What are the remodeling possibilities with a brick house?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ September 25, 2013 ~ No Comments

Can the front of a brick house be remodeled?

April L.

Jeffrey Anderson

April, when considering a home renovation, just about anything is possible - it's usually just a matter of what kind of budget you have and if the proposed changes meet all code and zoning requirements. The first question that must be answered is: exactly what do you mean by "remodeled?" If you are simply seeking an exterior facelift, adding shutters, installing a new front door, or even planting some additional landscaping can give your house a fresh look without spending a fortune.

If your house happens to have wood exterior trim, you can lower your exterior maintenance and change its appearance by installing pre-finished aluminum at the fascia and soffit. Coil stock aluminum is available in numerous colors and it's usually possible to have seamless gutters made out of the same material. I have also seen vinyl siding installed over brick for various reasons.

As far as the brick veneer, if you don't like its appearance or color, painting it is always an option. However, be sure that's what you want to do as removing paint from brick can be a huge project.

A remodeling project that consists of major changes such as adding dormers or bumping out walls is another matter. One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the age of the house, finding new brick to match what's there may be extremely difficult. For that reason, window and door openings can be added or their sizes increased, but closing any off might be a bad idea.

Also, you should plan on using siding or any type of cladding other than brick veneer on any new walls or additions that are done. When a new wall with siding, stone, or stucco meets the existing brick veneer, it usually blends right in with the old structure. However, when an old and new brick veneer wall meet and the brick shades don't quite match, that's exactly what it looks like: a renovation where the new brick doesn't match the old.

If you are thinking about a major remodeling project for the front of your home, I recommend consulting with a local architect as a first step. They can take a look at what's there now and then use a computer to generate some conceptual drawings that give you some options. Most architects can also provide approximate costs for the work involved in making the changes - the key word there being "approximate." The best method for getting an accurate cost is to decide on a plan, get an official drawing done, and then use that drawing to get a least three price estimates from contractors.

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