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stevekem 11-07-2012 06:27 PM

Brickwork job, bad workmanship?

Hired a local well known mason to rebuild front left pier/corner of garage as well as other brick related work (repointing, brick in mandoor, etc). Job was done with lime mortar. I have had problems with mason from the beginning and have questioned his skill level (workers told me they are not masons, but are electricians doing masonry work). Job was supposed to be done in 1 week and it's been 3+ months now, he only comes about once/twice a week for a few hours.

He has already been paid 60% of contract amount (my mistake), so I cannot just fire him as I would like. I have a feeling we'll end up in court.

Below is the completed pier/corner he completely torn down and rebuilt with existing brick (to match). Is this work bad enough to warrant me requesting he to redo it? I think so, but I wanted other professional opinions.

Tscarborough 11-07-2012 08:39 PM

Unless you did this yourself and are looking for sympathy, what does this have to do with this site?

stevekem 11-07-2012 08:42 PM

Since there are alot of professionals on here, I'm looking for their help and opinion.


Originally Posted by Tscarborough (Post 1047037)
Unless you did this yourself and are looking for sympathy, what does this have to do with this site?

Tscarborough 11-07-2012 08:48 PM

The only opinion that matters is yours and what your contract states. If you plan on doing it yourself, you will get some good advice. I think you are looking for Angie's list or something similar.

Trucon01 11-08-2012 08:19 AM

Settle down Tscar... I'm sure he was just looking for someone to either confirm his opinion of shoddy work or someone to ease his mind that it wasn't that bad.

If it were my project, I'd ask the same thing. Im no bricklayer and havn't been around the business. To me, this is bad, not only aesthetically, but shows a poor / sloppy work ethic. I wouldn't let this guy touch anything else that's for sure.

joecaption 11-08-2012 09:18 AM

It's kind of a shame on you for not hiring a real mason to do the job.
And yes it's completly wrong.
A simple level, even a string pulled tight would of told him this was off.
All he had to do was get the first few rows built up and level to have fixed this whole problum.
Going to be fun now trying to frame in the door.
Is it now so narrow at the top that it's going to effect hanging the door?

stuart45 11-08-2012 10:41 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I wouldn't pay for that job, you should be charging them for allowing them to practice on your house. Get them to re-wire your house instead.
The only way to put it right is one of these.
Attachment 60206

josephmartins 11-10-2012 08:16 AM

More to this?
2 Attachment(s)

I'm no pro, but I have a few observations based on your photo.

First, based on the slight tilt of the grey building on the left it seemed as if the camera was tilted slightly to the left when the shot was taken. So I checked, and confirmed it with the yellow lines in image 1. Assuming the grey building's corner is plumb, then the picture is slightly tilted.

Adjusting for the fact that the image is tilted slightly, I created a rectangle the width of the distance from the grey building's corner to the new upper corner of the brickwork where it meets the roof truss. I then rotated that rectangle so that it's length is parallel with the grey building's edge in image 2. Again, assuming the grey building is plumb, then the new brickwork on the outer corner of your garage should also be parallel to the length of that rectangle. It is not.

In my opinion, based only on the images you provided, it appears the brickwork is completely out of plumb at both edges. To put it differently, the contractor built a parallelogram, and an imperfect one at that.

So I could not help but wonder if that contractor rebuilt the corner by aligning the brickwork with an existing footing/foundation/pad below and the intersection of the roof truss and framing above (which may not have been plumb to begin with) or if he laid a new base for the corner and mistakenly set it a couple inches too far to the left and out of plumb with the framing above.

In any case, if I were in your shoes I would politely ask the contractor to redo the work. Even if, by design, he was stuck with an out of plumb left corner (i.e. if the garage corner wasn't plumb to begin with), there's no reason that he could not adjust the right side as he laid his rows to be plumb for the door opening.

tony.g 11-10-2012 11:01 AM

Why did the pier have to be re-built in the first place? Is your driving as bad as his workmanship?:laughing:

stevekem 11-10-2012 09:17 PM

LOL... It was damaged when I bought the house.... Yes, the camera may have been tilted slightly when I took the picture, but after putting an 8' level against it, it was out by about 1 1/2" inches at the top.

I met with the owner again and he agreed it was out of plumb and torn down half of the pier and is supposed to rebuild it on Monday.

He is saying the reason why the bricks appear to be sagging on the corner is because the entire garage as a whole is slightly off level, but when they laid the new bricks, they HAD to lay them level. After some thinking and going over it in person, I call BS that he had to lay them like that. I think he could have kept them off level slightly to follow the mortar joints so they line up.

When he returns on Monday I am telling him to knock down the rest of the wall and rebuild it right. There were some other areas of garage that his workers laid the bricks crooked as well and he agreed to redo those, so we will see.


Originally Posted by tony.g (Post 1048833)
Why did the pier have to be re-built in the first place? Is your driving as bad as his workmanship?:laughing:

jkeuning 11-13-2012 04:53 PM


Originally Posted by stevekem (Post 1046918)
...I have a feeling we'll end up in court.


This was a disaster from the start, huh?

Davejss 11-13-2012 06:54 PM

Hard to say from rhe pictures but that work looks pretty sloppy.

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