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Questions tagged [masonry]

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14
votes
5answers
39k views

How do I tell if my house is brick or brick veneer?

I live in a brick house, and am interested in understanding whether it is brick or brick veneer, as a way to understand what kind of risks it (and we) may face during an earthquake. I hear that brick ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I build a concrete block wall over floor tile?

I am enclosing a tiled porch on concrete slab with a 3' short wall of concrete block, with windows above. Should concrete blocks be laid over a tile floor?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How to properly seal/cover an unused chimney?

We recently replaced an ancient chimney-vented boiler with a direct-vented one. This boiler was the only thing using our chimney. The chimney is brick and sits in the center of our 120-year-old house. ...
6
votes
5answers
21k 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can baseboards be attached to a plaster-on-masonry wall?

The walls on the sides and back of my fireplace are plaster on masonry. How can I attach baseboards to these walls? I tried bonding with HMA but eventually that just peels the paint off.
6
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to repair a broken patio corner?

I've got a limestone patio. The builder apparently didn't support one corner very well and somebody stepped hard on it and a triangle about 1/2 square foot in size broke off. I imagine putting some ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Mounting TV on a weird wall that has some material between the drywall and stud

So I have a strange wall construction in part of my house. I'm mounting an articulating mount, up to 55", in a stud. I took out a cable outlet and box to see the construction because I wasn't ...
5
votes
4answers
162 views

Identify strange wall fixing

Can anyone please help me identify what the fixing below is and how to remove it? Four of them attached a wooden gate post to the side of a masonry wall. The wooden post is gone - it was rotten so ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I fill cracks between stone steps and mortar?

I have a set of stone steps out front, built into a rubble-stone retaining wall on both sides. The steps are mortared into place with concrete. Over time a crack (~1/4" wide) has developed between the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an adhesive I can use with anchors to keep them from pulling out?

I am mounting shelves using plastic anchors in masonry. I once saw a contractor use an adhesive on the anchors to prevent them from pulling out. I realize that by design this should not be necessary. ...
5
votes
4answers
28k views

Can I install windows into a concrete rough opening without wood buck?

I recently cut two holes in my foundation and installed new windows. I lined my hole with 2x8 PT wood bucks that I attached to the masonry with Tapcon screws. Then I attached my window nailing flange ...
5
votes
7answers
11k views

How to drill a hole in brick with precision?

I have bought old cabinets which I would like to hang on a brick wall. I have marked the spots on the wall, but I find it very difficult to drill precisely, because the drill bit follows a path of ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

Options for interior brick walls damaged by rotary hammer

I recently removed some very deteriorated plaster from an interior brick wall. I used a rotary hammer and a traditional hammer and chisel. After having removed about half the plaster I stopped because ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Re-Pointing Fieldstone Foundation [duplicate]

I purchased my 110 year old colonial house 6 months ago. It has a field stone foundation that looks completely original (with a few small repairs). The house is located in North Eastern Massachusetts ...
4
votes
3answers
42k views

How should I apply brick to an interior wall?

I don't want to use veneer, I want to use real brick. Is it as easy as using tie-ins to the studs and setting the brick as one would normally? The existing wall is drywall, So I was thinking of ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

I am currently working on my eagle scout project, and I will be using mortar to put together part of my project (I know this doesn't completely apply to home improvement so if this is the wrong place ...
4
votes
1answer
401 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Patching a cracked concrete/brick walkway

A smallish part of the concrete/brick walkway leading up to my front door has broken off. The cracked piece is about six inches long by two inches wide. How do I go about repairing this? Is this ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I build a brick mailbox?

I'm planning to build a wall block mailbox with the wall blocks that are 3.75" X 7.5" X 11.25". I've worked out the plans that allow for a particular mailbox to fit nicely in a space. However, it ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I add tile to my fireplace?

[UPDATE: After reading the question and answers, please see this blog that shows how the fireplace renovation was completed.] I am getting ready to begin tiling part of my fireplace. The current ...
4
votes
4answers
477 views

Replacing the railing on an old rock retaining wall

This house was built in the mid 1950s. I assume the rock wall was built at the same time. It has an old railing that is not attached anymore and needs to be replaced. My current plan is to cut off the ...
4
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 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....
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I repair the bottom lip of a concrete slab?

