- What is brick&batten?
brick&batten is an exterior virtual design company that cosmetically updates a home’s exterior and creates a virtual rendering so that you can make informed decisions before executing and purchasing the design. Without a blueprint, we are not making structural changes or creating additions that are not present on the home. There are many different elements to a newly designed exterior, but some may include paint color, lighting, shutters, planters, awnings, gutters, etc…all of which are selected with top quality and with the architecture of the home in mind.
- How does it work and are you in contact with me throughout the process?
Very simply! You take a level, bright photo of the front of your home and send it to brick&batten. We spend time designing the BEST POSSIBLE VERSION of your home. We deliver ONE photo rendering that includes all the elements we select and we tell you where to purchase most items. While uploading several pictures is fine, be sure to include that one photo of the entire space you want designed. We won’t reach out to you during the process unless we have questions about something you wrote in your design entry. There is an option at checkout to purchase a second side at a reduced fee.
- What is included in the free element revision?
- If you are a client and we have designed your home, you receive a free element revision. That said, free element revisions DO include: Door style or color. Garage door style or color. Lighting. Shutter style or color. Paint color. Trim color. Roof color. Address numbers. Planters.Free element revisions do NOT include: Front or back porch/ deck structures. Stairs. Walkways. Railings. Roofline or gable changes. Windows. Landscape. Hardscape (driveway or walkway). Roof style or material. Cladding changes such as: stone to brick/ brick to stone, that includes siding, changing stone to different color or style, paint to limewash or German Smear, siding direction from horizontal to vertical/ vertical to horizontal, etc.
- What if I don't like the design/products you recommend?
As a brick&batten client, you have 48 HOURS to ask for a free element revision. You will get one (1) element revision should you be unhappy. Please see the list above of what’s considered a free element. If you want more changes, the price ranges from $125-$300 depending on the time spent and design needed. See Additional Services for more details.
- How long do you keep my project if I want revisions later?
We keep your project ready for a free element revision for 48 hours. After that it is stored for 3 months. That way if later you want to see a change, we can pull your project for our archives. After 3 months, your project is no longer accessible and a new design will be needed.
- How long does the design process take?
The design process generally takes between 10-14 working days after your order has been placed and is in process; however, could be as long as 16 days depending on the scope of your project. If you have not received your design within 14 working days, please check your junk/ spam folder and email email@example.com. Before that time, assume we are still working and don’t have an estimated time of delivery. We don’t know how many mock-up revisions will happen during the design process.
- Do you take phone calls or come to my house because I'm not sure what to write in my submission?
No. We are an on-line business. There are a team of designers working on every project, so it’s nice if we all see the same thing. We also need your information in writing to refer back to throughout the process.
- Do you design commercial spaces?
Yes, many times we can design your commercial space. Most of what we’ve designed commercially are residential houses that have been zoned for commercial or simple warehouse spaces. Keep in mind, the photo needs to be level, straight forward, and high resolution. It should also be cropped as not to include anything that you don’t absolutely need to see in the design. If the photo is taken from too far away it will be pixelated when we zoom in; therefore, unusable. We can’t rebrand or make new signage for your store front; however, we can add lighting, paint, doors, windows, generic landscape, possible awning, gable, etc. We also don’t use commercial vendors, so our lighting etc. is made for residential use but can be used or copied for larger commercial spaces.
- How much does it cost?
You will get a completely redesigned image of your home (one side/ image) for $950. You may choose to purchase any of the recommended design elements, many of which will be available through brick&batten but aren’t obligated to purchase anything in the design. There are additional charges if you’d like an expedited design or if you are working with a blueprint, home addition, sketch.
- How do I take the best photo?
The photo you submit is key to a great after design. After you’ve put everything away that you don’t want in your photo (flags, bikes, cars, junk on the porch, etc.), then follow these steps:
- Use your smart phone and snap and STRAIGHT and LEVEL photo of your home. Photos at an angle we will likely ask for another. Focus on the area you want to see in your design.
- Snap a photo. Walk close enough to your house to cut out any landscape or neighbors’ homes to the left and right. The less we have to zoom in to see your house details, the more clear your picture will be.
- Email to yourself. As soon as you hit send, your phone should give you the option to send in LARGE SIZE. This is best for high resolution.
- Drag this high resolution photo to your desktop. Zoom in and be sure it looks clear.
- When you’re ready, label and upload this photo to the appropriate place on the website.
