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I have just hired a young mason for a few projects, one of which was to patch a hole in the brick wall and the other to build a low garden wall. I hired him on the basis of pictures that he texted me and one reference for whom he had laid a patio.

All digging was completed on day one. On day two, the hole was patched and the first few stones of the wall have been laid down. First, it seems to me that tamping the crushed stone and laying a few stones down is very slow progress for a crew of three people. Second, the stones that were set seem to form vertical seams that doesn't look right to me. The mason explained that the challenge is the obtuse angle that the wall makes. Finally, it seems that the hole in the brick was patched relatively poorly as you can see by the gap on the right in the bottom pair of pictures.

The guy is nice, hard-working and responsive. But am I right that I'm seeing evidence that he may not have sufficient experience for this job?

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  • The brick issue probably isn't the end of the world, it will just look odd. Maybe you notice it and it looks like some kind of Harry Potter push activated wall. The top picture... wow. Not even sure what it is other than a pile of rocks. How are they secured? – DMoore Apr 30 at 21:44
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    there is no way that an obtuse angle presents a challenge when rocks are involved .... the gaps between the rocks should not form vertical seams .... the rock wall seams should be similar to the brick wall .... have him re-stack the rocks, so that they overlap ... he'll probably catch on quick ... i built a low rock wall once ... figured out how to do it properly after 10 feet or so ... when the wall was completed, i rebuilt the beginning ... it took very little time to rebuild – jsotola May 1 at 1:59
  • I agree with Jsotola part of building a rock wall is the layering of the rocks angle or not, if the crushed rock foundation is flat through the corner there is no difference at all in a straight and any angle or turn. The strength comes from the overlap. I am not a brick mason and would say I have had repairs that look like that , there is a paint or coating on the original surface that exaggerates the gap but it looks like is ok and will be less noticeable when cured then painted to match. – Ed Beal May 1 at 14:41

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