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Architectural Styles

Updated on June 14, 2017
The Unfinished Look
The Unfinished Look

Open Wall And Ceiling

The last finish we'll consider for walls and ceilings is the least costly, and it is almost no finish at all: Ceilings can be left with their beams exposed and brick walls can be left bare.

Eclectic Family Room design by New York Architect Pamela J. Jenkins Architect P.C.

Mediterranean Staircase design by Phoenix Architect Don Ziebell

These options usually become apparent after some demolition. Stripped of their normal coverings, the ceilings and walls can be left that way, with minor attention. Modern taste and style do not in the least take offense to unfinished surfaces.

Exposed ceiling beams can be left as they are. if wires, pipes, or duct run through or alongside them, some people prefer to spray paint the whole area, blending in all the utilities plus the beams.

you can save about $2000 on a typical 700 sqft floor by leaving ceilings exposed instead of covering them with drywall, You will, however, loose a great deal of sound proofing if the area above is occupied. Also, if you cannot install adequate insulation on the roof side of the uppermost ceiling, leaving it exposed is a poor choice.

Exposed brick walls require slightly more preparation. If the bricks were formerly covered with plaster, it may be necessary to reroute electric wires in baseboard or conduit. Alternatively, and usually less expensively,

you can reroute wires to other locations, as long as code requirement for sufficient switches and outlets are met.

The old mortar, sometimes concocted with horse hair, may have to short of loose chunks and then patched. In addition, if the plaster has left unsightly lime stains on the bricks, you can scrub them away with a stiff brush and water.

Finally, to prevent the bricks and mortar from powdering, which leaves dust on nearby furniture and flooring, coat them with sealer. A good one is varnish cut to half strength with solvent; use two coats.

If you do want to expose bricks, do not choose an exterior wall that has to be insulated, or you will soon feel the chill. Limit exposed bricks to interior walls, or ones that separate two apartments or townhouses.


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