- Do you offer refunds?
We begin work on every project within hours of the receiving the order. That said, there are no refunds for work that is in the design process or delivered.
- Do you tell me exactly what to buy?
We tell you what to buy and most of the time where to buy it. Many times, you can buy it directly from brick&batten. See our Shop and Additional Items for more details. However, there are larger items that will not be linked due to the cost: awnings, columns, stone, railings, etc. These items are best sourced locally.
- Do you offer new construction designs?
YES! We do many new construction designs and house additions. That said, there is an up-charge for this design because we are creating everything from a blueprint or drawing. When check you checkout there is an option to click for a blueprint or new construction. For blueprints, please include all elevations and the floor plan, if possible. Having multiple viewpoints gives us a better visual of the various dimensions of the house in relation to each other. This helps us create a more accurate rendering of your design.Be sure to click the blueprint option before you checkout.
- Can you redesign more than one side of my house?
Absolutely! You may purchase a second and third side at the same time you are ordering your first side. Click the option at checkout. You will be asked to submit a clear photograph of every side being designed. Contact us for additional information.
- I'm not sure about my house photo. What are you looking for?
Your house photo is key to the best design. When you checkout, there will be a place for you to upload a picture of your home. Your photo should be:
- HIGH RESOLUTION. Photos from realtor sites (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.) are poor quality and we can’t use. Also, many times, the color has been enhanced or distorted.
- Sun facing the house is best. Houses with shadows don’t provide the best color; therefore, color may be altered to enhance clarity, color, exposure, or sharpness.
- If we can’t see what’s behind over grown landscape, trees, brush, boats, cars, dumpsters, etc we may or may not be able to create and paint the area.
- Free of clutter. Put away bikes, toys, cars, garden hoses, and other items in the yard. These things may remain in your after photo.
- Level and straight photo of your home including the roof line. We will choose the photo which is best for your design if photos are not labeled.
- If we need additional photos, we will contact you ASAP and/ or your payment will be refunded.
- See additional information in a question above.
- I have so many trees in front of my house that I can't get a clear photo. What do I do about this?
In many instances, our graphic designers can create what’s behind trees and bushes based on other parts of the house; however, low resolution photos and big trees/ branches are limiting factors and we often have to improvise with what is there. In addition, sometimes we can’t remove the entire tree from image or see what’s behind the tree. While we are committed to giving you the highest quality finished product, if the tree or landscape absolutely can’t be removed, we will continue to design the house and give you colors, etc for what is behind the landscape or paint over the trees, etc. so you can see what we suggest. If you have questions about your photo, please reach out!
- What are the steps to receive my design?
It’s easy and you will be guided through the steps.
- Press The Makeover Starts Here or Get Started.
- Read Your New Design Awaits and press start now.
- Tell us about your project, including your name and email.
- Upload or drag and drop a high resolution photo of the front of your home (see details about the photo above).
- Make sure you have everything written before submitting your project. Once you provide payment we begin work and the design can’t be altered.
- Provide payment.
- There is not back and forth communication.We will reach out to you with any questions about pictures or the design if needed.
- Within around 14-16 business days you will receive a photo rendering of your home design and a clickable shopping list.
- After you receive your house rendering, you will have 48 hours for one free element revision.
- What if I forget to tell you something in my entry?
Be sure to have all your thoughts together before you checkout. Immediately after checkout, your project is in process, so we begin your design. That said, we may or may/not be able to change your design based on new information. This would likely be needed as an element paid or free revision.
- I see hardscape and porch furniture on houses. Can you add a retaining wall, pool, new driveway, walkway, porch, etc. in my design?
We are not landscape designers, so our hardscape is limited and not true to size. That said, we can clean up your existing driveway and create a new walkway; however, changing the topography of your land and creating something that’s not there, may not be possible. Our porch furniture is generic and may not fit on your porch. We can’t design a pool or outside living space.
- I see landscape on houses. Do you choose certain flowers that are easy to grow in my area?
No. Most of the time, the landscape you see on the before&after photo is either: 1. original landscape that was on the house when the photo was taken, 2. original landscape that we have cleaned up or cut back to show a better view of the house, 3. generic landscape that we have added- simple bushes, etc. The landscape is not specific for your area or design.
- What if I want to upload a lot of pictures so you get the idea of what my house looks like?
