Aerial view of a terracotta style metal roof on a house.
© Andrii Biletskyi | Dreamstime

Exterior Home Improvements

Improvements to your home’s exterior are critical to fending off the weather, presenting a proud face to the neighborhood, and ensuring the value of your home. Roofing, siding, windows and other parts of the exterior shell of your home are the barrier between Mother Nature and your family—it pays to keep them in good shape.

In this family of articles, we look at buying, improving, repairing, and maintaining all of the components of your home’s exterior, including the yard and landscape. Pick a section below to dig deeper.

aluminum siding and metal roofing

Aluminum & Steel Siding

Expert advice about aluminum and steel siding, the benefits and drawbacks of metal siding, with tips on installation, maintenance and care.

architectural detailing on house exterior
© Elena Elisseeva |

Architectural Detailing

One feature that all outstanding traditional-style homes share is great architectural millwork: the moldings, posts, columns, and other detailing applied to house exteriors.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt shingles are relatively affordable, easy to apply, fire-resistant, comparatively lightweight, available almost everywhere, and durable enough to last for 15 to 40 years.

Brick Siding Diagram

Brick & Stucco Siding

Brick is one of the most durable siding materials. It doesn’t need to be painted, doesn’t rot or fade, and weathers handsomely. It also provides excellent insulation for your house.

Built-Up (Tar-and-Gravel) Roofing Diagram

Built-Up (Flat) Roofing

“Flat” roofs (which usually have a very slight slope) utilize a roofing system that is completely sealed and therefore impervious to leaking, as long as they're designed properly.

painting exterior trim

Exterior Painting

When it comes to improving your home, one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to make a significant impact is to paint the siding and trim.

carriage style wood garage doors

Garage Doors

Is your garage door an eyesore or falling apart? If so, this section has what you need to buy, repair, or maintain this outdoor investment.

metal roof wood siding

Gutters & Downspouts

Rain gutters and downspouts are critically important for protecting your home from water damage. This section will help you with selection, installation, cleaning, and more.

Cut-away diagram of a red metal roofing with insulation including internal and external parts, a skylight, and a solar panel.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are favored for their fire-resistant qualities, longevity, and speed of installation. The material is also surprisingly lightweight and great at reflecting heat from the sun, among other benefits.

plywood siding on house
©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Plywood & Panel Siding

Plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), and hardboard are significantly less expensive than real wood and offer effective usage of wood by-products.

Man nailing plywood sheathing to roof rafters.

Roofing (All)

Some roofing materials, such as slate, wood shakes, and copper, have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Learn about them, as well as how to repair and maintain them in this section.

brush cleaning vinyl siding

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has been a very popular type of house siding in the United States since its invention in the late 1950s, no doubt because it is durable, easy to maintain, rot- proof, termite-proof, and much less expensive than the traditional product it imitates—wood siding.

Woman's hands sealing a window pane's masked corner using a putty knife.


Admitting in natural light, permitting views to the yard and beyond, providing natural ventilation—windows perform a number of critical roles in a home. ​

painting wood shingle siding

Wood & Shingle Siding

Wood board siding has long been a favorite of homeowners because of its natural beauty.

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