It is said that the “bones” of a house - factors such as foundation, framing, and orientation - determine a home’s overall quality. While this may be true, the reality is that it will be hard for homeowners to take pride in their property, or attract potential buyers, if their home does not look classy. Therefore, remaining current with contemporary remodeling trends is an essential component of owning a home, with the following projects sure to increase a property’s curb appeal.

Replace Cracked, Dated, and Damaged Siding

Rustic house siding remains a favorite material for homeowners across the country, as that old-fashioned, countryside feel can make any property feel like home in a way that cheap synthetic options cannot. Nonetheless, while such rustic materials as brick and wood shingles look natural and classy upon initial construction, they quickly lose their luster if not assiduously maintained. Brick must be regularly sealed to keep moisture from leaching color and causing cracks in the wintertime, while chipped paint and splintered edges mar wood siding amid exposure to the elements.

As such, if your natural siding is in bad condition, consider such innovative upgrades as fiber cement or steel log to increase curb appeal. These modern materials are available in a plethora of designs and color options that are nearly indistinguishable from natural stone, wood, or brick and come with few, if any, maintenance requirements. This will ensure that your home has that brand-new look years into the future.

Drive Away from Concrete in the Driveway

There is no denying: a freshly poured concrete driveway looks classy, with the clean, light gray surface sparkling in the afternoon sunlight an ideal of a well-kept American home. The issue is that it is all downhill from the moment the concrete dries. As concrete is highly porous, the following are just a few of the problems that homeowners run into with older concrete driveways:

- Stains from leaking car fluids

- Cracks from absorbed moisture freezing in the wintertime

- Divots that are difficult, if not impossible, to repair when the ground sinks or shifts

In order to stay on top of these issues, conscientious homeowners must frequently pay to have the surface sealed and oil stains removed, which can become a lost cause the older and more damaged the driveway becomes. Therefore, the choice between a gravel or concrete driveway when making your renovation should be a no-brainer. While traditional gravel driveways have issues related to clumping and rutting, modern permeable paver grids hold gravel in place to ensure a consistent, natural appearance over the lifespan of your driveway, allowing for elite drainage and prolonged curb appeal that concrete surfaces simply cannot match.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Everything seems more fun outdoors, so when passersby notice you cooking dinner in the backyard with the dogs at play by your side, you are sure to be the envy of the neighborhood. In order to ensure the curb appeal of your outdoor kitchen, consider the following renovations:

- Adding a stone patio area to ensure that any seating or foot traffic around the kitchen do not maim the lawn

- Constructing one of the many trendy pergola design ideas around the kitchen to provide an element of shade and weather protection

- Installing durable, nonporous quartz countertops to prevent staining and allow for easy cleanup

Consider Alternative Lawn Materials

While the well-trimmed, lush lawn is a classic of traditional American curb appeal, many modern buyers prioritize sustainability and are not willing to run the required water to keep the lawn green in all seasons. Therefore, if you have pets that are destroying your lawn, have pesky dead patches that will not go away, or simply want to reduce water consumption, there are a number of classy landscaping ideas using natural stone or pea gravel that can speak loudly to forward-thinking people in 2020.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.