Reviving Old Brick

After Rear façade of a Carroll Gardens townhouse with a new parlor-level deck, restored brick, and new larger windows and doors
Before Rear façade of a brick townhouse with an awning on the first floor and white weatherproof coating on top of the brick
Even without an addition, this rear facade looks very different from its starting point. Not only are the large openings to the parlor kitchen and garden family room new, we also added a steel deck with stairs to connect the kitchen to the rear yard.
Brick next to a window opening in the process of removing the weatherproof coating from on top of it
Restored brick along a window opening
Rear facade of a brick Carroll Gardens townhouse during construction, after brick has been stripped of weatherproof coating and is in the process of being repointed

The easily overlooked detail is the transformation of the brick. Like many New York City rowhouses, the rear facade was coated with a cement-based waterproofing product that adheres very strongly to the brick. We knew we wanted to expose the existing brick, but also had some patchwork to do around the new lower-level openings. In order to get the new brick to blend with the old, it took several attempts at removing the cement coating – so many that we considered painting over the brick. After some serious elbow grease from the General Contractor, the finished product was achieved! We think it definitely paid off in the end.