Tumble-Down Brick: What To Do With Your Brick House Fixer-Upper

If you recently bought a brick house where the bricks are all broken, tumbling down, and falling out of the walls, you have some work to do. A brick "fixer-upper" is not as easily fixed as other houses. It requires a lot of structural work and structural assessments to figure out if it is even worth saving. However, if you are determined to make this purchase a perfect home again, here is what you will need to do.

Hire a Structural Engineer as a Consultant

Brick homes are unique in that their entire structure depends on each layer of bricks below. Much like a keystone in a brick arch, every brick in a brick house bears some of the weight of the bricks above. When the bricks break and fall out of the wall, the weight of surrounding breaks bear down and collectively add force to the remaining bricks. It would only take a few choice bricks to cause the entire wall to collapse after that.

Hiring a structural engineer as a consultant is a very wise choice. He or she can look at all of the damage to the bricks and the structure of your recent purchase. Then the engineer can tell you what you will need to do to restore the structural integrity of the damaged walls. Make sure your restoration contractor is present when the structural engineer explains in full detail what needs to be done.

Hire an Experienced Brick Work Restoration Contractor

It is not enough to hire just a restoration contractor. You will need an experienced brick work restoration contractor. These specialists have spent years looking at, assessing and repairing extensive damage to brick homes. He or she should also have some experience restoring the walls on the inside of the home as well so that you do not have to hire two separate contractors to manage the entire job. Hiring a restoration contractor that also has experience as a foundation restorer helps, too, especially if the weight and extent of the damage has cracked the foundation underneath.

Expect Restoration Costs to Be High

Bricks are relatively inexpensive, but the labor and expertise required to restore this home are not. That's why it's important that you are prepared for the labor costs for the restoration. Still, if done correctly, the house will be restored to its former glory and be a very valuable property when the job is complete.