You can upload more than one photo to show us various angles of your home; however, keep in mind, we only do ONE PHOTO in your design. So, be sure to have one, level, high resolution photo with the entire space you want designed. For more information about how to take the photo, see above. Poor quality photos will result in a delay of your project and/ or a refund.
- After I receive my design, do you help me contract the work or provide prices to get the work accomplished?
Our design team at brick&batten will provide a photo rendering of your home telling you what items to purchase, etc. Some of the items we sell in our shop. A lot of the work, you can do or hire a local handyman to complete. However, if you need a handyman to install a light or build a railing, we don’t contract the work for you.
- I love the door, shutters, and/ or porch swing you put on my house design. Can you help me place the order?
Absolutely! Using the links on your deliverable will take you to our recommended providers. We have excellent vendors and service representatives that make custom doors, custom shutters, and porch swings. If you mention brick&batten and show them your design they will help bring your vision to life.
- Can you create a home addition or porch on my home that isn't there?
YES, if you have a blueprint for us to follow then we can create a space that’s not in your photo. We don’t do major architectural changes or create something that’s not there without a blueprint or more guidance. Contact us for more information.
- Do you have different packages?
No. We don’t have different packages and we don’t nickel and dime you for each element we change. We will do what’s best for your home’s architectural style and curb appeal.
- I have a budget to spend on my home's exterior. Do you work within my budget?
Yes and no. You have complete control of your budget. If you know that new windows and new roof aren’t in the budget, then we won’t show you those in your design. We don’t know how much materials and labor costs in your area, so if you have a limited budget, it’s important for you to know what changes you’re ready to make before receiving a design.
- Do you provide designs in Canada and other countries?
Yes, we do offer home designs for houses in different countries. Payment options are in USD. We often design homes in Canada and the UK. We have also added Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Ireland, and Sweden to our list. That said, our vendors are located in the US, so some of the products linked may not be available in your area. You can copy the look with local vendors.
- Do you work with HOA or historical guidelines?
Yes, we design homes that have HOA and historical guidelines to follow. That said, it’s important that you let us know these requirements. Please don’t send us the book and ask us figure out what you can and can’t do. Highlight these requirements in your submission. Keep in mind, we recommend paint colors we know and trust. If we haven’t seen the color live in different environments it won’t be a color we generally recommend. If your HOA requires exact colors, we can show you what your house will look like with those colors; however, we will be taking the color from an on-line color chip. Sometimes the color chips don’t accurately reflect how the color will look on your house.
- I have certain color stone, siding, and/ or paint colors I want to see on my house. Can I tell you what I want?
Yes, but we don’t suggest that. We recommend paint, stone, and siding colors we know and trust. We have seen the colors we recommend on houses and in different environments. If we haven’t seen the color live, it won’t be a color we suggest. Of course we ALWAYS RECOMMEND TESTING colors and GETTING SAMPLES of stone, siding, brick, etc. because every eye and computer screen shows color differently. We can show you what your house will look like with the colors or materials you select; however, we will be taking the color from an on-line color chip. Sometimes the color chips don’t accurately reflect how the color will look on your house.
- What recommendations do you have for testing paint colors and getting samples?
We ALWAYS RECOMMEND TESTING colors and GETTING SAMPLES of stone, siding, brick, etc. because every eye and computer screen shows color differently. Before purchasing siding, brick, stone, etc. ask the manufacturer to send you samples. View those samples in your environment. Before painting your home, test the colors on the surface being painted. Observe at different times of day.
- I have a small house and I'm only wanting a couple suggestions. Can you just show me paint colors?
Unfortunately we don’t have different packages at this time. We go through the same process if you want paint colors or you want paint colors, a new door, windows and roof. That said, we are happy to show you the best paint colors for your fixed elements, but the cost is the same.
- I haven't purchased a design, but I want to see some home's you've designed that look like mine to give me ideas.
The best place to find our before and after photos is on Instagram @brickandbatten or on our website. We’d love for you to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get inspired!
- Do you have an engineer on staff to help me execute my new porch design or home addition?
No. Unfortunately, we do not have an engineer or contractor on staff to guide you in execution of a new porch or addition. We are a virtual design company that creates conceptual designs for exteriors to help clients visualize their homes in an idealistic way. We are not in a position to advise on structural components. We offer cosmetic suggestions. Structural changes are things that would best be discussed with a professional contractor, architect, or engineer who will recommend ways to achieve your design based on what your house can structurally withstand.