What is a House Facelift? How to Renovate Your House Exterior

We all need a makeover now and again and houses are no exception. Done right, a house facelift can add value and boost the kerb appeal of your home, which is particularly important if you’re looking to sell or rent. 

But what exactly is it? 

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What is a House Facelift? 

A house facelift is any cosmetic or structural improvement, renovation or remodelling to the exterior, whether it’s freeing a 20th century façade from dated 80s pebbledash, rescuing a period place from past mistakes, adding or removing features or even changing the shape of the building. It is a common, but often overlooked, home renovation project. 

5 Popular Exterior Home Renovation Ideas

1. Adding a Home Extension

Extending your home outwards or upwards transforms its liveability and look. Gain another bedroom, study, conservatory, a more practical kitchen, or even double the size of a tiny bungalow without the hassle and expense of moving. Even smaller, highly affordable additions like porches or bay windows have a dramatic impact on interior space and light. 

Before building an extension on a house, speak to an estate agent about the impact on resale value. For example, garage conversions are a good way to gain space but secure off-road parking is highly prized so think carefully before repurposing. Also, check you’ll be covered by your insurance and if you need a Party Wall Agreement with neighbours.  

What is a House Facelift? How to Renovate Your House Exterior

2. A New Roof

Altering roof shape is a costly, labour intensive job but has a big impact on the appearance and comfort of your home, especially if done as part of an extension or loft conversion. On period properties, inappropriate flat-roofed extensions or low-pitched roofs can also be improved by changing the design or disguising them with a gable or parapet. Even cosmetic changes like swapping dirty white PVC for black or galvanised guttering will improve the appearance.  

3. New Paint or Cladding 

Painting in a neutral shade is a quick and affordable way to lift an exterior or unify mismatched elements. Alternatively, cladding can completely upgrade the appearance as well as add insulation. Forget clunky 80s stonework, there’s now a huge range of materials to choose from: laminates, composites, timber, tiles, brick, even metal, PVC and more. Your contractor can advise on the best for your home, as well as maintenance and compliance with thermal efficiency and local regulations. Ask to see aged samples to know how it will wear over time. 

4. Replace Old Windows and Doors 

Windows are the ‘eyes’ of a house so upgrading to more secure and energy-efficient models not only wards off draughts and burglars, it has a big impact on the character, as does adding or changing shutters. Choose from slimline aluminium frames, uPVC flush sashes, timber alternatives, woodgrain finishes and more, and always look for a high Window Energy Rating. 

A new front door in anything from PVCu to composites to veneered timber or solid hardwood also improves security and appearance. For a period door, try reclamation yards or commission a joiner. Whatever you choose, never get the cheapest; a solid door with modern security features both improves your safety and appeals to buyers. 

A fresh coat of paint is an even quicker fix. Choose serene colours like blue, lilac or purple or the understated elegance of black or grey. Vibrant teal is another popular colour that works year-round, but avoid bright pink, brown, yellow or orange as these rarely look good and could even affect value. 

5. Landscaping

This has high DIY potential and can really complement your home, though it’s worth consulting a professional about how to make the most of the space. Also, which features or plants suit the style. Decks and patios are a must-have summer feature and outdoor lighting makes for an enchanting outdoor space. Or you could upgrade desirable off-street parking by resurfacing with Tarmac, block paving or gravel, popular for ease of maintenance and burglar-deterring crunch. 

There’s loads you can do to improve your home’s exterior, and the good news is Permitted Development Rights mean much of it—even some extensions—doesn’t require planning permission. You should, however, comply with building regulations and respect the original style and materials so check with local authorities first, especially if you live in a listed building or conservation area. 

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