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I'll say first, that this isn't a question about DIY, but more about the idea and whether we should go through with it.

We bought our first house last year, and in the Spring this year, we are planning some exterior work. The front (first-floor) of the house is wooden (T1-11 or something like that), the second-story is wooden (more similar to vinyl in the horizontal plank-approach) and the rest of the house is stucco.

Our idea, right now, is to have the second-story, sides, and back of the house done in vinyl, but do the front of the first-story in brick (real brick, I should add).

The house is going on 40 years old, is it worth it to go this route? The other houses in the neighborhood are very similar to what we want, not what we have, so we wouldn't be going above-and-beyond the neighborhood. Will it actually add value to the house to go with brick? We're pretty set on the vinyl around the rest of the house, but is the brick worth it? I'm not concerned (too much) about the extra cost of the brick, as long as it adds some value to the house in the end.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Adding a brick facade to the lower front of your house may not be as easy as you may think. Your contractor may have issues with installing a footing to support the weight and proper backing to attach the brick ties, not to mention building out all the window and door jams to match the new depth. This could be a very expensive change.

As far as adding value; value is in the eyes of the beholder when it comes to cosmetic choices. A brick veneer will not have the same value as a structural brick wall. Exterior sidings do not command as much value as a new bathroom or kitchen would. The question you have to ask yourself is, "Would a new buyer want to spend the additional $$$ on a brick veneer as opposed to traditional matching siding?" Don't get me wrong, curb appeal is very important, but the style of siding is rarely the "WOW" factor that drives a substantial increased value. Having a clean and neat exterior appearance is the first step in getting folks to walk through the front door with a positive attitude. What people see the first minute once in the door makes all the difference with perceived value.

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If installed correctly, either 1-wyth brick veneer or even thin brick (with the proper corner pieces) can be almost indistinguishable from "real brick" or at least "brick & block" which is about as close to full brick as anything gets these days. But why spend all that money on the first floor, then cover the second floor with something as cheap as vinyl siding? Sure, the latest styles may imitate shingles and fool people for a while, but just like the low-gloss seamless siding that was popular in the '90s or the "wood grained" stuff from the '80s, this will soon look, to most people's eyes, like what it really is, thin, loose plastic. How about using thin brick on the first floor, then using to money that would have been spent on foundation work to upgrade the second floor to Hardi-plank or stucco?

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