An appetizing patio and fireplace accent the main course in this backyard
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Masonry reviews in Portsmouth
Before he started to re-point our bricks he did an acid wash and cleaned the bricks. There were some areas where someone had tried to re-point the bricks and made a terrible mess.
The first phase of the project involved the masonry work and replacement of the porch. There were a few missed or incomplete areas of a large project involving the perimeter of the home and several masons did the work, so I was not surprised or concerned by a few incomplete spots. There were dents and scratches made in the window trim from scaffolding used around the chimney. Due to weather, etc. the porch was not completed as planned before we left for vacation. I asked for a phone call if the porch cap was poured while we were gone. I did not receive one, but returned home to a completed porch.
They were patient in working the driveway project around a different contractor installing a fence, which was much appreciated. A few hours after the driveway was removed I was visited by the city inspector who informed me that no permit had been pulled for the project! Upon inspection, the porch step was not up to code and had to be redone.
The crew was polite and respectful. However they were very messy. My yard was strewn with cigarette butts, construction debris, garbage, water bottles etc. My neighbor complained several times about the amount of debris on her property. Due to the scope of the project I expected there to be a mess, but it was not cleaned up at the end of each day. The landscaping was decimated. Again, to be expected to a degree, but there was no effort made to protect anything. For example, a large tarp was placed ON the flower bed and used to collect the bricks from the chimney when a few feet in either direction was clear of plants.
I was informed over the phone that the work was complete and asked for final payment. Before consenting I did a final walk around the house and found incomplete work on both sides of the chimney, the window trim had yet to be repaired, and there was damage to the roof causing a hole in the shingles where the chimney meets the roof. The masonry work was completed and the company eventually addressed the trim by painting the area. They however denied damaging the roof despite clear evidence to the contrary. Without discussing the issue with me at all and without my knowledge, they replaced one damaged shingle (badly, using several pieces of thin, non-matching shingle). I obtained an estimate for professional repair and was quoted $500 to fix the damage they caused. The roofer confirmed that this was indeed ‘abrasive’ damage caused by the masonry crew, not weathering as they tried to claim.
I have been polite, patient, and understanding through this entire project. I even offered to split the cost of the roof repair with
He made himself available to come out and give us an estimate within a few days of our first call. His assessment of the house was thorough and while his estimate was a bit steep (because we had no idea what to expect), we totally understood why by the time he was done. He is the best of the best and the best can be pricey (but, again, worth it!). We'd reached out to other masons at the same time, but no one else got back to us. After reading the reviews of Ed and his employees, we decided to just go with him. So happy we did.
It took him a while to get out here because he is so in demand and also because we've had such a rainy summer. Worth the wait! He had our whole house pointed in two days and he and his employee did an exceptional job. He consulted with me about the color selection on the day he got here and we both agreed that the options he had were very close to what we already had. As a graphic artist, my eyes are trained to see differences in color. You absolutely cannot tell that Ed did anything to our home other than all the holes being gone. The color matching of the new mortar to the 75 year old mortar was done with precision.
Ed went above and beyond for us. Outside of the pointing we'd hired him to do, he took it upon himself to fix up an area on the front steps that was kind of a mess. The steps had settled, making it look like they were pulling away from the house and leaving a couple of cracks and general ugliness. Additionally, the last pad of our walkway that met with the bottom step had also settled, and the caulking that had been placed in the gap years ago by the last owner was peeling and unsightly. I came outside to Ed chiseling away all of the old stuff and recaulking everything. It looks great now! I hadn't even thought to have him do that and he may have saved us from the costly expense of replacing the steps.
Before I forget, there's one more nice thing Ed did for us. We have a tile roof and, from what he told us, the tiles are rare, expensive and hard to get your hands on, so he won't go on this type in order to reach the back side of a chimney. Darn. Well, we've got a fantastic roofer and think we can convince him to do a few patches if they are needed while he's here the next time. Ed left us sand and color matched mortar so that we've got it all ready when the time comes. How nice is that? He didn't have to do that, but he did. Awesome.
Anytime a contractor comes to your house, it's a gamble. we've hired contractors with amazing reviews and something still goes horribly awry. When you find someone who loves their job, is a master at what they do, and will go above and beyond what you asked of them, that's the person you keep in your black book of awesome contractors and hire over and over. Ed is going into our black book. He is a true professional, a nice guy, and has been doing this long enough to know exactly what needs done (and exactly what doesn't).
If you need a stonemason, Ed is your guy.
Masons in Portsmouth, OH
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