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a brick chimney on the side of a blue house with two windows

Masonry reviews in Aurora

  • A
    Koontz Construction
    I looked for 20 years for someone to repair my bowing/disintegrating foundation/basement wall of my near century home. I found the right team at Koontz. Granted, I had to wait a bit, but it was worth it. They began by getting everything approved by the city and the Landmark Commission. They excavated and demoed the existing wall to footer depth, formed and poured a new footer, built a new wall, and added brick veneer. They also installed new windows, perorated drain tile and new window wells. The surprise came when they inspected existing the downspout pipe and found blockage, so they installed new downspout drain and tied in 3 additional downspouts. Every step of the way they tried to accommodate my persnickety requests, saving my plantings and my existing brick so I could repurpose. They even helped me fix my wheelbarrow. Everyone was delightful, courteous, and respectful.
    - CATHERINE S.
  • A
    Ray Arnold Masonry
    Crew arrived on time and set-up scaffolding and prepared the work area. Damaged bricks were replaced with others that matched the 60+ year old originals. Work area was completely cleaned before the crew left. Crew was as quiet as could be with no yelling, swearing, smoking or unsafe activity. All equipment was in good working condition and more than adequate for the tasks. We are very pleased with the results.
    - MARY L.
  • A
    Ray Arnold Masonry
    Workers promptly arrived on time and erected scaffolding. They removed all loose masonry and replaced broken bricks with matching ones. The sandstone accent pieces were also cleaned and reset. A cracked liner was replaced. The cap was rebuilt. All work was profession in appearance. The crew did not play a radio, smoked, nor were unnecessarily loud. Everyone performed his task in a professional manner. The jobsite was cleaned before they left. The chimney looks great.
    - MARY L.
  • A
    Ray Arnold Masonry
    When we initially contacted Ray Arnold Masonry for an estimate we were pleased to see the gentleman brought a ladder and actually inspected chimney, he did not just eye-ball it from the ground. A few days later we received a detailed estimate on needed work and costs. On the night before the scheduled day we received a courtousy call reminding us the work would start at 8:00 the next morning. Caleb and Walker arrived as scheduled, introduced themselves and promptly began erecting their scaffolding and prepared the work area. They then chiseled away the cracked brick and deteriating mortar. A third gentleman, George, arrived and thouroughly inspected everything and began the restoration/rebuild of our chimney. They had carefully matched the 62 year old brick that needed replacement and preserved the original sandstone accent pieces. They matched the original details of the chimney's brick pattern when reconstructing it. It looks wonderful. The crew was quiet as their work permitted, no yelling and no swearing. They had no jobsite radio. No one smoked or chewed tobacco products. The three gentlemen were courteous to my wife and me and our little yappy dog. Their vehicles were parked so they would not interfere with our neighbors' routines. Afterwards everything in the work area was swept clean and hosed down. All material was picked up and the area looked great. Ray Arnold Masonry rocks!
    - MARY L.
  • A
    Koontz Construction
    They gave us a quote, and then we didn't hear from them until they showed up to do the work. Quality of the work and the professionalism of the workmen were exceptional.  Not a lot of communication prior to the job.
    - Debby E.
  • A
    Ray Arnold Masonry
    It went very well. They called to let us know when they would be out, and came when they said they would.
    They gave us two options, about $600 difference --- the cheaper option was to go with cinder block with a few courses of brick where the window well was exposed, or replace as original, which was all brick. We decided to do the cinder block option.
    They were neat (as possible when moving dirt and cutting brick) and protected the window the well. They reminded us to close the windows on the side of the house they were working on to avoid getting dust in the house.
    They made one mistake --- they forgot to do the top few courses in brick, but they came out within a few weeks to fix it.
    This repair fixed a host of problems for us --- the water that was coming through and over the top of the window well was creating water problems in the basement, so we are very happy with the repair. We weren't sure about the cinderblock, but it has actually brightened the basement, so that turned out well also.


