Suggestions on How to Improve the Exterior of an Old Brick House

“It’s a brick house, built in the fifties,” the real estate agent told you. “It’s a little run down on the outside, but it is brick.” And she is telling the truth. The home is red brick and it is run down. How can a brick house look run down? Well, sadly, not every person who lays bricks can actually be called bricklayers. This house looks like it might have been one of those times. The bricks are uneven, the mortar even more so. Not only that, the brick is old and the mortar is missing from in between many of the bricks.

So do you turn and walk away from this old brick house? What if the price is really good? And the neighborhood is excellent and near a great school. Do you really dislike the old brick enough to pass on a great deal? Especially since it is about what you can reasonably afford. But what can you do with old brick? It will cost way more than you can afford to replace it. What other options are there?

Truthfully, there are several ways of improving the old brick exterior. Some are fairly cheap, while others cost more. It all depends on how much money you can afford to spend on the house. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

First, the cheapest thing to do is to simply paint the brick. Yes, I said paint the brick. Many people are under the mistaken impression you can’t paint brick. Well, in all honesty, you can paint almost anything. And, just look around you. Many businesses paint their brick exteriors. We often don’t even notice. So if a few gallons of paint can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your old brick, I say, “Go for it!”

There are a few things you should do in preparation first, however. Remember I said the mortar was missing in some of the bricks. You need to fill these in. Also fill in any cracks. You can purchase mortar repair mix at your local home improvement store. Let it dry completely before painting. Once you paint you won’t even notice the cracks and where the mortar was missing. Choosing a color is an individual choice. Do keep in mind the color of your roof. If the roof is black, you can pretty much paint it any color you want. After all, if you don’t like it, you can always repaint it. One small tip, if you live far enough away from your neighbors, consider purchasing a spray paint gun. A sprayer is much faster and it covers so much better.

If the thought of painted brick gives you heartburn, another option to consider is vinyl siding. Vinyl siding improves the appearance of a home tremendously. It can make any old house look new. True, vinyl siding will cost more, especially if you have to hire someone to put it on. You will have to put up small pieces or strips of wood to nail the siding to. But if you can measure, you can install vinyl siding. Trust me, I’ve put plenty of it on. Just get your starter piece level and go from there. It’s actually pretty fast work, even more so if you have help. Someone can be measuring and cutting while the other is nailing up a piece. Just remember to leave the nails about an eighth of an inch out so the siding can breathe. Siding comes in several standard colors or can be special ordered in just about any color you want.

These are two of the fastest and simplest ways to improve the look of an old brick house. So don’t let that uneven brick keep you from owning a stunning home in the neighborhood you love. And by updating the look of the home, you will instantly increase the value of your property.

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