Questions tagged [masonry]

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how to patch hole in interior chimney wall

I was recently removing plaster from the interior wall of my chimney and discovered a huge hole that had been patched by some drywall. The chimney is still used to vent my furnace and water heater, ...
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1answer
40 views

Should I hire a mason to repair wall damage with incorrect brick?

A month or so ago I had an electrician in who accidentally put a hole through the brick wall of our house that now needs to be repaired. From what I can gather, because I live in an older house the ...
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1answer
462 views

Pouring footer in dirt without form

A construction site close to my house made their footer by just digging a ditch around the perimeter of the building and poured concrete directly in the dirt with no wooden form. I'm just curious if ...
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1answer
93 views

How much active labor is involved in repointing?

I hired a contractor to perform repointing on my old house and opted to pay them by the hour. I chose this company is because they know how to make the proper softer mortar for antique Chicago bricks....
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1answer
99 views

Conflicting contractor opinions on rebuilding steps using original construction method

Is it appropriate to rebuild brick steps with sandstone slab steps and landing depicted with dimensions in the picture "Final Constructed Steps" below using the original construction method depicted ...
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1answer
370 views

Is a wooden buck necessary when installing windows into full width brick?

I'm looking for pointers on installing a new window into a full width brick wall. Pictures are here. They are the basements windows in a rowhome. There's a slanted brick sill on the bottom. The brick ...
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1answer
205 views

Why is the sand in my cement mixes so thirsty?

In making up cement-based mixtures, I always start with a water:cement ratio of 0.42:1, which is the optimal ratio. But whenever I make a mix that has a substantial quantity of sand in it (e.g. for ...
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1answer
338 views

SDS drills with advertised chuck sizes

I am looking to buy a hammer drill, but have no experience in this area. Everywhere I look, it seems that SDS/SDS+ is a universal chuck design, in that any SDS bit will work with any SDS drill and ...
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1answer
602 views

How to reinforce this concrete wall that wasn't properly drained and is starting to lean 3/4" from top?

I have a cinder block wall (CMU) that was built about 3 years ago. I purchased my home 1.5 years ago. I was told that the wall was built 3 years ago by the neighbor and it was built by a local ...
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2answers
53 views

Limestone versus granite for yard edging

I am looking at adding some stone edging to my yard and possibly building some steps. The stone seller advised me against limestone, as he said it would stain and deteriorate rapidly compared to ...
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0answers
83 views

What aspects of bricklaying are most important structurally vs aesethically

I've seen homes where the mortar is squeezing out between bricks. This appears pretty sloppy must still be structurally sound. It seems that the pointing of the joints is just an aesthetic choice. ...
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1answer
419 views

How can I protect an electrical box embedded in rough masonry from weather?

Yesterday I had a fuse blow 3 times and I eventually tracked it down to an outdoor outlet that wasn't so watertight. The outlet had an outdoor cover on it but after opening it it was obvious that ...
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1answer
61 views

Drainage for level driveway

I am thinking of replacing my asphalt driveway with granite paving. The problem is that if I build a mortar bed for the granite blocks it will be level, so that water will sit on top of the driveway ...
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2answers
4k views

Brick veneer falling away from house

I already suspect that I'm not going to like the answer, but I'll ask anyway. My home has a screen porch, and in this section, the brick facade is starting to fall away from the house. It was caused,...
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1answer
137 views

House being built but I think the brick is poorly done

So our house is being built and the brick just went up on the house (it isn't structural). I personally feel that the job was done extremely poorly. I don't know much about masonry but from my ...
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1answer
124 views

Brick Wall separated from home and collapsed

My home's brick wall has fallen down on 2 sides. I'm hoping to clear away the remaining bricks and install insulation and siding. I'm not sure how high of a base of bricks I should leave at the bottom....
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1answer
9k views

How many holes can a masonry drill bit make?

