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

Masonry reviews in Portsmouth

  • A
    JES Foundation Repair
    Trust --- we trusted JES to fix a bad situation and they did! 
    This waterfront home was built on poor soil ? as a result, portions of the house sank 5 inches and the detached garage sank a catawampus 11 inches.
    The house renovation was planned to the inth degree and completing major items such as roofing, plaster work, flooring and more were dependent on getting the structural problems fixed first. Walls were cracked, windows didn't work, sliding doors wouldn't open, and floors were amiss. The house needed a complete renovation.  A year and a half ago, we hired a local competitor to JES. They worked for four months with little oversight, the majority of their helical piers failed, engineering oversight was non existent, and they left the garage in a jack hammered unusable condition. I had to fire them off the property. 
    After receiving several more structural estimates, we chose JES to remedy the problems.  Their crews and supervision came in like gangbusters and they finished it all in 29 working days. It was a huge effort. They drove numerous piers down 35 feet, lifted both the house and garage, reinforced walls and floors, and finished it off with a walk through. My wife and I were thoroughly impressed with the production and engineering competence and expertise. Windows and doors that hadn?t worked in years freed up and are now usable, the family room isn?t crooked anymore, and I have my garage back. We trusted them to do the job ? and they did!
    I only wished we'd hired them first -- we would have saved thousands, we would have less gray hair, and would have finished the renovation a year ago. Lesson Learned.
    JES's management team was great and the engineering work was impressive. Our investment in them paid off with dividends. We were lucky to find a company like JES.
    - Robert M.
  • F
    Belletto Construction Inc
    After coming out to my home for an "estimate" I was told their "kitchen person" would reach out to me - that was nearly a month ago - haven't heard from anyone and have no estimate. It's too bad because I really liked Dan and would have most likely hired him - but guess they don't need the business - very disappointing.
    - Catherine G.
  • D
    After reading so many lovely reviews about AH Wickline I thought I would give them a try. Everything started out great. I called for a free estimate, and they came out within a couple days exactly when they said they would. They were very friendly and did a detailed job, saying I needed a new chain for my chimney cap (which we knew was broken) and that they needed to repair the re-point some of the brickwork on the chimney exterior. They even took photos of the chimney and the work that needed to be done. The owner said I will call you tomorrow with an estimate because they needed to look up the cost of the chain. He said- if I don't call you, you call me. That's when it all began.
    He did not call me the next day so I called him and left a message. He never returned my phone call. I called the following week and he did not return my phone call. I called the following week after that and got a hold of him - but I had to remind him who I was and what I wanted done (he had no idea), and he said he would call me back with an estimate but he never did. I waited another week to call and again, had to explain everything all over again and he said it would be between $250-$300 depending on the chain cost and then didn't follow up with an actual estimate (he was still speculating). I gave up and my husband started after him. Myy husband called and was able to schedule an appointment after a few tries. They came out and said the job was $225 just to fix the chimney cap/chain but they had no idea they were also supposed to point the brickwork.
    In summary: they never ONCE called me with an estimate or returned any of my messages and when I did catch them on the phone they always forgot who I was and what I wanted done. The entire process took about 4 weeks. I assume we were just unlucky because of everyone else's positive experiences, and they must have just dropped the ball on us, but boy did they ever.
    - Chris Y.
  • A
    Finck Masonry
    Wow. From the word go Jerry (Finck) was a pleasure to work with. He always responded to my calls, kept his appointment, and did a top-notch, beautiful job on our fireplace surround. He provided us a no-cost estimate to do the work. He was well-prepared for the job, worked non-stop until it was completed (5 straight hours), and cleaned up the work site immaculately. Other than our beautiful new fireplace, you would not have even known he'd been in the house almost all day. I thought the price was extraordinarily reasonable. I just wished I'd called him 18 months ago!
    - Stephanie S.
  • F
    Called to get a quote for brick work. Vendor quickly set appointment. Day/time of appointment came vendor called and said that he would not be able to hold the scheduled appointment. Ok, things happen I understand. He rescheduled for two days from original. Second day/time of appointment came. No call no show. Thanks for wasting my time. No sense of customer service. This is so disappointing, terrible customer service. I don't know how people stay in business like this. Overall, a frustrating experience.
    - Brandy M.
  • C
    Ace Chimney Sweep
    No problems with the chimney cleaning/inspection and placement of the two chimney caps, but significant problems with the repairs done on 10/15.  Honestly, can't speak to the quality of the work that they did do, since that is not my area of expertise, and I did not go up on to the roof to inspect it (presumably it is fine), however, I feel that we were significantly shorted on what was actually done, versus my expectations of what would be done based on our original discussion and quote.  Ace did come and seal joints that were newly separated on both chimneys.  They also did remove and replace the sealant around the flashing on the main chimney.  They did not, however, remove and replace the old white caulking from the previously repaired joints.  I pointed this out to them when they told me they were finished and I came out and saw that all of the old white caulk was still there. I distinctly remember discussing this with them during the quote process (same guy, just can't remember his name or read his signature now)- how my husband hated that white caulk from day 1, and how it will be great to get it replaced, and how I was under they impression they needed to be replaced anyway since they were no longer sealing very well.  Now though, the manager/owner(?) didn't remember this discussion at all, and claimed they were sealing fine, but they could do it at another time if we wanted them to for another $150 or so.  Of course, the quote was written vaguely enough that it wasn't absolutely spelled out (my bad- with our discussion as part of the context, the way I read the quote, it looked to me like it was included).  In any case, he admitted that it did take him less time than he had apparently anticipated from the quote, so he gave us a $20 discount (final cost for the second visit- $260 for what I recall was about 1 hr of work, plus some specialty caulk). So, in the end, I did get new cracks filled, and sealant around my flashing replaced, but did not get the old deteriorating white calk removed and replaced..
    I have not contacted the company again before writing this review, and I did not argue vigorously at the time, since that is not my personality.  At this point, I don't want to have them back, even if they did offer to make amends, and I don't feel like I can trust them to do what they say.  My suggestion to anyone who chooses to use this company is probaly not new to anyone directing contractors on your own- make sure that anything you contract them to do is very explicitly stated on the quote, so there is absolutely no room for interpretation at all.  Again, I can't speak to the quality of what was done, but I was very disappointed in the end result.
    - Lisha K.
  • A
    Our experience with B and Remodeling was exceptional!! Bobby Bowden and his team exceeded ALL expectations. Their team did everything in their power to make a major kitchen remodel ( down to the studs) as painless a possible. They worked diligently (even over a holiday weekend) to get the job done on time and on budget. I highly recommend Band B Remodeling!!!
    - Margee and Douglas D.
  • A
    Tidewater Masonry
    I had previously hired Tidewater Masonry to repair cracks in the cement joints of my brick house, replace two rusting eight foot steel lintels over the front porch and repair the chimney crown after Hurricane Isabel when a lot off wind-driven rain penetrated the east wall and chimney. Over the years and several northeasters and then Hurricane Irene it became apparent when water continued to penetrate the east wall that fixing the top of the chimney and cracks in the cement joints had not solved my problem and the east side of my house needed to be totally repointed.

