Indianapolis masonry contractors provide solid tips and advice
We’ve scraped together some project advice from these three highly rated masonry contractors in the Indianapolis area.
1. What types of masonry work do you offer?
Troy Chapman: We specialize in chimney repairs, but do most all kinds of masonry repairs, including brick matching and mortar matching. I pour solid concrete crowns — not just re-mortar up there.
Morgan Patterson: Primarily repair and restoration. We can do building restoration, including everything structural. We do block, brick, stone, and of course a lot of people call about chimney concerns.
Mike Gentry: All masonry, brick, block and stone repairs; pavers; fireplaces — just about everything. In recent years, it’s been primarily repairs and less new construction.
Who we spoke to
Troy Chapman, owner
Top Notch Masonry
Morgan Patterson, owner
Mike Gentry Masonry
Mike Gentry, owner
2. What’s the most common request or repair you work on?
Chapman: I repair a lot of the crowns and shoulders on chimneys. A lot of the shoulders go bad on it. On rooftop crowns, many builders use mortar, which almost always shrinks or cracks.
Patterson: The most common is chimneys. Although, with repairs it varies. There are a lot of flawed designs where bricks are crumbling and spalling because the heat and thaw cycles damaged them.
Gentry: Fireplace chimneys. They usually have a lot of spalling brick, where the faces are popping off, or the crowns are cracked from deterioration at the top.
3. What is the price range for your services?
Chapman: It varies. I just did a $4,000 full chimney rebuild. But it depends on the height, the roof, how hard it is to get to it and if I have to put up scaffolding. Typically, if it needs a new crown, $800.
Patterson: Each situation has its own circumstances, such as the need for elaborate scaffolding or difficult brick matches. A rebuild can vary from $1,500 to $10,000 for very high end, but most are less.
Gentry: Usually anywhere from $800 to $1,000 for minor repairs, and if a whole chimney needs to be replaced, $3,000 to $5,000, depending on how big it is.
4. What should customers do to help maintain the masonry work once it’s completed?
Chapman: Check them yearly for hairline cracks in the mortar. Most people don’t notice chimney problems until bricks are on ground. Get a chimney sweep yearly; usually, they’ll check for problems.
Patterson: Don’t let your sprinkler systems hit on masonry. And just keep an eye on it if you see chips or separation. It’s a lot more serious if you see cracking in the brick, stone or block itself than mortar.
Gentry: There shouldn’t be a lot of maintenance. Keep an eye on it and watch for brick faces popping, discoloration or efflorescence — white stuff that means moisture is entering the brick.