A Black Front Door Isn’t the Only Exterior Update That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

This revamp has a farmhouse rap but countless modern takes.

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Turns out, painting your front door black and maintaining a pristine garden aren’t the only ways to increase your home’s worth from the outside. While these minor revamps are certainly appealing because they’re low-lift, recent intel from Zillow reveals that there are other facade upgrades that are worth the investment. According to the popular real-estate site, which analyzed more than 3 million home sales and listing descriptions from 2020 to 2021, houses with metal roofs, as well those constructed in a modern farmhouse or mid-century style, can sell for around 2 percent more than expected. However, one value-boosting exterior feature especially caught our attention: board-and-batten siding

Green home with board and batten siding.
Photography by Diana Paulson/Linea Photo; Design by KLH Custom Home.

The Zillow report suggests that properties with this design can potentially sell for 1.6 percent more than those without it. While the style sounds straightforward (it consists of wide vertical planks, or boards, that are joined together by thin vertical strips called battens), there’s more to it than cool-looking grooves. Liz Hoekzema of the Michigan-based design-build firm KLH Custom Homes says that board siding is customizable in so many ways, “the most obvious of which is color (it can be painted or repainted any shade under the sun), but also the spacing and thickness of battens, how you trim windows and doors, and whether you mix it up with different varieties.” Homeowners can choose from an array of materials (wood, vinyl, steel—the list goes on and on), but Hoekzema is a big fan of cement board (also known as Hardie board) siding. 

Grey home with board and batten siding.
Photography by Diana Paulson/Linea Photo; Design by KLH Custom Homes

In addition to being cost-effective and easy to install, the material has a strong fire resistant rating, the designer points out. Overall, the style’s vertical orientation also allows it to shed water more effectively than homes with shake or lap siding. This way, your aesthetic preferences never infringe upon your personal safety. Whether you have a small or large home, Hoekzema notes that tight spacing makes for interesting textures, especially when contrasted with widely spaced battens (the KLH-designed house, pictured above, is a prime example). Plus she reveals that while it seems to lend itself to modern barn-inspired structures, it can also be used to achieve a more traditional design. In her words, this facade choice is “twofold” because it is visually appealing and functional (and not to forget, a pro for resale!). We’re convinced, to say the least.