Last Monday, for the annual Blogger Tour of Homes, I shared my Christmas front porch and a couple shots from my exterior remodel project that is FINALLY finished. I promised in that post that I would share all of our exterior remodel details, take you through my design process and why I made the decisions I made. If you’ve ever thought about giving your own home exterior a facelift (or even painting the brick), I hope my post today will help you through your decision making.
Since there is SO much I want to share today, I’m going to organize today’s post by showing you the before and after of our six-month remodel project first. Then, I will break down the design issues/process, share progress shots taken during the remodel and end by sharing details about painting our brick and stucco.
So below are pictures taken before we began our remodel:
And here’s the after shots when we completed the remodel:
I still can’t get over the transformation! I just sit in my car when I pull up to our driveway and stare at it! LOL! We are beyond thrilled with the results and feel like we have a new home!
Below is a before and after comparison image.
Also, below is my Christmas front porch just to show you what I did on the front for Christmas. 🙂
Before I share much more, I want to mention that my contractor is Josh Dixon, who is amazing and works with me on most of my client projects.
The Exterior Design Issues
Ever since we purchased our home 20 years ago, it was my plan from the beginning to paint the brick on our home white and completely redesign the windows to scale with the height of the porch to be more complimentary to our rooflines. What I LOVED about our home back when we bought the house was our awesome floor plan and back yard but I’ll be very honest, I really disliked our exterior because all I would see when I looked at our exterior were the technical things that were off from a design/scale standpoint. I also loathed our busy brick color, which in person was a yellow and peach brick wash.
I have designed several exterior remodels for my clients and I always look to the rooflines, overall “bones” and scale of the home to serve as our guide with each decision. In the case of the architectural “bones” of our home, with our hip and valley roofline, tall and long covered Southern porch, tall columns and overall style, was a home begging to be more of a Carolina low Country or Louisiana Acadian design style.
Our poorly scaled arched and narrow windows were all wrong for this home and never made any sense. The windows actually made our tall 12 foot covered porch look small and short. The busy brick finish “kind of” camouflaged the scale issues with the windows but my eye went right to these issues the first time we drove into the driveway. The builder didn’t use wide enough windows for the scale and then on top of it, he used ARCHED windows, which will make a window appear shorter and narrower. I knew the potential of dramatically improving our exterior would require fixing the scale issues by going a lot wider on the windows and squaring them up.
The Exterior Design Process
When I began the designing our remodel, I knew I would not only fix the window scale issues with double French doors across the front but I also knew that I would paint the brick white. However, I wanted to break up the painted brick with stucco just on the porch. It’s not always possible but if you’re going to paint your exterior brick, look for an opportunity to break up the painted brick somewhere with stucco, Hardie board siding or even stone. It has to make sense symmetrically, which is not always possible to do this but I was very lucky that it worked symmetrically to do this on our porch.
Breaking up painted brick gives the exterior a texture change and contrast, which is so important when painting brick one color. On a side note, I could have done Hardie board siding on my porch or stone but I wanted a modern look and painted stucco the exact same color as my brick would give me that look.
Progress Shots from the Remodel
The overall remodel project from start to finish took about six months. There was a lot of waiting for things to come in like doors and waiting for subcontractors to become available. Plus, everyone in town is remodeling right now because of the quarantine, so getting subs and product was a lot slower than usual. In a normal world, this project should have only taken about 2-3 months.
Because I was not only transitioning from arched windows across the front porch to centered French double doors AND stuccoing my porch, my contractor and I decided it made more sense to just remove all of the brick from the porch completely to reframe and begin the stucco layers. My contractor started the project by basically ripping everything off of the front of my home. I was a very happy girl to see this on Day 1! 🙂
Next, they removed all of the arch windows and the main arched front door! If you look at the below image, you can see that they started framing and squaring up the front door.
Seeing the squared up main door frame next to the arch window frame really shows how an arched window can make a ceiling appear a lot shorter. If you look closely below, you’ll notice the the top of the arch window actually stops at the exact same place as thee squared up door frame. But the door frame appears so much taller and wider.
Fast forward about 4-5 weeks of the front of my home being boarded up, my double French doors came in and were finally installed! Halleluja!!
Next, the stucco process began on the front of my porch and columns, which took about 10-14 days because there are several layers to the stucco process with breaks for drying time.
FINALLY! The top layer of stucco is my new house color! It was like Christmas morning to finally see my new color, which is Sherwin Williams Eider White. At this point, I was ready to kiss my stucco guy! I waited 20+ years to see my house white!
Once the stucco was finished, the square French doors popped and I could finally see how beautiful our facelift was going to bee. The below image was a very happy day to finally after months start seeing our new look coming together. You’ll also notice below that we tore out all of the thick landscaping that was in front of the house. Our plan was to start over when the house was done.
Painting the Exterior Brick
After the stucco was finished and our new black roof was installed, the painters came to paint all of the brick and trim. Normally, it’s better to wait to do the roof until after painting a home but we had a scheduling issue with the roofers and painters.
Right before the brick was painted, my contractor power washed all of the brick first. This gets all of the dirt, mildew and other grime and residue off of the brick so the primer adheres better to a smoother surface.Next, the brick was thoroughly primed (this was sprayed on) and then the first layer of masonry paint was sprayed on and then rolled immediately after spraying. It’s very expensive but in my opinion, the best exterior brick paint on the market is Loxon Concrete and Masonry Primer/Sealer, which is what I used in the color Eider White.
The reason the painters went behind with a roller immediately after the paint was sprayed on was to get the paint in between the bricks better. I had my home painted with TWO COATS of top color, which is worth every extra penny to get a more unified finish.
I’m going to do a separate post in a couple weeks with all of my tips for painting brick and talking more about SW Loxon because I have four other completed exterior remodel projects I’m so excited to share with you guys that we recently completed painting the whole home exterior brick with the SW Loxon. In the mean time, if you have any questions, you can leave them in the comment section below and I will answer and include in the painting exterior brick post coming up shortly.
Below is what the house looked like after all of the brick was painted.
Once they were done painting the brick, it was FINALLY time to paint the doors, add lighting, add GORGEOUS door hardware and re-landscape. For the door, I did a mix of 50% SW Tricorn Black with 50% SW Peppercorn. I wanted to diffuse the intensity of the black and by mixing in Peppercorn (dark gray), it would complement the black/gray in our roof.
The lighting was very important for our remodel because it would tie everything together. I purchased all my lighting from Layered Home in Lufkin, Texas and was thrilled with the wall lanterns and hanging lanterns.
The door hardware was also very important and I decided to splurge and go with Emtek aged brass door hardware for ALL of the doors! I wanted that aged brass to really pop from the curb.
I think I covered almost everything. We’re still working on the final details on the back of the home, which I will also share with you guys just as soon as we’re done.
I still cannot get over the before and after transformation. I just pinch myself every time I turn the corner and see our pretty home. It’s been a dream for us after 20+ years to finally get to do this. 🙂
I know I skimmed through a few things, so if you guys have any detail questions below that I didn’t go into, please leave them in the comment section below.
Thanks for stopping by today friends!