How to Plan for the Perfect Exterior Home Renovation

The decision to renovate your home's exterior is not one that should be entered into lightly. It requires a lot of thought and planning. Here's how to properly think through the whole process, so you get the perfect exterior renovation for you and your home. 

There are many reasons why you may want to renovate the exterior of your home. Perhaps it's suffered damage after a major storm, or it's beginning to look a little outdated. Maybe you plan on selling your house soon and want to give it the best chance to attract a buyer and secure a high price. 

Whatever your reason, exterior home renovations require precise planning to pull off the perfect remodel. Here are the things you need to contemplate and ponder before deciding to move forward with the project.

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Renovating the interior or exterior of your home is a great investment that will increase the value of your property by improving its overall appeal. At our Calgary home renovation company, we work hard to create interior and exterior renovations that combine quality and style with affordability and convenience.

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The Why for Your Vision

We touched on this above, but the reasons for wanting to renovate your home's exterior will shape the vision you have for it. Some of the main drivers behind home renovations include:

1. Repairs or maintenance:
If your home has been damaged by a storm and you now have a leaky roof, it's pretty obvious what you need to have done. Ditto for torn siding after a hailstorm. These types of exterior renovations require expediency since you don't want the damage to get any worse or the home to suffer further interior damage should another storm blow through. If you're viewing this sort of exterior renovation through the lens of a preemptive measure, you have a bit more time on your hands. But you still don't want to wait too long before getting the project started.

2. An outdated look:
If your home is starting to show its age from the outside due to an outdated style, you most likely want to spruce things up with some modern touches. Maybe some new trim or doors and windows can do the trick. Or adding some stone veneer might be able to accomplish what you have in mind. This sort of project is where a reputable exterior renovation contractor will be invaluable, as their experience and familiarity with contemporary styles can help cement the vision you have for your home's exterior.

3. Easier to sell:
If your main goal of an exterior renovation is to make your home easier to sell and get a high price for it, then you most likely want to focus on work that will significantly boost its curb appeal. There's nothing like making a great first impression on a potential buyer the moment they roll up to your house, and a remodelled exterior can do wonders for your home's marketability.

Regardless of your main motivation for wanting to update the exterior of your house, having the right vision and goals for the project will inevitably shape the end purpose of the project. Sitting down and clearly defining your vision and goals will allow you to arrive at that purpose and will drive everything else moving forward. Once you've determined the purpose, it's on to the planning stage.


The Planning Stage

If you don't plan, then you're planning to fail. This old adage could not be more true when it comes to renovating the exterior of your house. Having a concrete vision of what you want your home's exterior renovation to look like or do is critical before any actual work begins. Two of the biggest pitfalls homeowners run into with exterior renovations are not having realistic expectations and not putting an accurate budget in place. Both can be avoided with proper planning. 

When putting together your vision for an exterior home renovation, you need to make a list. You must be honest with yourself at this stage about what you can afford and what you truly want to achieve. Make sure you include the following three categories in the list:

The must-haves:

These are the aspects or items that are central to your overall vision. Not having them would make your exterior home renovation pointless or unnecessary. Things that may fall under this category could include a new roof or updated siding. Maybe your must-have is as simple as new trim. Or maybe you just want new gutters, soffit, and fascia. Whatever your must-haves, make sure they remain your top priority, and you don't lose sight of the reason for your exterior renovation in the first place.

The like-to-haves:

When planning an exterior renovation, you'll most likely come across other aspects of your home's exterior that require an update or replacement. This is the category these items typically fall into. Say you know you need a new roof and, upon closer inspection, you notice your eavestroughs and downspouts are in need of being replaced. The latter items fall into your like-to-haves list, and if your budget won't allow for them to be addressed, they have to be taken off it.

The 'I wish' items:

These are the items that, if your budget or finances allow for them, then you would do them in a heartbeat. Again, you have to be extremely realistic with how much you can afford at this stage in your life. But if there is room in your savings or line of credit to get the deck you've always wanted or update to the siding you've always dreamed of, then now is a good time to do them. There's no shame in dreaming, you just have to be realistic about whether you can afford those dreams.

After solidifying your overall purpose for your home exterior renovation and separating the must-haves from the like-to-haves, you need to get very specific about money. Not having a clear understanding of what you can afford or unrealistic aspirations of what you can afford is a nightmare waiting to happen. Start with figuring out your purchasing limits and your ability to service the debt that may be involved with your renovation. Make sure you do this well before selecting any products and way before selecting a home exterior renovation contractor.

