First Impressions: Curb Appeal for Historic Brick Houses in DC

3/28/17 12:01 PM Christina Wilson

The exterior brickwork of historic brick homes in the Washington DC area conveys a rich sense of history. The first impression of these well-maintained homes is enhanced by landscaping. When upgrading your old home’s curb appeal, remember the value of its gardens.

There are many ways to increase the curb appeal of historic brick houses in DC and the warm summer months are the best time to act. The home’s landscape, particularly the gardens in front, is an important element is creating a first impression for the rest of the property. Here are some tips for using gardens to increase the visual curb appeal of your historic house.

Check Out the View.

Cross the street and take a good, hard look at your front or foundation landscape. Try to see it as a first-time visitor. Pay attention to the plantings, the walkways and retaining walls. Does it seem to have balance? Plantings that are in proportion to the house will add harmonious shape and color to heighten the architecture. Well-tended shrubs and flowers define style - elegant to chic - and hint of well-designed and maintained interiors. Well-built retaining walls add to the look of a sturdy foundation while creating borders between the private garden and the public sidewalk.

Simplify and Remake Your Beds.

Plants should frame the features of the house. Evergreens can easily get out of control, become massive and take up garden space. Oversized plants that obscure the walkways or windows can be removed and replaced. Many older gardens have a hodgepodge of plants that create visual clutter. Weed out the tired plants and add new perennials to existing beds to add color and freshen the overall look.

Upgrade and Redesign Your Entry Way.

Well designed and maintained clay brick walkways and steps, in deep reds, oranges, and browns, create unique curb appeal for entryways. But crumbling or hazardous passageways become an eyesore that will detract from the appeal of even the most beautiful buildings. When front walks and entries get tired and need repair, it’s an opportunity to redesign. If possible, widen the walkways and add container gardens that enhance the home’s unique style. You will be able to change out those plants for seasonal interest.

Download Free Homeowner's Guide to Tuckpointing


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.

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