best option. Most people who get composite wood siding want it for the look and durability, and not necessarily because it costs less. The exception is if you get the hardboard lap siding which is cheaper than other types of siding, used on mobile homes, track and manufactured homes.


To install composite wood siding, expect to pay about $4.85 a square foot for basic siding, $5.78 for better wood siding, or over $7 for the best quality wood siding. All of these prices are per square foot, so the total cost for an average home for the basic is over $5,000 total. Doing it yourself can save money in many cases, but if you have problems, it will cost you even more to repair what you have damaged. If you are not confident in your skills, pay a professional to install it from the beginning.

If you need additional help figuring out the costs, Remodeling Central has easy-to-use cost calculators for this and other projects. You can use this tool to decide between doing the project yourself or hiring a contractor to do it for you. They provide everything you need, including lists of contractors, estimated costs and even tutorials for your installation.