Sep 7, 2011

The outside of your home is as important as the inside.

With challenging economic times, many of you are investing in ways to make your existing home work better for  since as you've decided to stay put rather than move. Good design doesn't stop at the kitchen, the bathroom, the clever storage, or the creative shifting of room functions. The choices made for exteriors must also work well. 

From siding, that offers safety from the elements, to stone to shingles and more, these surfaces boost curb appeal and, when done well, wrap the house like a gift that you get to open every time they pull into the driveway. By mixing-and-matching these design elements - choose one siding item, one stone accent, and one trim design - and you're on your way to a new stylish exterior.

Here are some products that deliver great style and quality:

1) Siding: Crane's solid siding is available in 22 colors including rich new colors of olive, nutmeg, desert, graphite, and a rich blue. 

2) Stone veneer. There is nothing like real stone for a fabulous exterior finish. These manufactured stone veneers are real, but with the ease of installation, color choices and trim pieces only a veneer can provide. 

3) Shingles. James Hardie Company has yet another siding product that mimics the authentic look and texture of cedar shingles. Engineered for specific weather challenges, the siding is durable, doesn't crack rot or split, and comes in a variety of widths for a handcrafted appearance. 

4) Column wrap.  A great finish for old wooden columns - or even new ones that you want to preserve - is a PVC wrap.  It's a simple installation and nearly care-free compared with peeling paint and damage to wood.

5) PVC trim. With a beautiful appearance and almost no maintenance, use PVC trim to replace old moldings, fascia and other exterior trim. The trim from Kleer looks and feels like wood and isn't shiny and plastic like other brands.  

Check back in September for other outdoor decor ideas to spruce up your home.