I strongly recommend Nowicki Construction to Thumbtack readers. Fred and Matt are top notch, low key, flexible and cost effective.
I bought my first brick home in mid-2015. I soon discovered that many bricks had spalled within the last two years. The local brick yard referred me to a contractor who gave me an estimate for replacing about 100 bricks. But in early October, he stopped responding, and I could not schedule the work. So, I joined Angie’s List and quickly found several good reviews of Nowicki Construction. I contacted Fred, and he came right away to estimate the job.
Identifying the real problem:
Very quickly, Fred determined that the spalling was just a symptom of an underlying issue with drainage and ground moisture, isolated to an addition built with less robust brick. He pointed out that a sidewalk against the north wall sloped just a bit toward the addition, and directed water to the brick. He observed that, overall, everywhere in the addition that I had a water problem, I had spalling.
Fred suggested that before replacing any bricks, we address the water problems. I broke up the sidewalk and excavated along the perimeter of the addition. Then Fred and Matt pressure-washed the exposed foundation, and applied a moisture barrier. They parge-coated a few courses of badly damaged brick at the soil line where the sidewalk had been. I back-filled with 7 tons of pea gravel. Throughout, Fred and Matt scheduled their work to accommodate mine.
I was relieved to have solved the underlying problem before winter weather set in. I was able to add some sweat equity to keep cash costs down. I’ve seen no more evidence of spalling for two winters now. I hope to schedule Fred and Matt again to replace the remaining 50 spalled bricks, but that’s cosmetic. In the end, my total cash cost may be close to my original contractor’s estimate.