Brick pointing nightmare - Advise

piscesgirlNovember 2, 2010

We needed some brick pointing around our house. My co-worker's husband is a mason. Knowing better than to work with friends, I asked if he could recommend someone. He suggested someone, whom we had do the work. When the work was done I realized I made a huge mistake because not only did the quality look bad but the color was way off. I thought as it dried it would get better but it didn't.

Looking at my front porch I want to cry. He spot pointed not only a completely different color (our mortar is a cream beach sand color and he has put in grey mortar) but he did a horrible quality of work and smeared mortar all over the brick to top it all off. Honestly I think I could have done a better job myself.

I called a brick restoration company that specializes in color matching to come out and look at it and see what they could do to fix it and how much it would cost. They said on a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being the worst this was about a 2. They said they would have to re-point the entire porch to get it right and that it would run $3700. They mentioned at this point it would be cheaper to cover the porch with flagstone ($2600).

My husband thinks the flagstone idea is the best route. He thinks having a brick porch and a brick home is too much brick anyway. We are discussing having a flagstone walkway put in as well to replace our old cement walkway.

I would love some advice on the following...

1) Does the quotes $3700 to repoint, $2600 to flagstone seem reasonable?

2) Would covering with flagstone look nice with the brick on our house? (see link for picture of our house below)

3) The company we had out uses thermal flagstone, I am not sure if I like the look of the thermal flagstone. Thoughts? Pros and Cons? From what I can determine it is just easier to lay since it is uniform in thickness. I think it looks too uniform (like poured concrete) and not like stone). What do you think would look best on our porch?

4) When you cover a porch with flagstone what do they use to adhere the flagstone to the concrete? Is there any going back once you have this done?

5) They mentioned using 2" treads on the steps, that seemed too thick for covering our porch steps (especially since our steps don't have much of a rise from step to step. I am thinking 1.5" looks like the best thickness to cover a porch with. What is most common? Thoughts?

6) I have not gone back to the original contractor yet. Should I? I feel like he should know I think he did a crappy job but I assume he is going to offer to come out to fix it and I don't want him touching my house ever again. Plus it has been just over a month since we had the work done. I wanted to get an idea of how bad it was and how much it would cost to fix from some expert brick restoration company before I contacted the original contractor and they were all backed up and it took them a month to come out to look at it and give me an estimate. Not sure if there is much I can do at this point? Doubt he will give me my money back. Haven't said anything to my coworker either. Thoughts?

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures to share right now(My husband has the camera), but I will post more later.

FYI - The original contractor also repointed our chimney. The quality of work isn't the greatest...not as bad as the porch but not great (mortar extends beyond brick in spots as I think he didn't remove any mortar but just surface pointed overtop). But he did do the entire chimney so at least the color is consistant, and the chimney is at the back of the house so we are just going to deal with it for now as I don't have the money to pay someone to fix it.

Sorry this is so long.

Thanks in advance for any advise you can share.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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The bricks can be acid washed to clean up the brick and repointing is not that difficult. Matching the color of the Mortar is the hardest part. Sounds like he used premixed Mortar to point. Years ago I had a quote of $4000 to repair cracks and I decided to do it myself. The key to matching was to use the same sand, mortar and mixture. Wetting the present mortar shows the color required of the new wet mortar and after a lot of tries got the color. The longer the motor stays on the brick the harder it will be to remove it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 7:05AM
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