Terrance worked as a residential mason and eventually started his own contracting company.
The Unexpected Aspects of an Exterior Home Remodel
person found Terrance's experience helpful.
I previously worked in the field of residential masonry. I started off as a helper, got promoted to a mason, and eventually started my own contracting company. One of the most common jobs I would take was providing an exterior brick structure for a home made of vinyl or wood. While adding any kind of masonry to a home's exterior does increase its value, there are a number of issues with which most homeowners are unfamiliar.
Unforeseen Expenses of an Exterior Makeover
An exterior home makeover is a great way to increase a property's equity. However, many homeowners are unaware that the masonry company isn't responsible for cleaning the debris left behind by the renovation. Brick masonry involves performing a lot of cuts and breaking bricks to fit the specific dimensions of the home. When the work is complete, there is a lot of unsightly rubble left behind, which the homeowner is responsible for removing. While I would always tell the homeowners upfront about this problem, many masons neglect to mention it. After signing the contract, the homeowner is obligated to pay the masons for the completed job, though many of them want to withhold funds until the site is made tidy again. If the matter goes to court, the contractor will win every time because masonry and construction cleanup are two separate trades.
All homeowners should factor in the price of the cleanup into the cost of the brick renovation. If the homeowner was willing to pay extra, I had a specific cleaning company to which I would lease all of my cleanup work. I never charged them any overhead for the job, but many masons will. It's best to find out upfront if the masons are willing to handle the cleanup after the job is complete Their prices should be compared with the cost of having a construction cleanup contractor come in and remove the excess debris.
Limited Access to the Home
Even for a one-story home, I would have to build scaffold all the way around the house to complete the job. Scaffold must be secured with "X" braces, which can block access to the garage, the yard, and even the front door. Depending on the size of the home, the scaffolding may have to impede the homeowner's access for a few days or even a few weeks. The scaffolding is also very hard on the eyes, and the neighbors may complain about the unsightly metal surrounding the home. Little children shouldn't be allowed to play in the yard while the construction is underway, because falling debris can cause serious injuries. You must also remember that construction work is very loud as saws and mixers run for most of the day. I once worked on a home where the young couple had a 3-week-old baby, and every day the mother would ask us to please keep it down. While this seems like a legitimate request, it's impossible to preform masonry work quietly. When the project was completed, the couple was thrilled with the work we did. However the four days we were there were quite hectic for them and their newborn.
Things to Consider Before Having Masonry Work Done
Anyone with a small child would be wise to make other arrangements for their little one away from the home while the construction is underway. In fact, it might be wise to arrange for the entire family to stay in a hotel or with a relative until the project is completed. It's also important to have a deadline written into the contract so you know when you'll have access to your home again. You may also want to let your neighbors know that the project is going to be very loud and very messy, so they're prepared for the noise and debris.
Nothing you do to the exterior of the home will increase the aesthetic and monetary value like having the outside bricked. Even adding a brick or stone facade to the front makes a home more attractive. However, having the work done can test your patience. When selecting a contractor, consider the projected timeframe as well as the price being charged. By all means, only use a licensed and insured contractor, because not doing so could leave you facing litigation should one of the workers get injured. Lastly, check the references of all the contractors whom you're considering. Ask friends and neighbors about the masons they've used in the past before making a decision. If they had a good experience with a particular company, chances are you will as well.