What’s Going on Here?


This was an odd sight. It appears the workmen are covering up the brick with some type of smooth material that I guess will be painted. So what do you think, should a brick rowhouse ever be covered like this? If you want to paint your rowhouse, couldn’t you just paint the brick? I’ll be sure to check it out again and post a photo when the job is completed.

15 Comment

  • Adds insulation. If you are going for a smooth surface, this is probably a good way to do it.

  • house and block are now ruined.

  • I had to remove stucco. What a mess. Very heavy. Some neighbors we accosted in Wonderland helped. (Kimberley & Jeremy — are you reading this?)

  • Yeah — this is prep for a stucco application. It will be a nightmare for the neighbors. More than covering up uniformly nice looking brick, when they start shaving the edges of all that styrofoam, the entire block will be coated with little flecks of styrofoam that will clog gutters, screens, and get everywhere. It’s like a styrofoam blizzard, only the snow doesn’t melt. If you live anywhere near this project, I would seal every window in your house immediately and not open them until the project is done. They did this next door to me and, despite having all windows screened, I still find myself cleaning up stryofoam nearly 8 months after they finished the work.

  • We live a few houses up, and yes the styrofoam is a mess! I was thinking it was coming from there, but wasn’t sure. Thanks for the heads up on that.

  • I was trying to figure out where all of that white junk in my yard was coming from – I live down the street from this house too! Ick!

  • is that not littering technically? how can they get away with blanketing the hood with styrofoam?

  • Don’ they need to get a permit to do that and don’ the neighbors have to sign off on said permit? This makes me think we need to start working on a historical distirct overlay. It makes for rediculous hassels when you want to do home improvements, but at least things like this and the New Hampshire folly (craptastic pop up at New Hamp and Upshur) don’t happen. Both things are going to look like big stinking turds!

  • What a waste of money in reducing value of the property and creating an eyesore in the neighborhood.

  • to each their own ugliness.

    has anyone ever heard of property rights? damn.

  • Yeah, I’ve heard of property rights, and all the styrofoam those people are putting on their neighbors’ yards would be an easy trespass and/or nuisance case. That said, if they want to make the house ugly in a way that doesn’t trash the ‘hood, go for it.

  • Permit is required. What’s the address?

  • I don’t have any problem with stucco, if they did it well it would be a nice front makeover. I don’t think these rows of matching brick facades (like my row) need to stay the same forever, becoming progressively more dreary over the years.

    The problem is fake stucco. Besides the styrofoam litter, fake stucco doesn’t ‘breathe’ like the real thing, causing (as I semi-understand it) the potential for moisture to become trapped inside. Which doesn’t sound like a good thing.

    It’s also a question of maintenance. Anytime you paint or astro-stucco over brick you’ve gotta keep it up or it does become an eyesore.

  • It’s probably 3648 13th. The picture doesn’t show it but they’ve got at least some permits up. I don’t know much about “neighbor approval” but the only house physically connected to this one is the occupied by the people doing the modifications.

  • Wow, there’s a lot of us who live on the same block! My husband and I gave them a really hard time over the weekend about the polystyrene bits flying everywhere, including our yard – they actually borrowed our shop-vac and cleaned up some, but it was way too little, too late, and far more than they vacuumed up blew down the street. They actually finished up the front yesterday and I have to say, it doesn’t look that bad. It’s an improvement over the way the house looked before, at least, since it was fairly decrepit and no one seemed to be living there for a while.

    Mark – are you positive about the neighbors being the ones doing the modification? Because the permit (they do have one) is issued to HSBC, which also is listed as the owner of the house, which is also listed as contract pending in the MLS. I wondered about whether the neighbors had anything to do with this renovation but since they’re not exactly keeping up their own house all that well, I was doubtful. I haven’t seen any of the neighbors actually doing the work, either. And while I’m being completely honest here, I cannot imagine living in that house considering the neighbors. We hear the music from their parties (not to mention their cars!) clear as can be from down the block; living next door would be a nightmare.

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