Forest View:  Terrace by Clear Architects

​Ideas and costs for transforming your home's exterior

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Google+
Loading admin actions …

If your property is in desperate need of an update (one where some new front-lawn flowers and a coat of paint just won’t cut it), then you are, fortunately, in luck. A world of choices awaits, ranging from new windows and a new roof to external cladding in a range of different materials and colours.

But like everything else in life, changing the look of your home’s exterior side comes attached with a price tag. But did you know that even a low budget can still produce magnificent results? Yes, even a low-cost exterior renovation can improve your home’s look, increase its value and enhance its kerb appeal, as long as your project is executed in a careful and clever manner.

Now you probably want to know what your options are, and how much they are going to cost you? That’s fair. 

Scroll on to find out…

1. Exterior cladding

Your home’s 1970s or 1980s stone cladding (or pebbledash, or mismatching bricks, or a mixture of different façade materials) can definitely be removed or covered and re-finished with other materials to ensure a completely new look. 

Of course it’s wise to consider a cladding option that can enhance your home’s particular design style. Start by looking at samples of your cladding choices at different times of the day (light and shadow definitely make an impact). Ask your supplier if they can show you new and aged samples so you can compare how your home will look freshly clad, and how it will look a few months/years later.

2. Which cladding for your home?

Please ensure that the weight of your chosen cladding or render is suitable for your property, as some materials are heavier than others.

Some well-known options (and costs) include: 

Laminate cladding (£50) - Made by compressing impregnated paper or wood fibres and epoxy, phenolic or polypropylene resin. This material is quite resistant to weather and can also be cleaned very easily.

Hardwood timber cladding (£40)—This suits contemporary and some period properties. Softwoods (such as pine or spruce) are the cheapest option. Hardwoods (like oak, chestnut or larch) can be left to weather naturally or sealed with a fire-retardant coating.

Masonry paint (three coats) (£1)—A cheap and fast way to cover an ugly exterior. Textured finishes are particularly good for hiding minor cracks and poor-quality- or mismatched brickwork on period properties, and creating a sleek finish on modern homes. 

Other options include: composite cladding (£300), tiles (£45), metal (£40), PVCu cladding (£20), brick slips (£18), fibre cement weatherboarding (£15), and softwood timber cladding (£15).

3. Planning permission for cladding

Permitted development allows for extensions to be built with materials matching the existing building. However, if you’d like contrasting cladding, you’ll most likely require planning consent.

Building Control will also be checking whether the house meets regulations for thermal-efficiency, so always consider whether cladding will alter your home’s eco performance. Some will boost insulation, but it’s vital that airflow is maintained.  

If you live in a listed building or Conservation Area, detailed consideration needs to be given to how cladding will impact the character and fabric of the house.

Old post office created into a luxury living space: country Houses by A1 Lofts and Extensions
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Old post office created into a luxury living space

A1 Lofts and Extensions

Permitted development allows for extensions to be built with materials matching the existing building. However, if you’d like contrasting cladding, you’ll most likely require planning consent.

Building Control will also be checking whether the house meets regulations for thermal efficiency, so always consider whether cladding will alter your home’s eco performance. Some will boost insulation, but it’s vital that airflow is maintained. 

If you live in a listed building or Conservation Area, detailed consideration needs to be given to how cladding will impact the character and fabric of the house.

4. Updating your roof

roof is a very dominant feature on a lot of homes, especially bungalows. Thus, changing its shape (or its exterior covering) can dramatically alter your property’s appearance. 

So, what are some of your options? Pressure-washing a moss-covered roof can be a cost-effective improvement which helps to freshen up a tired-looking property. Pressure washers generally cost around £50—£100.

Replacing sun-faded concrete roof tiles can give a 1960s or 1970s house a much more modern look and feel. We advise that you budget £28—£35 per m² to replace old tiles with new interlocking concrete ones, including labour and materials.

Changing the roof covering usually falls under your permitted development rights, meaning it won’t require planning permission. But note that you are required to add roof insulation at the same time to meet building regulations. Changing your roof coverings could cost from £40—£80 per m². Altering its shape is a much more radical and expensive project, but it can have a dramatic impact.

5. Replacing your windows

Don’t underestimate the impact that new windows can have on your house’s façade, especially if they’re altered in conjunction with an overall redesign scheme.

If you have a modern house that lacks a bit of character, it can be made to look like a traditional-style property by adding period-style small casement or sliding sash windows and by altering the door openings. Expect to budget an average of £600—£800 per window supplied and fitted.

Note that all replacement windows must comply with building regulations. This means either using a FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme)-registered installer who can self-certify their work for building regulations purposes, or submitting an application to the local authority (along with the correct fee) and either fitting them yourself or making use of a general builder.

Allow our extensive list of professionals (including interior designers, architects, gardeners, lighting experts, etc.) to help you conjure up the house of your dreams.

6. Adding an extension

Even though smaller alterations, such as adding a porch or bay window, don’t have to be too expensive, they can still add so much detail and character to a house’s exterior. Opting for a larger extension to the side or front can help balance the shape and proportions of your property to create a particular architectural style, as could the addition of a large feature chimney.

But how much will an extension set you back? Anywhere from £950—£1,350 per m² including VAT. Many smaller extensions (including a porch, single-storey side and rear extensions) are considered permitted development in England and Wales, so they may not require planning permission subject to certain design constraints.

7. Converting an integrated garage

Folio Design | The Cricketers | Car Room: modern Garage/shed by Folio Design
Folio Design

Folio Design | The Cricketers | Car Room

Folio Design

A large, double-door garage on the front of a house doesn’t always suit the look of a property, especially not when you’re going for a period-style ambience. 

Fortunately you have the option of converting the garage into a living space and replacing the doors with walls and windows. This will alter the main elevations and could help create a more traditional look for your house. 

A general garage conversion will cost from £850—£1,250 per m² and does not normally require any planning permission.

8. Demolishing old structures

Timeless Timber: modern Garage/shed by Timeless Timber
Timeless Timber

Timeless Timber

Timeless Timber

A lot of properties have old lean-to garden stores, glasshouses and workshops that only clutter up a house’s exterior side. Removing these and other run-down structures in the garden can really clean up your space. And you can simply replace these buildings with a new structure, like a garden shed, that is placed in a convenient spot. 

Demolishing these structures does not usually require planning permission, except in conservation areas, or if a building is listed.

For your inspiration, have a look at these: 18 house improving extensions (you can actually afford).

Tell us all about your exterior renovation plans...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

Need help with your home project? Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!