Modern Home Exterior Ideas to Improve Durability

Homeowners think a lot about their home’s design. However, much less thought is put into a house’s durability. You want your house to look great, but you also want those design choices to last. That’s why durability is so important. 

Durability encompasses many things. It’s about a house’s ability to withstand inclement weather while considering things like pests, fire, and moisture. And it’s also about your home’s longevity. 

Contrary to popular belief, building a house to last doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on design. You can have a durable home that also looks fantastic. It’s all about thinking proactively about materials and design and considering durability throughout the design process. 

Here are some modern home exterior ideas to improve your home’s durability. 

Home Exterior

The Big Details 

When you think of your home’s exterior, two major areas come to mind:  

  • The Roof

  • The Siding 

These two places provide the most significant impact on overall appearance. When talking about durability, it’s crucial to consider your climate, as it will have a lot to do with the materials and colors you choose. 

For instance, in hot climates, you’ll want to stay away from dark colors that absorb heat. If you live in areas with a lot of rain or humidity, moisture will always be an important consideration. If you live in cold areas, prone to freezing temperatures, it’s essential to keep that in mind. 

  • Idea One: Go with a Modern Shingle Type

While asphalt shingles are cost-effective, and wood shingles are awe-inspiring, neither have high durability. When it comes to shingle-type, opt for composite shingles. These shingles are incredibly versatile and long-lasting. They can come in virtually any color, size, and shape, allowing you to match your aesthetic preferences. They also do well in all types of weather conditions, and the color choices will enable you to choose a color that fits your climate. 


  • Idea Two: Choose Your Siding Material Wisely

Your siding choice has a lot to do with the weather in your area. As a general durability rule of thumb, avoid wood and slate siding. They’re susceptible to moisture damage, thus not very durable. Plus, wood comes with the obvious fire and pest hazards. Vinyl siding, while versatile, isn’t incredibly durable. Fiber cement siding, on the other hand, allows for incredible versatility and durability. You can make fiber cement look like almost every other material type, yet with the added benefit of durability. 


  • Idea Three: Pick Colors with Durability in Mind 

We’ve already talked a bit about color, but if you live in a hot climate, avoid dark colors that absorb the sun. This kills your energy-efficiency, and it also leads to more absorption of UV rays, which can damage materials. If you live in cold climates, the opposite is true. Go for darker colors to encourage heat absorption, thus lowering your heating costs.

These are a few ideas for the big details, but what about everything else? 

The Small Details 

The smaller details that make up the outside of your home are just as crucial to the overall aesthetic. You have exterior trim, the windows, doors, and more. Here are a few ideas for these smaller details. 

  • Idea One: Think About Your Window Design

Windows really add to the aesthetic of your home’s exterior. Big open windows are in, and tiny-shuttered windows are out. But when you’re designing for durability, there are other factors to consider. Be sure all your windows are properly sealed, and that your window frames aren’t made of wood. Instead, opt for treated wood or another material entirely. Ensure that you use weather-proof glass, and that you choose windows that have thoughtful functionality. 


  • Idea Two: Don’t Underthink Your Trim

Like window frames, trims are often made out of wood. Instead of raw wood, opt for preservative-treated wood or fiber cement trim. Also, there’s no shortage of exterior trim ideas. You don’t have to go for classic white trim and call it a day. Instead, use your trim as a highlight moment and go with a bold color or a layered design. 


  • Idea Three: Don’t Go with The Popular Choice on Your Door

While wood and metal doors account for 91% of all doors in the U.S., those aren’t the only options. Instead, go for a fiberglass door. Fiberglass doors boast the durability of metal while maintaining the look of a wooden door. You get the best of both worlds by choosing a lesser-known material. 

Alright, we’ve covered most of the exterior, but there are still a few areas to think about. 

Everything In Between 

Home Exterior

You have the basics of your home’s exterior mapped out. The major missing component now is your landscaping and yard. Yes, there’s even a way to consider durability in your lawn’s design. 

  • Idea One: Consider Innovative Drainage Systems 

Maintaining a beautiful front yard requires a lot of work. If you’re in a rainy area, it’s smart to think about drainage. While French drainage systems are a popular go-to, there’s another alternative on the market. Permeable pavers provide a new innovative way to protect your yard and driveway from moisture buildup and water damage. These pavers absorb moisture into the ground, rather than pooling it. Instead of using concrete for your driveway, consider these pavers instead. They look nice, and they protect your house from water damage. 


  • Idea Two: Build Your Own Decks and Porches 

Decks, porches, patios, and pergolas can dramatically increase the appearance of your home’s exterior. The problem is that most commercially available options aren’t very durable. Instead, you can build your own pergola and decks pretty easily. This allows you the opportunity to use durable materials and build them to last. 


  • Idea Three: Choose Your Plants Intelligently 

If you plan to garden, plant it to last. Choose vegetation that’s native to your area. The maintenance will be much easier, and you can have plants for several years, rather than just one season. For instance, if you live in a dryer climate, opt for something like the Bougainvillea shrub. It’s gorgeous, yet incredibly drought resistant.


With all these ideas in mind, you’ll have a house built to last. You see, durability and design aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have a home that’s both beautiful and durable. Just be thoughtful about your choices and consider durability in the design phase. And remember, if something seems like it isn’t going to last, there’s likely a durable alternative. You just have to be willing to look for it.  


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.