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How often should I repaint the exterior of my home?

You don’t want your paint to get to this point before you decide to spruce up your home.
© BackyardProduction/iStock/Thinkstock

Location matters when you're buying a home; you look at the neighborhood, the proximity to good schools and to work, and whether or not it's close to the things you enjoy doing. Don't underestimate the importance of curb appeal, whether you're in the market to sell your house or not. The condition of your yard as well as the condition of the exterior of your home are your home's first impression to anyone who happens by it; and while you may be all buttoned up when it comes to the state of affairs of your front yard foliage, maintaining the exterior paint on your home may be a different story.

Some professionals will tell you you'll need to repaint the exterior of your home in as little as 4 to 6 years to keep it looking good; others will give you as many as 15 years before the work needs to be done. Painting your home can cost a pretty penny, so just how accurate are those estimates? Low or high, they may all be true. While many homes may not need to be repainted more than once a decade, you're (probably) not being given bunk advice if yours seems to need it in half that time. So what gives?

How often you need to repaint the exterior of your home depends on a few variables: where you live, the type of materials your house is made with, and the quality of the materials you use for the project. Let's talk about that all-important location first.

Depending on where in the world you live, the exterior paint on your home will have different needs. Coastal homes, for instance, endure intense sun, salty sea air and sand, and exposure to those elements means you'll probably need a lot more exterior upkeep on your home. A home on the beach may need to be repainted as often as every year. But homes in Massachusetts, for instance, don't have to contend with the environment. New England and mid-Atlantic homes sweat out the humid summers but also endure cold winters, and with that kind of climate a home will probably need repainting about every five to seven years [source: Amazing Painting Company].

Materials also matter; we'll talk about choosing the right paint next.