Structural vs Aesthetic Repairs: What is Better?

Aesthetic-vs-StructuralOnce you know the difference between a wood repair bid that is geared towards improving aesthetics and one that is meant to improve structural integrity (see Structural VS Aesthetic Repairs: What’s the difference?), you may find yourself having to choose which to do first. There isn’t a formula or a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

The right answer for you and your specific situation depends on what you want to achieve in the short term.

Once you know the difference between a wood repair bid that is geared towards improving aesthetics and one that is meant to improve structural integrity (see Structural VS Aesthetic Repairs: What’s the difference?), you may find yourself having to choose which to do first.

There isn’t a formula or a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The right answer for you and your specific situation depends on what you want to achieve in the short term.

Let me explain the details of what each scope will achieve in the short term to help you decide what to prioritize.

An aesthetic repair scope will be more extensive work-wise and potentially dollar-wise than a scope focused on structural repairs only.

A scope for aesthetic rehab is often drafted without a thorough inspection of the structure and focuses on the immediate improvement of the overall look of the structure.

In aesthetic scopes, it is common that structural inconsistencies will be patched, filled-in with Bondo or a similar product, and then primed and painted.

The immediate result achieved from an aesthetic repair from a general contractor would be a prettier building exterior and improved curb appeal while ignoring structural integrity and improvement.

Conversely, a scope for structural repairs is drafted from a thorough termite inspection of your residential structure and focuses on structural problems and inconsistencies and not on aesthetics.

In structural scopes, damaged wood members are properly repaired or altogether removed and replaced by new wood members to restore structural integrity to like-new conditions in the repaired area.

The immediate result achieved from a structural scope of work drafted after a thorough termite inspection would be the restoration of structural integrity to like-new conditions in the areas repaired while ignoring the overall look and curb appeal of the structure.

If you have to decide between one repair program over another, you need to consider your immediate concerns: curb appeal or restoring structural integrity.

Another thing to take into consideration when having to decide between structural or aesthetic repairs is how prioritizing one over the other will affect you down the road.

Prioritizing either one over the other can present problems in the future. For example, choosing to first perform aesthetic repairs before structural repairs can be problematic because it is possible that a structural inspector will later find and undue patch-work that was done as part of an aesthetics repair rehab.

Because aesthetic repairs simply patch up some structural integrity issues, a structural inspector will likely find and expose patch-work previously performed and will include in