How to Remodel a Brick House
Design upgrades for an older brick home to make the house look brand new. Options for covering the brick, painting it or combining various materials on the exterior provide many choices. Aside from pleasing the family, an upgraded home enhances property value in most cases. Brick homes require upgrades every few years. If the house is extremely outdated, plan to revamp the interior in dozens of ways. It's best to design a high-quality remodel on paper to begin the process. Start with an ideal plan so that compromises and substitutions create pleasing results.
Start with curb appeal. Look at newly built brick homes to make comparisons. Drive around the immediate area to make notes about possible changes. Would painting the bricks a lighter cream color with pale green shutters look more appealing, for example? Go over the possibility of adding stone veneer, stucco or wood siding over sections of the brick exterior.
Look through home-design books to get additional ideas. Make notes to consider adding bigger windows, French doors or a new porch. Talk to a brick mason to discuss possible challenges with cutting openings in the brick for new windows or doors.
Figure out interior upgrades. Would a kitchen makeover enhance the house, for example? Sketch ways to enhance a fireplace or entrance foyer. Cover old fireplace bricks, which might match the exterior bricks of the house, with new stone veneer. Draw each room in detail to create a high-quality look. Start with costlier materials in the plan, such as solid granite countertops, but substitute affordable materials such as granite tiles.
Do exterior upgrades first. Have an addition or porch built. Complete all roof areas and add siding or new paint. Replace windows and doors. Install new shutters slightly wider on the front of the house, or paint the old ones a different color, to provide more curbside appeal. Paint the brick exterior all white, for example, to freshen the look of aging bricks. Use high-quality primer paint to seal the bricks before painting them.
Plan interior upgrades in stages. Do a kitchen makeover first. Schedule everything on a strict timeline, so you won't interrupt cooking for too long. Work room by room to add special touches. Incorporate the latest designs in sinks, bath fixtures and flooring. Recycle bricks removed from the exterior for flooring in an entrance foyer. Install these over a concrete base. Install all flooring last to avoid paint drips or scratching the floor.
- Switch outdoor light fixtures and add small solar lights around the house perimeter to add pizazz to the the brick house.
- Don't try to remove or cut through brick to add bigger windows or doors. Special saws are required to cut through brick, so hire help in managing this task.
Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images