Please excuse my ignorance, I'm fairly new to DIY. I keep reading how masonry drill bits wear down quickly. As I'm preparing for a day of serious hammer drilling dozens of holes into concrete walls ...
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1answer
141 views

Band board in contact with ground- how to waterproof?

We recently bought a home built in 2004. During the inspection it was noted that there is what is assumed to be pressure treated wood "band board"or a ledger board (?)at the rear of the home adjacent ...
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1answer
61 views

When to re-set a brick in a wall?

I have a single-family home with brick all around. The home was built in the early 80s. Some of the mortar is starting to crack here and there. I had a tuckpointer come and give me an estimate on ...
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1answer
325 views

What are our options to update this brick facade?

I'm interested in updating the look of the brick facade on our house. The first image shows the wall and planter below the window and the two planters by the entry way. The previous owner painted the ...
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1answer
36 views

running a non-potable exterior water line

I need to run a water line for gardening to a roof deck from the ground level (up 2 floors). I have a courtyard tap, and a brick wall I can run something along the outside of. My thought was to use a ...
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1answer
140 views

Building a 1 layer thick brick wall over drywall

Looking to lay a brick wall over drywall in my basement. The floor is a concrete slab which covers my entire basement. I am looking to see what issues or concerns I should have laying a 1 layer ...
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1answer
6k views

How to choose correct drill bit size for screw and wallplug?

I need to drill a hole into masonry wall. I've never drilled a hole with a drill bit before and am confused about what size drill bit to use. I have a screw, and I have a wall plug that will go into ...
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2answers
94 views

Is lime based mortar weatherproof?

I recently did some outside brick wall patching and tuckpointing. Since the old mortar was whitish, I didn't use the gray ready mix from the Home Depot but I mixed my own, the same what I used for my ...
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1answer
96 views

Type of crane to move stone slabs?

I am planning to build some steps from stone slabs. The slabs weigh a maximum of about 600 pounds. I need a way to move them around over ground like a lawn, so small wheels or a pallet truck are no ...
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1answer
496 views

How to tile over cinder block holes?

I bought a house that has cinder block wall in the backyard. Whoever installed this wall opted to place the top blocks so that the holes are facing the side rather than the top and bottom. They then ...
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1answer
808 views

Repaint masonry window sill

Our house has a Victorian bay window and what appears to be chunky masonry/concrete window sills. They look like they are painted with some form of gloss which has become flaky and green over the ...
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1answer
40 views

Additional brick veneer to existing construction

I am looking at a home that is a 2 story colonial. The first 10 feet or so from the ground is brick veneer (one row thick), and the upper story is vinyl. The vinyl is looking pretty bad. Is it ...
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1answer
183 views

Is there a masonry filler tough enough to drill into once it's set

Our new home has two old metal gates front and back where the screws mounting the locking points have chipped out of the brickwork leaving large holes (40 - 50mm tall/deep). Is there a masonry ...
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1answer
3k views

What should I use to seal/coat interior of stone foundation wall?

I have a stone foundation in my basement which was re-pointed about 4 years ago. While slight, the mortar crumbles a little bit over time. As a result, it causes a bit of a mess with the dust at the ...
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1answer
114 views

How to build a CMU wall to specific size?

My current design for a garage is 24' by 24'. There are 2 garage doors on the front 9' in width, with 1 1/2" on each side to install them into. This leaves 66" for the front facing CMU wall, which is ...
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1answer
49 views

Masonry protruding entrance water protection

My rear entrance is wood frame set in masonry (brick + terracotta brick) wall. It has aluminum flashing but it's old (way before I got the house) and the top edge isn't protected anymore (since I tore ...
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1answer
731 views

Should concrete stair landing be anchored to building?

