(BPT) - While health and safety concerns remain top of mind for all Americans, many are also using this season and the extra time at home to get started on long-awaited home improvement projects. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to achieve your vision for your abode safely, with a little planning and know how, while practicing social distancing.

Projects requiring a contractor

If you want a great return on your investment that also allows you to maintain social distance from contracting professionals, focusing on your home's exterior makes sense. When looking for a contractor, make sure to ask detailed questions about their process before you request an estimate.

Questions to ask any company you contact:

  • What virtual sales tools do you use?
  • Can we have a virtual meeting to get started?
  • Are you open to a driveway/curbside meeting for viewing the house and looking at samples?
  • Will you and your employees wear protective gear, including masks, at my home?
  • How many people will need to be on site during the project?
  • What kind of access will your team need to my home's interior?

Companies with helpful, interactive virtual sales tools make it easier for you to envision your project, understand their products and make the best choices for your home.

For example, HomePlay® from Royal® Building Products offers a fun, easy tool for customers to use when planning their home improvements. Just go to HomePlayByRoyal.com, click "Start Designing," and upload a photo of your home or choose the image of a house that most resembles yours. Then you can mix and match — choosing from a variety of styles of and colors of roofing, siding, window style and trim, doors and more. The tool allows you to see a complete image of how well all these features will work together to give your house the makeover you’ve always dreamed of.

Exterior projects offering the biggest bang for the buck

If you’re not quite ready for a total home makeover, you can choose from a number of individual products that can give your house an instant boost, adding to its curb appeal — and to your enjoyment of your home.

Vinyl siding: Just like repainting an interior room, revamping your home’s siding transforms the entire appearance of the home, while also helping to protect the house and increase its value. High-quality, low-maintenance vinyl siding transforms the look of your home's exterior, and insulated siding improves your home's energy efficiency.

Column wraps: For a home with peeling or rotting columns, you can immediately improve the curb appeal of your house with new column PVC wraps, which fit right over the top of your existing columns.

Build or renovate your deck: With all the time your family is spending at home right now, you may wish you had a beautiful deck to enjoy the outdoors — or that your existing deck was in better shape. Visualize the deck of your dreams from Zuri® Premium Decking at RoyalBuildingProducts.com/DeckVisualizer. Choose from an array of colors when imagining your project — and picture yourself grilling or hanging out with the family in comfort.

DIY projects

If you’ve spent enough time at home during the past few months to notice all the little things that need improvement — and you’re itching to get started on a few yourself — visit RoyalBuildingProducts.com/HomeIsEverything for lots of ideas, resources and handy step-by-step guides. You can find tips for easy weekend projects such as making your own board and batten shutters or PVC window boxes, to DIY room makeovers using shiplap or PVC trim moldings to add charm and visual interest.

With these tips, you can make the most of this season by choosing a few household projects that will help you more fully appreciate that special place you call home.

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