Front & Back Porch Thin Brick Project
What an impact!
Let me first start this post by saying, all of the credit for this idea goes to Ryan. He had the brick vision YEARS ago and has been planning this for a long (long!!) time. At this point in our marriage, I just trust him with large design decisions like this. He’s seriously talented.
We make a pretty good team when it comes to design, he does all of the large structural planning/vision and I come in hot with the details, finishes, colors, etc. I have an interior design background, but honestly, you would think he has one too. Truly, it’s one of his *many* gifts.
So this brick project has been a long time in the making and out of all the updates we’ve made (backyard, floors, kitchen, bathroom) this one has made SUCH a major impact. Even our UPS guy was like, “ummmm this looks like a different house!” Ha! And he’s right. It’s a serious face lift, but man was this a project. WHOA.
How We Paid For It
Before you read any further, I want to make it clear that we partnered with a brick supplier for this project. The brick was gifted, however, we paid 100% of the installation cost (by far the largest cost). We did hours of research on brick companies and decided on the project AND the brick supplier before we ever knew a partnership would develop. All that to say, every aspect of this project we would wholeheartedly recommend!
Front Porch Before & After:
Besides the brick and the landscaping refresh, we also took down the railing, swapped our door out for this beautiful wooden door, this brass hardware, and these outdoor sconces! Made a huge difference. Also we’ve had these potted ferns forever, but now they really shine!
Back Porch Before & After:
Thin Brick from Cherokee Brick
After *much* research, we landed on Cherokee Brick and oh my gosh I am SO glad we went with them. Not only was their team fantastic but y’all the brick, it’s so beautiful.
We’ve always been enamored by the old distressed brick on homes in places like Charleston and Savannah. As we researched the whitewashing and German schmear techniques, we started wondering if there was a better way to get the look we wanted already “baked in” to the brick – something that felt neutral, classic, and aged, but natural for our space… and after some searching, we found it.
Although I will say Cherokee’s Brick’s selection is really amazing, whatever your heart’s desire, they more than likely have it!
Another decision to make was the type of brick, and after a little back and forth we realized that thin brick was exactly what we needed. Thin brick can be laid over concrete or other surfaces and means you don’t need to bother with the whole brick. Cherokee hand cuts every single brick, so it’s quite special! It also significantly cuts the shipping cost of the brick.
“Thin-cut brick is the perfect solution for home builders, contractors, remodeling projects, and architects looking to put the warmth and character of brick in places where the weight of using full-size brick would inhibit its use. Thin brick also known as brick tile or brick veneer can be used in a variety of applications” – Cherokee Brick
Antique Hard Tan
Installing Thin Brick
I somehow, by the grace of God, was able to convince Ryan not to take this project on as a DIY. I’d been watching him studying videos on YouTube for weeks and was getting more are more freaked out that this was going to be a thing we were going to try. Ha! If it was a small space, that would be one thing. But this was over 500 square feet and required excavation and pouring concrete (we extended our side walk through the easement in front of our house to the street). I’m usually very pro DIY, but living in Florida, I felt that getting this project absolutely correct was the only option. Just the damage the rainy season alone could do if it wasn’t *just right* was enough to put me into a tail spin… and ultimately Ryan agreed. Thank you LORD. So we set off to find a masonry team we trusted and brick that we loved.
So we went searching for a brickmason.
The look we were going for isn’t super common in Florida so we interviewed a few companies before landing on Viking Masonry! But little did we know that we’d become best friends with this crew over the next few months.
Once the brick was in and our team was ready to go, the process from start to finish took about two months. Both Ryan were blown away by all that went into laying our brick. It was unlike any project we had done. These guys were artists and were here every day, prepping the concrete, cutting bricks, laying each brick and mortaring by hand, then back to seal.
The project overlapped with the rainy season here in Florida, which definitely made it challenging, but this crew stuck with it.
By month two our neighbors also became accustomed to our team and would ask about how our brick guys were doing! Ha! I was sad to see them go, I really loved our little crew.
But honestly, it was such a fun process to be apart of, true artisans at work.
This was quite the project, but I’m so glad we went for it. The house definitely feels more like us now and not a day goes by that I don’t think, “I just love this brick”.
If you’ve been thinking about doing something similar to your home, write any questions in the comments below and Ryan and I will try to answer them!
Photography by Sally Watson