Should You UpCycle Exterior Brick?

Should You UpCycle Exterior Brick? Contact Renovations blog

So you have exterior brick, and you want to change the look of your house but keep some of the brick. What are the pros and cons when you upcycle this brick? Watch this video for more information on how the process went for this exterior renovation project:

This eighties home is a recent renovation we completed, where we removed the old brick arches and renovated the exterior to give it a far more modern appearance. I showed you a few features like this in a similar renovation we completed this year, but in this project I want to talk about the pros and cons when you upcycle brick. 

Exterior renovation, Contact Renovations blog

The original exterior had brick arches and brick all along the front of the garage. We took most of it out, but retained a little wall along the entryway, as well as some at the corners of the garage. We were faced with the decision to reuse the old brick, or buy new. Here are some factors to consider:

Pro: Keeping Waste out of the Landfill

One big pro from reusing brick is keeping it out of the landfill. I hate wasting material if it’s still good and can be reused. If it’s still good, it can be reincorporated into the project. 

Upcycled brick ready to be reused, Contact Renovations blog

Pro: Matching the Texture

In this project, we kept a small retaining wall along the entryway. Using new brick would mean the texture wouldn’t match the old brick that we retained. So in this case, it made a lot of sense to reuse the old brick. I want the texture across the whole exterior to look cohesive.

Brick wall retained in entryway, Contact Renovations blog

Con: More Labour-Intensive

To upcycle brick is labour intensive. In this case we had to carefully remove it, chip off the old mortar, and prepare it for reuse. And after that, to reinstall it. You can imagine that would take time and care. Because of the time and labour involved, the price turned out to be very similar to new in the end. But in this case, preserving the texture was also very important to the look of the renovation, and so it was very worthwhile to do it. 

Con: Consider the Condition of the Reused Brick

An important thing to consider is the condition the brick you want to reuse is in. If it is crumbling, or the structural integrity is compromised, it is probably not the best idea to reuse it. In this renovation, the brick was in good condition. The brick is also used to enhance the look of the house and not to provide support, so it was a great project to reuse the brick for. But definitely take a good look at the condition before you go through all the work of carefully removing it. 

So give these pros and cons some consideration when you’re doing a brick project. If you have old brick, maybe you can reuse it. It can still look great. It will look like new, but you know the story behind it and that feels good.

I hope you found these pros and cons  to consider when you upcycle brick helpful! Talk with a contractor today to find out how you can bring your ideas into reality. And reach out to us here at Contact Renovations if you have any questions!

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About Contact Renovations & Custom Homes

At Contact Renovations and Custom Homes, our client-first philosophy has made us a top Edmonton Design Build Contractor for over ten years. We pride ourselves on high quality renovations that speaks for itself. 

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