Ideas for covering the exterior of a cinderblock basement

Written by dennis hartman
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Ideas for covering the exterior of a cinderblock basement
Bricks can improve the appearance of a breeze block wall behind them. (brick wall 3 image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com)

Many people choose breeze blocks as the building material for most basements, because they supply strength, the cost is low and they have good resistance against moisture over time. However, the exposed portion of a breeze block basement that rests above ground can be an eyesore on an otherwise well-appointed house exterior. Choose a method for covering your exposed breeze block basement walls that suits your budget and individual style.

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Paint

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to cover a basement's exterior breeze block wall is with paint. Choose a heavy-duty outdoor paint so that the finish will be durable and withstand the elements for several seasons. If your breeze block is porous, apply a base coat or clear sealant or heavy white spackling paste. This will give you a better surface that's more like a new, smooth breeze block. Choose a paint colour that matches the colour of your home, or add an accent colour for a custom look.

Bricks

Bricks are a more expensive option for covering a basement wall. They are also more time-consuming to install, but should last for many years. Bricks also have a traditional appearance and, in the case of a brick home, can be a perfect match. Standard red bricks are only one option. Yellow bricks and multicoloured pavers all perform the same function. If you have a paved walkway or sidewalk, consider using the same material around the base of your home to cover the basement breeze blocks.

Plants

Instead of applying a new surface to cover your breeze block basement walls, use plants to conceal them. Flowering shrubs and evergreen bushes can help frame your home and conceal basement walls, while also providing a better view from inside the house. Flower gardens around the base of your home can have a similar effect, but be sure to choose hearty plants that won't lose their flowers and leaves at some point during the year and expose too much of the breeze block walls behind them.

Siding

While not as straightforward as installing vinyl siding on the walls of your home, you can adapt siding panels to hang from the basement walls, taking the surface you chose for the rest of your home all the way to the ground. You'll need to install brackets or hooks in the breeze block surface, so make sure you have the proper tools before attempting this method.

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