    - JOHN B.
  • A
    Thompson's Masonry Inc
    In my humble opinion, this review is worth reading... I bought my home in Aurora
    2007 and my home inspector not only
    missed what apparently was very obvious damage to my chimney but expensive
    damage. To provide a little background, I live in a center chimney colonial
    which means I have one extremely large chimney (you could literally fit the car
    on top of it) with four fireplaces and one exhaust flue feeding into it. It's
    very large. The previous owner must have had some roofer slathering roofing tar
    on the top of the chimney that is wrong. It will trap moisture and ultimately
    deteriorate brick that means that eventually your chimney will have to be
    rebuilt. This was very serious, and I sued my home inspector (pay attention to
    this part) I won.
    The contracts you signed with those numbskulls
    mean very little and indemnify them even less. He said there was nothing wrong
    with the chimney it turned out there was a lot wrong with it. I called around
    many different Angie's list companies all of which gave me estimates between
    $4600 at the lowest, and one is high as $7500. Apparently, the entire crown had
    to be removed, and you cement to redo it. I even had a couple of these other
    contractors tell me that once they put the breakdown they could simply put that
    back on there, and it would be fine. Unbelievable. With insurance money to pay
    for the repairs, I wanted to get the work done before more rain came into my
    house. I went on Angie's list one more time and typed in "chimney
    repair" which had never occurred to me before. I was calling roofing
    companies who said that they do chimney repair. Bob Thomas picked up the call
    and immediately made an appointment to come by within a few days. He took
    photographs with his phone of the damage and told me that the water was leaking
    in from bad flashing (done by the roofers) and not the wet brick on the
    chimney. He said the chimney was in disrepair however was not about to fall over,
    and I could wait two years to repair it LOL. I had to question his business
    judgment by telling me this and his exact words were " I don't need to
    take advantage of people, I get a lot of referral business and I would sooner
    you call me when you need to work and spend my time doing something that is unnecessary." 
    He also pointed out that my flue liners were flush
    with the top of the chimney that by today's standards is in proper. The flue
    liner should stick up approximately 8 inches or more so that would need to be
    done as well. I'm preparing myself for an outrageous estimate, here's an actual
    stonemason and although he is honest my suspicion was that not only was the
    aforementioned work necessary at some time but there would be additional work
    as well. When we were done chatting I said "well, it's a relief to know I
    don't have to do this right away but what you think it's going to cost."
    He says? I don't know? I mean it's hard to say? About $900! I had to choke back
    a laugh; he wrote up an estimate to which I immediately agreed and said why
    don't we just do this towards the end of the summer.
    This is where the story gets better... Not only
    was the chimney in disrepair but it was a lot more work than they anticipated.
    They had to set up scaffolding and with one excellent employee, they worked for
    two full days and scorching heat to tear off the top of the chimney, get custom
    fit flue liners, match the color of the mortar, and rebuild everything better
    than new. Not one complaint from them, not even evidence that they were here
    other than the fact that my chimney looks great. I asked him to provide me some
    photographs so I can upload before and after photos for this review, when he
    does it I will. On a side note, Bob has a hobby of creating outdoor sculptures
    out of making molds from large leaves in creating fountains or birdbaths out of
    them. He brought me one as a gift as well as a book on mortar. 
    Bob is a real stonemason; this is different than a
    bricklayer who are the typical guys you see building commercial buildings. This
    trade has been around since the beginning of the Freemasons and is a dying art.
    Part of the reason I got my work done right away was because two years from now
    Bob may retire. He is strong as an ox however no one works forever especially
    in the labor-intensive field like this. I asked a man once why he moved his
    home brick by brick only a few cities away to a different neighborhood and lot
    and he told me that his home was built more than 100 years ago by one of the
    shipping barons that lived on millionaires row in Cleveland. He said that there
    is no one in existence today that can hand carve marble mantles and pillars?
    All of those things are now done on CNC machines in China. Bob is not only
    honest and professional but a real gentleman which is equally as difficult to
    find these days. He's reminiscent of the contractors that arrived from Europe
    by boat to build these mega-mansions that are still in existence today in
    Shaker Heights. By the way? Guess who those people call to work on their slate
    roofs and extensive chimney systems? Thompson masonry. I strongly suggest at
    least getting an estimate from Bob before you make any decision to work with
    some roofing company or another Mason.
    - DAN M.
  • F
    Advance Masonry & Full Chimney Service Inc
    I have no idea if this company is capable of providing the services that they advertise because the owner, Tony, stood me up on the estimate.They have a lot of feedback and the pricing seems reasonable based on other members experiences so even after reading a number of negative reviews about being unprofessional I called three times to get Tony on the phone once. We talked at length about exactly what I needed and he agreed stop by that afternoon to take a look at my chimney for an estimate. Because of the other feedback I specifically asked him to call me even if he got busy and wasn't able to make it, he gave me his word that he would. He "no call, no showed". I expect this type of behavior from 20 yr olds working their first job at a restaurant not a businessman.
    Three days gone by and I haven't heard a word from them even though I've called each day and left voicemails. This guy is a terrible businessman and does not respect his clients time. Based on my experience and similar reviews you're wasting your time calling him. There are plenty of other Masons eager for the business. 
    I have no doubt that he will respond to my review with some lame contractor excuse about this being the busy season, lots of projects going on,blah blah blah.... If you don't have time to take on new business and post something that says so.

    =================================================================================================
    UPDATE 4/30/14

    Ordinarily I wouldn't dignify a response like this contractors with a reply however I find his dishonest posturing so repugnant that I really have no choice. Here's the bottom line: I called this contractor and he made an appointment to come over and give me an estimate... He never showed up. That's it, there were no maybes, he didn't say if he can get around to it, we had an appointment and he stood me up. The message hes referring to is the one right told him how unprofessional he was and that I was going to find another chimney company ( which I did on Angie's list was fantastic). So he didn't like the message? My chimney cleaning friend, I have a very simple solution to that.... It's an old cliché... Do onto others. You wouldn't want me wasting your time and jerking you around don't do it to Angie's list members or anyone for that matter.
    - DAN M.
  • B
    Matt���s Home Improvements
    It was an Angie's List Big Deal that I purchased. He did a nice job. He was very efficient. Everything went just as planned. He was a very nice fellow. He cleaned up after himself very well. Everything was fine. I only had to pay for the parts and materials he used, which wasn't an awful lot. He didn't dawdle and got it done in the 3 hours that were allotted. The price was very good. He was very fair and forthright. For the most part I thought the quality was good but I won't know for a few years.
    - Diana D.
  • A
    Johnny T Masonry, LLC
    This guy is awesome. One of the most professional jobs I have seen completed. This was a really tough job as well. The window looks incredible and I couldnt be happier with the results. I highly recommend them for a similar egress type window install or any masonry job for that matter. He was so detailed in ensuring the job was done right and then cleaning up every speck of debris when finished. I would hire them again in a second.
    - erik b.
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