    Tidewater Masonry consists of the owner and mason, Leonard Cote', and one helper. Therefore, after Leonard quickly responded to my phone call and inspected the house, showed me the many cracks and spaces in the 85 year old mortor joints that were most likely the source of the leaks, gave me an initial estimate and we negotiated a final price, I hired him to start several weeks hence. Being a small 2 man operation, some patience is necessary while they complete any existing and previously scheduled jobs .Even so, he had to move the start date another two weeks or so after being delayed by bad weather on a previous job. However, once he started he worked straight through every weekday until the job was completed about 2 weeks later.

    Leonard is very meticulous and thorough. He was careful to select a cement that matched the existing cement. He was careful not to damage any bricks which are no long made and so are irreplaceable. In the few spots I did not think the mortor was sufficiently pressed into the joints, he always immediately corrected the faults. The only downside was the job created an enormous amount of cement dust generated by his angle grinder as he ground out the old mortor which blew everywhere, since he did not employ any dust containment system. However he and his helper spent alot of time hosing the dust off the back patio, front porch, the wall itself and the surrounding bushes, flowers, driveway and sidewalks. After the first day I was careful to move our vehicles a sufficient distance upwind each morning to keep them from becoming covered with dust.

    I am very pleased with the quality of Leonard's work. We negotiated up to 3 callbacks in case the wall still leaks. However I doubt that will ever be necessary. I give Tidewater Masonry my highest recommendation and will continue to use the firm for any future masonry projects.
    - Ed G.
  • A
    I could not have asked for a better experience. Rick is a former Navy master chief, and his professionalism and attention to detail are exactly what you would expect from someone of that rank. We had family visiting from town at the end of the time frame he thought he needed, and he arranged his work schedule to ensure that the work was done prior to my family's arrival. Rick arrived at the scheduled work time for each day he was here, he cleaned up well after the job was completed, and during the job, he took measures to minimize any dust or odor that might reach the living quarters of the house. He also gave very useful advice about warning signs to look for in the parging previous owners had done to the foundation that might indicate further repairs are necessary to those regions.
    - Daniel C.
  • A
    Tidewater Masonry
    Excellent from start to finish. Leonard was on time for the estimate and for the start of the work. Work took 3 days to finish. Excellent job of cleaning up. Mortar joints look even better than before, no spillover of unsightly results anywhere. Not the cheapest estimate, but quality of work and professionalism was well worth it. On my short list for any future masonry jobs.
    - Gregory B.
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