Expert Reveals Why Exposed Brick Is A Concerning Decor Trend

When people renovate older homes, they often choose to expose pieces of the original structure that were walled up or covered over during previous renovations in order to restore the house to its original charm. 

One such trend is exposing brick or beams that were once covered with drywall or plaster. While this can look charming and rustic, we spoke with Peter Schravemade, Manager at Virtual Staging Company, BoxBrownie, who says there are some drawbacks to this trend that folks often don't consider when they make the decision to expose the brick or the beams.

"Because of the great demand for rusticity, many people are peering behind their drywall to see if there might be a gold mine of red brick underneath. The rustic look is in high demand for 2021," Schravemade shared. "Our personal experience in the real estate industry is that exposed brick revealed in the summer can create winter woes."

Winter months could cause trouble for exposed brick

As popular as the rustic look is becoming, homeowners are also concerned about energy efficiency as people adopt an ever-greener (and more economical) mindset where it comes to heating. 

Coincidentally, this is where your plans to expose those charming features could come back to bite you. "If you live in a colder climate, beware,"  Peter Schravemade explains. "There might be a reason for that extra layer of drywall. You can probably find a half wall of brick behind your drywall, but give it at least a year before you renovate."

Why wait? There's a good reason. "Chances are you will renovate in the summer. Finding brick in the summer can make you forget that you will also have to live in your house during the winter," Schravemade  explained. "The same holds true for exposed beams. Very rustic. Very farmhouse. Very appealing to the eye. Couples rejoice when they discover beautiful old beams behind the false lower ceilings in the place they have just inhabited." But when the weather turns, that's when regret can set in. Schravemade says, "In the autumn, as the temperature drops, they begin to experience drafts. In the winter, they are cursing their exposed brick and beam, and longing for that long-lost layer of drywall!"

So if you've recently bought a house and are deciding on whether to renovate to expose beams or brick, make it through a cold season first, and maybe consult an energy efficiency expert first.