(My issue is kind of like this question but more of a missing chunk than a thin crack.) I have a concrete patio in the front of my house that was fixed by a previous owner after a bottom chunk broke ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there some sort of formula to determine how many bricks I would need to build a completely new structure?

I am looking to add a small ham shack to the property, so I contacted the city's planning department. They said that if the structure was ten feet at most and didn't exceed two hundred square feet in ...
3
votes
3answers
592 views

Cutting out shapes inside cement board

I need to cut out a shape (rectangular opening) inside a cement board. Was wondering if it can be done with a jigsaw and a special blade once I have pilot holes drilled in each corner.
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How should I anchor a hand railing to sandstone steps?

I've got three exterior steps made of natural sandstone. They are 6 ft wide, and 10" thick. I need to anchor a metal handrailing to them. The railing has two feet: 1/4" metal plates with 3/8" holes ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Masonry bricks acceptable as pavers?

Working on a plan for installing pavers for a small patio and drive way (sand over compacted gravel). Found local source for really cheap masonry bricks (bricks with voids). What issues would I run ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How to repair / reinforce deteriorated footings and subsoil below brick & concrete porch

My fiancee and I recently moved into a 1922 brick craftsman-style home. The front porch has a ~4" poured concrete floor and large solid concrete railing caps (12"W x 4"D). Brick columns support the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the best way to repair a large crumbling block on a corner of the house wall?

Today I have removed a dead vine root that has caused some damage to the brick work on one corner of my house. As you can see from the picture below, along with the root a fair depth of stone has come ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What can I do about my deteriorating basement floor with a large hole that seems to go right through to clay?

We live in 90 year old house with an unfinished basement. I've been working on removing a lot of the crap that the previous owner did, and removing a lot of concrete debris. Then I ran into this ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the laziest way I can build a non-structural, non-aesthetic cinder block wall to contain compost?

I have a ton of brush that I used to burn, but I recently bought a chipper/shredder and want a spot to compost it along with grass clippings and greens. I also have 3 tons of CMUs that are just ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Basement cinderblock wall tops - cover or fill

A few spots on the top of my basement wall have had their tops hacked off for projects (ducts/plumbing/unknown). We had a mouse issue and I'm looking to close these spots up in case they are finding ...
3
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I prepare exterior concrete walls for painting?

My house exterior walls are cement - how do I prep it before painting? Here's some photos. I'm thinking maybe a pressure washer but would prefer an easier, less messy alternative if available. I read ...
2
votes
2answers
933 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
18k views

Can I use Quikrete FastSet Repair Mortar to replace the mortar between stones in a fireplace hearth support?

My brick fireplace hearth is supported by large stones sticking out perpendicularly to my foundation wall in the basement. It forms a kind of shelf on top of which the hearth was laid. The stones ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views

Are paving bricks differently sized for sand bedding vs mortar bedding?

I had been planning to lay standard clay pavers over a sand bed in my front walk. I had planned for a standard size of 4 x 8 and maybe 2 3/4 inches tall. However, the brick that I like comes in this ...
2
votes
4answers
17k views

Re-anchoring in existing (failed) anchor holes in brick

I've had a shelf come free from the wall on which it was anchored. The shelf is fairly deep (~2') and solid wood, so it's heavy, and it's meant to take some weight (think like a breakfast bar). The ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
614 views

Does anyone know if concrete blocks with half-moon tops are made?

I'm planning to finish a concrete block fence and would like to cap it with a rounded half-moon style block for aesthetics (the whole thing will be covered with surface-bonding cement for an adobe-ish ...
2
votes
1answer
783 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
753 views

What is the best way to drive the hard-cut nail into wooden baseboards to prevent splitting?

I am installing my baseboards, and there is a section that must be attached to brick. I know, by experience, that the best nail for my type of brick is the hard-cut masonry nail (and not the fluted ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Need to Remove and Replace a Hook that is in Concrete

I have a metal hook that has been put into hole in a brick wall using concrete. I am wanting to remove it as a piece of the hook snapped off. What is the easiest way to remove this hook and replace? ...
2
votes
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,...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
839 views

1910's vintage stone and motar foundation wall crumbles along its base

My Project goal: prevent crumbling of a parged and painted stone foundation, which is not an 'exterior' wall. Means to attain goal: coat the wall. My basement walls, which are parged and painted, ...