I have a small, approximately 3x3' concrete landing in front of my basement door, from which stairs go up to the street level. I need to redo it and was wondering whether to tie the rebar from under ...
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1answer
310 views

Concrete stairs substrate preparation and layering

I need to pour small stair entry into my basement, about 4 steps and it is narrow, with a brick retention wall on both sides. I was going to first evenly grade and pack the dirt, then put gravel, ...
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1answer
260 views

Gravel under concrete stairs

Laying gravel under flat concrete slabs is easy because the levelness of dirt bed makes it easy to distribute it evenly. But when preparing to pour concrete stairs on a graded bed, what are good ways ...
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2answers
127 views

What kinds of contractors deal with basement/foundation flooding/leaks?

Winter is coming to an end. All the snow/ice in my back lawn is thawing. A massive vertical crack has opened in my basement wall (the foundation) and water is hemmoraging in. I tried parging it with ...
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2answers
93 views

What is this sanding disc and where could I find one?

As best I can tell, it's a 5" diameter, open-coat, all-metal (steel? tin?) arbor-mounted sanding disc. It's the only thing that will remove tar from brick on my house, and I really need to purchase ...
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1answer
100 views

Fireplace sealing to avoid “false chimney”

I'm building a new fireplace with a 2cm granite surround (around the firebox opening). This leaves (by design) a 1/2" gap between the back of the granite and the face of the firebox & smoke dome (...
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1answer
81 views

Good, affordable pathway materials for sidewalk with tree root problems

I recently moved into my first home. Unfortunately, the concrete slab pathway leading from the town sidewalk to the front door is buckling from the roots of an enormous pine tree that grows near it. ...
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1answer
440 views

Code requirement for depth of Counter Flashing and material sealant?

Okay, I've got a recently-installed standing-seam metal roof. The roofers ground out the brick in my chimney to install counter-flashing. Recently there was a big leak around the area of the chimney. ...
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2answers
2k views

How to tighten screw in looser masonry hole?

I'm using 5/16" masonry rated screws to secure my door frame in masonry. When I use 3/16" drill bit, the screw won't go in and when I use the next size up, 1/4", the screw goes in but it doesn't lock ...
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1answer
175 views

How to make custom concrete brick?

I would like to make a custom brick for a decorative purpose. It will be painted so the material is not important, meaning it doesn't have to be a clay brick, could be concrete like cinder blocks. I ...
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1answer
25 views

Setting freezeless valve in masonry

I need to set this freezeless valve through a layer of bricks/mortar. Should I set mortar directly around the pipe or should I leave some spacing and fill it with insulation foam (or something ...
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1answer
15 views

Smoothening masonry surface

Is there an appropriate grinder blade, or another tool, with which I can iron out masonry surfaces like this? Sort of like a masonry equivalent of a planer or a belt sander.
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1answer
29 views

Should custom masonry mixes first be mixed dry?

I am currently doing a small retro plastering job ("retro" because I am in the U.S.). I am mixing masonry sand with lime plaster. The way I do it is make a homogeneous mix of sand and lime while ...
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2answers
870 views

Insulation foam in hollow bricks and blocks

This is a wall in the extension to my house, which I estimate to have been added around the 1930s (house is 1909) using mostly large hollow bricks that look more like cinder blocks but are not of ...
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4answers
859 views

How can I anchor something in the gaps between the bricks or rocks of a fireplace without damaging the masonry?

I want to hang fireplace tools next to my fireplace without damaging the stone work. I don't want to drill into it. The stones have mortar between them with gaps about half an inch wide: I have ...
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3answers
427 views

Cement board or plywood for stuccoing over

I have a former window I want to close and stucco over. I did the framing already. Was wondering if I should use a cement board or 1/2" OSB or plywood with wire mesh as substrate to stucco over (to ...
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2answers
2k views

Has our new septic tank been properly waterproofed?

We have a new septic tank made of solid stone masonry. The masonry is held together by cement mortar and has been plastered with cement plaster. A professional working on the job has ensured us that ...
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5answers
20k views

Is mortar waterproof?

I was advised by a professional that mortar is waterproof, however sources online are telling me that it's not. So is mortar waterproof or not? Does waterproofness vary by mortar classification (e.g. ...