My neighbor spent well over $200,000 to add a beautiful addition to her traditional brick veneer Cape Cod home. But when the masonry contractor put up the brick he failed to even come close to matching the color of the mortar to the original part of the house. Even worse the new bright white mortar clashes with both the new brick and the old. The house now has a garish and jarring appearance and the cost of repair is prohibitive.
Brick veneer is the most durable and beautiful material that will protect your home from the elements. Brick is virtually maintenance free and will last for generations. Living in the Detroit area it is plain to see the brick in all the dilapidated buildings is still in beautiful condition and in most cases can be salvaged and reused. Brick veneer is more costly and you will have to live with your choice for as long as you own your home. If you’re planning an addition or building a new home the money, time and effort invested in choosing the design, brick, mortar and most importantly the contractor will be returned many times over in long-term value.
These are some ideas to consider when choosing or matching brick veneer
• Cost: maybe it would be better to sacrifice square footage for quality and beauty
• Design: Long, high walls need to be broken up with a vertical course of brick, a ledge of stone or by brick that varies in color and texture. Design in offset walls with interior or exterior corners to give vertical definition to the house.
• Use “offset” (brick that protrudes from the wall in patterns or randomly)of bricks to create interest
• Make the addition narrower or wider than the existing home for interior or exterior corners to make brick and mortar matching easier
• How does the house fit into the neighborhood? A traditional styled house needs darker reds and more texture with gray mortar. Fieldstone, granite or sandstone can be used carefully
• Contemporary houses can use whites, blushes or neutral colors and smooth to glazed brick. Mortar can be bright white
• A skilled and experienced mason will take the time to try out various mixtures to match the mortar. Remember it is the SAND in the mortar that must match. Ask to see other work the mason has done and be prepared to pay a little more
• There are many sizes and profiles of brick available. We have a ranch house built on a slab in our neighborhood that used long, low profile brick with a subtle wavy texture. Along with a double-hip roof and deep eves this house would be the envy of Frank Lloyd Wright himself!
• Design the roof…