Skip to main content

The new year is almost upon us, and winter is setting in. As you retreat from the cold, and cozy up indoors, it’s an excellent time to reflect on any home improvements you meant to accomplish, but never got around to, earlier in the year. Jotting down a list of needs (and wants), will provide you with a broad overview of what you wish to achieve. Now is the time to plan ahead for exterior home improvements in 2023.

Ranking your needs and wants in order of importance can help you to determine priorities, allow you to review your budget, and give you time to research reputable contractors before the spring renovation rush begins. By planning ahead for your 2023 exterior home improvements, you will be able to focus your time, energy, and resources where they will be most effective.

Needs Vs. Wants

It can be difficult to differentiate between a need and a want. It’s true that sometimes the two things overlap— for instance, when the paint is peeling on your front door, you want to give it a fresh coat, but you also have a need to do it because that peeling paint could cause water damage. However, a good amount of the time, the things you want are not necessarily what you immediately need.

By prioritizing your wants and needs, you ensure that the truly significant things are taken care of first. Wanting to replace something that is still functional vs. something that absolutely must be replaced can be completed on a smaller budget, rather than having to buy a deluxe high-end product. A need is anything paramount to your safety and that of your family and friends -- something that, if not addressed, is likely to cause major problems before too long.

Wants include new landscaping, replacing or painting functional and sound railings, replacing outdoor light fixtures, painting a front door, or having an expert in historic brick clean the home's exterior.

Needs include water pooling around the foundation, rickety or uneven stairs, wobbly railings, rotting window sills, small leaks in the basement, trees that are too close to the house, ivy growing on the brick, missing mortar, chipped bricks or small amounts of spalling. A historic brick home expert can help you determine the significance of these concerns.

Do Not Confuse Need with Urgency

Urgent items must always be moved to the top of your list and dealt with before the structural integrity or interior of your home is significantly compromised. Water intrusion is never a laughing matter, so if you are dealing with that, you’ll require a historical home expert to inspect your brick to determine exactly what is causing the water damage. It could be a number of things, including missing mortar, compromised brick, or improper repairs.

Bulging basement bricks require an immediate assessment, as they can indicate considerable water damage and structural problems. Likewise, exterior façade bulging or the sudden appearance of major cracks, crumbling mortar, spalling brick, or bubbling and peeling of interior paint are urgent items that should be inspected immediately.

Give Yourself an Item You Want

If you find your list of needs or urgent matters are chipping away at the budget you’ve set aside for the things you want, select an affordable item from the want list. Completing something from the want column will provide a sense of satisfaction, make your home feel uniquely you, and allow you to cross something off the list. 

Painting a front door, refreshing a railing, adding a sitting area to a porch, or trimming trees, bushes, and plants instead of renovating an entire landscape can impact your curb appeal and your enjoyment of your home while correcting the essential and urgent needs. As a result, your historic home will remain sustainable and sturdy for years to come.

Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of a historic brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote

Post by Christina Wilson
12/2/22 3:00 PM