Homeownership should be about enjoying your home — not being a slave to it. The trick is to choose materials and products that make maintaining your home a snap.
Here are eight projects that’ll give your home a gorgeous makeover — and give you your weekends back.
#1 Swap Out Your Siding With Fiber-Cement
Fiber-cement siding is the curb appeal champ that seems to never age the way wood does. It comes in a variety of shapes and forms: horizontal lap boards, shingles, and vertical board-and-batt style. Simulated wood graining is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing at about half the cost.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Tough, long-lasting fiber-cement siding is dimensionally stable when the weather changes, which puts less stress on paint finishes, helping preserve those good looks for years (and letting you enjoy a big reduction in upkeep). It’s also rot-, fire-, and insect-proof. Warranties range from 30 to 50 years.
Newer versions feature durable, baked-on paint finishes guaranteed to last 15 years. That means less repainting and touch-up work than wood siding, reducing the time and money you’d spend on routine maintenance. And unlike vinyl siding, fiber-cement takes paint well if you should decided to change colors.
Life expectancy: 50+ years; 15 years on pre-painted and finished siding
Maintenance cycle: Repaint every 15+ years.
Cost: $5 to $11 per square foot, installed.
The next-best thing: Vinyl siding is low-cost (about 20% to 40% cheaper than fiber-cement), never needs painting, and is rot- and insect-proof. It’s also lightweight and easy to install, which helps keep installation costs low. It has an expected lifespan of about 35 years.
However, it isn’t fireproof, nor does it take paint well, which means you’re limited to the colors offered by the manufacturers.