House maintenance costs both time and money, and while there is no way to have a completely maintenance-free home, there are many things you can do to your exterior to reduce the amount of time and money you have to spend maintaining it.
Whether you are looking forward to having a home that looks nicer, for longer, or you just like to kick back on the weekends without having to do too much around the house, these are the exterior options you should choose for a low-maintenance home.
Low-Maintenance Roofing Options
There are a couple of relatively low-maintenance roofing options for your home:
- Asphalt shingles
- Metal roofing
While asphalt shingles are affordable and fairly low maintenance, they occasionally can experience moss and algae growth depending on the area in which you live. If you are looking for a truly low-maintenance roofing option, metal roofing is the best choice. Metal is durable, doesn’t need to be cleaned and will last two to three times longer than asphalt shingles (you can get 40-60 years out of a metal roof!).
Low-Maintenance Siding Options
There are four low-maintenance siding options that are great for homeowners:
- Vinyl siding
- Fiber cement
Vinyl and fiber cement siding are affordable options that only need to be cleaned every few years (perhaps more, depending on where you live), but nothing beats the low-maintenance options presented by brick/stone and metal siding. Both siding options are durable, don’t need to be cleaned often and will last far longer than any other materials.
Low-maintenance gutters are less about the type of materials you use and more about the design of the gutters system and the accessories you purchase with them. While there are copper gutters that are more expensive and tend to last longer, most standard gutter systems are made from aluminum, which is already a low-maintenance material.
Gutter cleaning is 95% gutter maintenance, and there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of times you will need to clean your gutters per year:
- Install gutter guards that block out leaves
- Increase the size of your gutters (larger gutters and downspouts will not clog as much)
- Make sure to keep trees trimmed so that there are no branches hanging over your roof/gutters
Of the four major window frame materials (wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum), wood is the only one that requires frequent maintenance. It’s important to paint or stain wood windows frequently to protect them from moisture, something that doesn’t need to be done with aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl windows. If you are looking for low-maintenance window options, your best bet is to choose anything other than wood.