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I want to cover my house’s ugly brick exterior – is stucco the way to go?

The question

I am thinking of applying stucco over my house's ugly brick exterior. Am I going to regret it?

The answer

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There is stucco on Styrofoam and there is old-world cement parging with a pebble mix. The stucco on Styrofoam with incorporated mouldings can sometimes look like a bad Italianate cartoon. Overdesigned sills with the casings that have crazy keystones can seem out of place.

My suggestion is to apply a cement mixture with a texture that appears as a pebbled finish over the brick. I would keep it in natural colours and use monolithic limestone sills that are slightly sloped at the windows and doors. Keep the details elegant and timeless, while making sure the construction science is sound.

If you have solid masonry (as opposed to brick veneer), you have the option of adding some limestone embellishments. Will you regret it? Personally, I would take beautiful over ugly any day. But without the ugly in our lives, how do we recognize the beauty? It is all in the eye of the beholder.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace's new e-book, Dee Dee's Rules, is available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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