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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does brick repair cost?

On average, brick repairs will cost you around $500, with a range of between $350 and $600. However, be aware that a number of factors will have a large influence on this cost. First is the severity of the problem. Some brick repairs are as simple as applying new mortar — others require removing the brick entirely and fixing the substrate. If budget is a concern, contact several brick masons for cost estimates to find the best price in your area.

How do I find a contractor to build a deck?

First, conduct an online search so you can see a list of the best deck contractors in your area. This makes it easy to compare the top-rated pros, and you can quickly view their ratings. 

Next, click on several contractors’ profiles so you can read their customer reviews and view photos of decks the pros have completed. When reading the reviews, look for information that highlights the contractors’ quality of work, their ability to build the deck on time and their pricing methods. As you’re looking at the before-and-after photos of completed decks, pay attention to the craftsmanship, materials and style so you can get a sense of the contractors’ skills and experience.

After identifying several deck contractors who seem capable of building your deck, look into their credentials. Confirm the requirements in your state and city, and try to verify the pros’ licenses online. Or, you can ask the contractors to provide you with an overview of their credentials.  

Your last step: start asking for free estimates from several contractors. Give them as many details about your project as possible so the pros can give you an accurate estimate. What type of material do you want for your deck? How big will it be? Where should it be built — your front yard or backyard? When do you need it built?

Make your final decision after comparing quotes and analyzing the research you’ve conducted. Ultimately, you should pick a contractor who has experience building your desired deck, the necessary qualifications, mostly positive reviews and fair pricing.

How much does it cost to build a deck?

The cost of building a new deck or porch is $1,500. However, this price can vary depending on a few different factors. The square footage of the space, the type of materials to be used, the intricacy of the project and your specific region can cause the price to fluctuate. To find out how much your new deck will cost, get free estimates from the best deck contractors near you.

For more information, read “How much does it cost to build a deck or porch?

What are the signs my stones or bricks need repairs?

The following are common stone and brick issues that will likely require a professional’s skills and expertise to fix:

  • Cracked bricks and mortar, including vertical corner cracks 
  • Brick erosion and degradation due to water damage 
  • Mortar deterioration
  • Bowed or bulging bricks
  • Spalled bricks, which are those that have chipped away or fallen off 
  • Efflorescence, or visible soluble stains on the surface

If you notice any of these signs, reach out to local brick or stone masons today.

What does a stone mason do?

A stone mason builds structures like buildings, walls and piers out of stone. They may use natural stone, pre-cut stone, slabs or other types of stone to get the job done. Other jobs stone masons take on include laying walkways, curbs, pizza ovens and other structures or landscaping works. It’s common to hire a stone mason to perform certain parts of home building, such as an interior or exterior stone wall.

What does a brick mason do?

Brick masons, otherwise known as block masons or bricklayers, are professional builders of fireplaces, walls, houses and other structures using bricks or other rectangular blocks. Brick masons also work with terra cotta, concrete blocks and precast masonry panels. Part of their skill is working with mortar, which is used to bind the bricks together. 

Who do I hire for brick and stone repairs?

If you have brick and stone repairs that need to be done, search for masonry services near you. Masons are skilled tradespeople and specialize in building and repairing stone, brick, concrete, tile and other similar materials on structures. They work with these materials as well as the mortar that holds them together and are the pro of choice when repairs are needed. 

Hire the right mason based on the repairs you need — some masons specialize in working with brick, concrete, natural stone or other materials.

Does a deck increase home value?

A back deck may (or may not) increase your home’s value or attract potential buyers if you’re looking to sell. According to the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, a new wood deck with an estimated construction cost of $10,000 recovered $8,000 for the overall recovery of 80%. Still, 9% of realtors suggested that home sellers should add a new wood deck before putting their home on the market, and 4% said this project has helped closed deals. 

The impact of adding a new deck will likely depend on its material (wood, composite, etc.) and where you live. For example, if you live in an area where people rarely spend time outside because of the weather, it’s reasonable to predict that prospective home buyers might not rate a deck highly on their list of must-haves when looking for a new home.  

When in doubt, consult with your realtor or a real estate expert to figure out if adding a new deck to your home is the right move to increase your home’s value. If it is, contact the best deck contractors near you to get free estimates and start planning your project.  

Can crumbling bricks be repaired?

Crumbling bricks, otherwise known as spalling bricks, can often be repaired. The process involves removing and repairing the damaged mortar, cleaning the surface and then also removing any damaged bricks to prevent the problem from spreading. Contact a brick mason near you to fix your crumbling bricks.

Are cracked bricks a problem?

It depends. Sometimes, you might not require repair work — but you should still hire a professional to see if the cracks in your bricks are a serious threat to your home’s foundation and structural integrity.

Cracks (particularly larger cracks) can present a problem. If you have stair-step cracks or horizontal cracks, there may be an issue with your home’s foundation. Wider cracks can also allow water to infiltrate and cause damage from freezing and thawing. Insects can also enter wider cracks and cause more problems (and headaches).

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