Making the Budget

The secret to a home exterior renovation budget is to make it as detailed and realistic as possible. Break down everything line-by-line and have your anticipated costs for each item right next to them. Some items you'll want to have on your list include:

  • Licensing and permits
  • Waste and demolition
  • Specialty tools and rentals
  • Materials
  • Labour
  • Consultant fees
  • Design fees
  • Financing costs
  • Unexpected items or events

When doing an exterior renovation project, it's best to expect the unexpected. It's very common for these types of projects to incur unexpected costs when roofing or siding is being removed because you never really know what you'll find underneath. 

This is why you must factor in unexpected costs or cost overruns into your budget. The main recommendation is to have 10 per cent of your budget allocated to these inevitable items. Not having that flexibility from the start can cause a renovation to quickly spiral out of control.

Take Your Time

Nothing undoes great ideas and sabotages results quite like being rushed does. If you can afford to take your time planning and executing your exterior home renovation, make sure you do. This will make the end result more successful since you will have had the time to plan, create a proper and accurate budget, and source the right materials and contractor. 

In order to manage your time more wisely, consider the following suggestions:

Choose which season you want to renovate in:
Here in Calgary, your exterior home renovation will most likely take place in either the spring, summer, or fall. That being said, sometimes it's actually more cost-effective and quicker to have renovation work done in the winter because contractors aren't as busy then. Whatever season you decide to have your renovation done, just make sure you move your calendar back six months from then and begin your planning. Giving yourself at least six months to determine exactly what you want and what materials you want to use, along with making a shortlist of renovation contractors you're interested in working with, will be invaluable to the overall success of your remodel.

Get a home inspector:
Home inspectors can be worth their weight in gold. These specialists will be able to provide an independent and unbiased assessment of your home and can alert you to things your untrained eye can't see. They also have tools that will reveal any unseeable issues that may be present. Hiring an experienced home inspector will allow you to prioritize what must be done right away and what can wait a bit longer. They can also offer up solutions that you can take to the exterior renovation contractor you ultimately decide to hire.

Look into products and materials:
There are a lot of home renovation products and materials to choose from, which is why you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to sort through them. Start your research on the internet to see what other homeowners are saying about them and what their experience with them has been. Then take your work to trade shows or exhibitions. Finally, head to some product distributors and supply houses so you can see the different products and materials up close in person.

One of the most important things you can do right off the bat is to begin narrowing down your list of exterior renovation contractors. Don't be afraid to give a few a call to get their expert opinions and advice on your project and the materials they would recommend for your home. By selecting the right contractor, you'll set your exterior home renovation up for success and make your life a lot less stressful.

Choosing an Exterior Home Renovation Contractor

There are a few main things you'll want to look for in a home exterior renovation contractor. They are:

An exterior renovation contractor who has the experience and expertise to pull off your project is a must. Try to find one who has an extensive history and a good track record of executing work similar to what you want done.

You don't want to choose the cheapest contractor. After all, you often get what you pay for. Be wary of any estimates that are much lower than what other contractors have provided you. At the same time though, you want to make sure the contractor you ultimately select has provided a competitive price.

Reviews and references:
Head online to see what people are saying about the contractor. You will also want to get a list of references from the contractor themself and call these people to hear how their experience went. Another great source of information could be their subcontractors or suppliers.

You do not want to hire a contractor who does not have the proper licensing or coverage. If you do, the risk of something going horribly wrong increases exponentially. Ask for current copies of their policies and make sure they're licensed by the City of Calgary. You will also want to make sure they have proper worker's compensation coverage so you aren't on the hook if one of their workers gets hurt on your property. 

Any exterior home renovation contractor worth their salt will provide their customers with a detailed and comprehensive contract that outlines all the costs, timelines, and agreements.

Contractors that provide comprehensive warranties for the work they do stand behind it. Look for those who have industry-leading warranties for craftsmanship and contractors who use materials covered under the manufacturer's warranties. 


Now that you know how to plan out your exterior home renovation project, make sure you follow the guide as closely as you can through every step of the process. Remember to start early and clearly define what your ultimate goals and vision for your renovation are. They will serve as your guiding light as you navigate this exciting chapter in your home's history. 

Should you have any more questions about how Triumph Renovations can help you bring your vision to life, contact us today to set up your free consultation.

Let's Craft Your Vision

Tired of searching through renovation contractors in Calgary? Contact our home renovation experts to book a FREE consultation or get a quote if you know exactly what you want and need experienced and affordable contractors that you can trust to make your vision a reality.


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