Adding Curb Appeal & Value to Your Home’s Exterior

By Kate Riley March 13, 2018

A hot topic around here is home improvement and with spring on the horizon, some of you are looking to increase your home’s curb appeal.

For design lovers, interiors make us swoon but a great exterior is also something worthy of investment because it’s the first impression of your home. Today I’m partnering with James Hardie® to highlight why your home’s exterior is just as, if not more, important than the form and function of the interior.


My husband Matt is a real estate appraiser and broker. In the 20 years we’ve been together, I’ve learned a few things about increasing a home’s value so let’s loop him into this conversation. I see exteriors first from a design perspective, but he sees them from a value perspective.

A decade ago, we built five new homes on a split lot, and for those homes we chose HardiePlank® lap siding in varied gray and tan neutrals. The exteriors of those homes still look as good as the day they were built and because of that, we’ve been big fans of James Hardie® siding ever since.

If you crave color, get inspired by James Hardie’s® prefinished siding available in both vibrant and subtle hues that will achieve instant curb appeal. Their ColorPlus® technology bakes colors onto the boards for a durable finish and a strong bond that resists chipping, peeling, cracking and fading for years of lasting beauty.

Take the uncertainty out of your siding and trim color choices by visualizing them on your home using the interactive Home Color Tool on the James Hardie® website.

Once you’ve chosen the color of the exterior you want it to stay that way for years to come, and climate is always a consideration, so it’s important to invest in siding that has proven durability that stands up to the elements.

James Hardie® fiber cement products are Engineered for Climate®. In the northern U.S. and Canada, their HZ5® products resist shrinking, swelling and cracking even after years of wet or freezing conditions. And their HZ10® products resist damage from hot, humid conditions and blistering sun.

James Hardie® fiber cement products are also non-combustible for added fire protection, helping you stay prepared for the unpredictable.

As you know we experience some devastating wildfires in Sonoma County, California in October 2016. Matt has this short story to share: “Last week I was appraising a site, one parcel away from a fire station. The home site was completely burned and so was the neighboring fire station. The owner, who also happened to be a fireman, was talking about rebuilding but told me, “This time, I’m using Hardie siding for its non-combustible qualities”. There you have it from the mouth of a fireman! :)

Unlike wood, James Hardie® siding is impervious to pests and is resistant to water and warping. Matt frequently recommends James Hardie siding to his clients for its lasting look. Buyers and real estate experts in today’s market recognize it’s low maintenance and keeps homes looking beautiful longer than field-applied paint on wood.

In every case where we have used James Hardie® siding, the homes all look as beautiful today as when the siding was installed over a decade ago – that’s lasting value.

James Hardie® has been chosen by builders annually as a Brand Leader in Builder Magazine since 2009 and been named in Green Builder Magazine in 2013, 2015 and 2016 Reader’s Choice “Most Sustainable Product”.

Request some free samples at James Hardie® for yourself and use their Design-It-Yourself tool to get started increasing your home’s curb appeal. Download their Inspiration Guide for even more tips on home improvement!

This conversation brought you in partnership with James Hardie® siding. All opinions are my own!


  1. As someone who is getting ready to work on my home’s curb appeal, I was happy to read your article. I was sadly disappointed that it was basically just an ad for Hardie siding without any actual information about adding curb appeal in any other way.

    • 100% agreed. After reading this blog for nearly a decade, that click bait heading has now led me to unsubscribe. Thankyou but goodbye.

    • I’m sorry you’re disappointed Awnali. I always try to provide a great takeaway from all of my articles on design and home improvement. If you read the text of the article, you’ll understand that I support this brand because of my prior positive experience and I list the reasons why. Not all content on the blog is sponsored, but some will be from time to time and I always partner with content relevant brands. Please keep that in mind.

  2. I too have been reading your blogs for years and yours is one of my favorites. I am sorry to say this one left me annoyed. Interesting topic but this is just one big ad.

  3. I actually found the article interesting since my husband and I are currently considering some updates to the exterior of our home which has wood siding and needs much more maintenance than we like. Since we live in Florida, I’ve heard similar reports about Hardie siding and how well it holds up to the heat and humidity. I guess you can’t always please everyone with your posts!

    • For your climate, Hardie siding would be perfect! It is more expensive than other siding products when you compare initial costs, but the longevity and durability makes up for the cost difference in the long run. Cheaper siding is not better in this circumstance. :)

  4. I, too, am a long time reader because your posts always have beautiful photographs and thoughtful design topics. I was not offended by this post for two reasons. First, I found it relevant because I am dreaming about building our retirement home and am interested in the low maintenance offered by Hardie siding. In the years of our “relationship” I have grown to trust your opinions and value your input on this.
    The second reason is that I don’t expect you to provide interesting content without compensation. Unlike many other bloggers, you have few sponsored posts. I don’t mind reading them, especially when your recommendation is based on personal experience (unlike another post I read yesterday for the same sponsor).

    • Thank you Kim, I appreciate your comment. I don’t endorse products unless I believe in them and have experience with them and they are relevant to the subjects of this blog. Thank you for pointing that out.

  5. I’m guessing these were not the homes you built. I would have prefered to see the homes you built and how the siding looks today as opposed to the pics shared of beautiful new siding which was designed for marketing.

    • Good point Krista. I haven’t photographed them since they are over an hour away but next time I’m in the area I will. :)

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