When you make home improvements, it’s important to balance reliability, cost-effectiveness and attractive design. Whether remodeling an existing home or working with a builder on a new home, if you choose brick, make sure you know what to expect.
Better Business Bureau and the Brick Industry Association recommend the following tips:
Check out BBB Business Reviews. Before doing business with a company, check out its BBB Business Review at wynco.bbb.org to ensure it’s a company you can trust.
Understand your options. Production builders usually offer a limited brick selection packaged with other trim and detail features such as matching brick and shutter styles. Ask if you can mix and match various options to achieve your desired look.
Be brick smart. Three major types of brick manufacturing are available at widely different price points.
- Most modern construction brick is extruded – forced through a rectangular die – then sliced into individual bricks with added textures, making it the lowest-cost brick option.
- Machine-molded bricks offer the look and elegance of handmade brick but at a more affordable price.
- Handmade bricks are pressed into wood molds in a traditional process that goes back centuries, and cost more than extruded or other machine-made brick.
Visit your brick distributor’s showroom. Your local brick distributor can show you hundreds of sample bricks, demonstrate how mortar can change the look of brick and direct you to actual sample houses.
Don’t forget the mortar. Mortar makes up 20 percent of a brick wall, and comes in different colors and shades. Many home buyers now match mortar to the brick for a monochromatic, seamless look.
Consider the details. Custom arches and windowsills can personalize the look of your home. Custom brick detailing comes in several varieties — from projecting the brickwork on the corners of your home to installing artistic designs above doorways or other locations.
Always compare your options. Other exterior options may cost less than brick, so review the pros and cons of different exteriors such as vinyl, fiber cement, concrete masonry, manufactured stone and exterior insulation finishing systems (often called “stucco”).
Roof, shutters and trim create the total package. The type and color of your roof shingles and window shutters will also have a dramatic effect on your home’s overall appearance. Where possible, use a computer or Web-based program that allows you to mix and match roof and shutter options to determine the finished look you want.
Understand your contract. Before signing the contract, review it carefully to ensure that it includes all written and verbal agreements, including cost, time frame and warranties.
Start With Trust. Visit wynco.bbb.org for more consumer tips and information.