Beach houses make for stunning primary residences and relaxing vacation homes to enjoy with loved ones. Coastal living, however, comes with challenges, and you must choose the correct materials for your home’s exterior.

Beach houses face harsh elements of nature, including strong winds, driving rain, and salt air. By selecting durable, long-lasting materials, such as modified wood, you will have few limits on how to remodel your home.

You can revamp your home’s exterior in several ways to give it new life. Here, we present five inspiring beach houses that feature popular trends.

Modified Wood Cladding Ages Like Driftwood

If your home looks aged or you’re tired of caring for your current high-maintenance siding, you try something new. Modified wood siding allows beach house owners to get the look of wood without the disadvantages of standard lumber. Unlike cedar or tropical hardwoods that need surface treatments reapplied every few years, modified wood does not.

A key benefit of modified wood is that it ages naturally. Similar to how driftwood on the beach develops an attractive silver-gray patina, modified wood ages the same way — without losing durability or moisture resistance. A beach house with modified wood siding eventually lightens to a natural shade that blends perfectly with sandy or rocky beaches.

Modified wood cladding comes in different styles: horizontal planks, vertical planks, and shingles. So many styles provide flexibility to get the exterior look you want for your beach house. Vertical planks make a home appear taller, while wide horizontal planks give a more grounded, rustic appearance.

Create a Private Tropical Poolside Oasis

Privacy is important, especially if your beach house sits along a public beach, lake or other swimming area. Homeowners with a pool can create a personal tropical oasis by adding decking and a covered lounge.

Tropical Poolside Oasis

This backyard looks lush, and the use of wood only adds to the tropical theme. Surrounding the pool and hot tub is modified wood planking. Modified wood is highly moisture resistant, non-slippery, and comfortable for bare feet, making it great for pool decking.

Adding a covered pergola with a thatched roof adds a tiki bar vibe. Under the pergola, you can put a bar area for mixing drinks and ample seating. String lights and tropical plants complete the private backyard oasis.

Get Heightened Coastal Views With a Rooftop Garden

A rooftop deck is a great way to take advantage of ocean views and outdoor space if your beach house lacks ground-level room for a deck or patio.

Because a rooftop deck often gets exposed to direct heat and sun, it’s important to pick a material that can withstand the elements. This rooftop garden has modified wood flooring. The addition of plants, modern furniture, and an overhead pergola are perfect finishing touches.

A rooftop deck does not need to cover the entire rooftop. You can build a deck that only covers a portion of the roof to save on construction costs while creating heightened views.

Folding Doors Expand Entertaining Space and Views

Updating your front door is a tried and true way of renovating a home, but if you want a bigger impact, consider installing a large folding door instead of a wall or sliding glass door.

folding glass doors

Folding glass doors offer clearer views of the coast and landscape than sliding doors or windows. They are also versatile for homeowners who entertain often. These doors fold up and allow a seamless indoor-to-outdoor transition.

You can install folding doors along the back of your home to open onto a deck or patio. Folding doors along the side of a home can open onto a side yard, too, allowing indoor and outdoor spaces to blend.

An Elevated Terrace With Divided Zones

Maximize your outdoor living space and views by building an elevated terrace off the back of your beach house.

This elevated deck is large and has an unusual shape rather than a simple rectangle. This shape allows maximum deck space and makes dividing the deck into zones easy. Having separate seating areas, a grilling spot, and a covered lounge lets guests and family enjoy the outdoors privately.

Dividing an elevated terrace into zones delineates space into areas for dining, sunbathing, grilling, etc. Changes in planters, pergolas, partitions, and flooring divide the deck visually, give better traffic flow, and prevent crowding.

So, Is Exterior Remodeling Worth It for Beach Houses?

When you own a coastal home, you must remodel your exterior periodically to preserve your investment and combat harsh elements. Beach houses need durable materials that withstand sun, wind, and salt air without degrading quickly.

Remodeling also lets homeowners update their beach house style with a fresh new look. Popular remodels such as installing modified wood siding, adding decking and pergolas, and putting in folding glass doors are functional yet enhance aesthetics and views.

Investing in high-quality materials will pay off over the years as your beach house exterior stays looking great with minimal upkeep needed. Just be sure to work with experienced local contractors familiar with coastal building codes.

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FAQs About Beach House Exterior Design

What is the best siding for a beach house?

Modified wood is one of the best sidings for beach houses because it resists moisture, decay, and insects while having an attractive wood look. Fiber cement, brick, and concrete are other good options.

Should you use wood for a beach house deck?

Yes, wood decking is great if made of durable modified wood that resists swelling, warping, and rotting. Ipe wood decking and thermally modified woods are ideal decking woods.

What's an alternative to wood for a beach house deck?

For a wood alternative, composite decking is good. Composite is made of recycled plastic and wood fibers, requiring less maintenance than real wood. PVC and aluminum are also suitable materials.

What exterior colors work best for beach houses?

Colors that work best for beach houses are light, neutral colors like white, beige, gray, and pale blue. Soft pastels that evoke sea, sky, and sand are ideal. Dark and bold colors tend to look out of place.

Should siding and trim colors differ?

Yes, differentiate your trim color from the siding color to highlight details. Choose a darker color for trim, window frames, and accent pieces for a house with light-colored siding. Or marry white trim to dark siding.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Abbie Clark

Abbie Clark


Abbie Clark is a writer and blogger. She is the founder of "Hey She Thrives", where she writes about all things motherhood, coupled with expert cleaning tips that echo the warmth and order of a loving home. She is also the co founder of "RideRambler." There, you can find all of the info you'll ever need on DIY car fixes and Auto news.When not writing, you can find Abbie chasing her toddler, trying a new cookie recipe, or fishing with her husband.

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Sabrina Lopez


Sabrina Lopez is a senior editor for Today’s Homeowner with over 7 years of writing and editing experience in digital media. She has reviewed content across categories that matter to homeowners, including HVAC services, home renovations, lawn and garden care, products for the home, and insurance services. When she’s not reviewing articles to make sure they are helpful, accessible, and engaging for homeowners like herself, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two parrots.

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