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Old 08-05-2013, 09:54 PM   #1
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


We're having issues with our fireplace, and investigating all of the things that were done wrong on our ledgestone for a 2-way fireplace including
  • mortaring over an electrical box
  • mortaring over the access panel
  • lines aren't level
  • joint width isn't consistent
  • when coming from other room, all the backs of the corners are exposed
  • You can see the backing board where there isn't enough mortar
  • One of the hearth stones rocks a bit
  • The colors are very muddy
  • He told us to darken the color, he would seal it, which ultimately sealed our fate with that color
  • He had several very unnatural cuts
  • He had areas he just added a ton of mortar instead of finding a stone that would fit
  • And much more!

So when he was installing, he started the corners, and left for the night. Late that night, one entire corner fell down.

He claimed he'd never had the problem before. After researching, I'm suspicious that part of the issue is he only did Durock masonry board, and no metal lath.

Additionally, he did no "raking" of mortar, but rather just put a thinset on the back, directly to the Durock.

Is that normal? Is that to code?

What am I missing here?

Thanks!

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


It is fine to apply over cement board, IF you use thinset instead of mortar.

If it is drystack ledgestone, you will get some ugly joints, the appropriate way to deal with it is to use a dark thinset (unless it is white rock) and make sure the board is covered, preferably with a rough surface.

The rest sounds like lack of skill and knowledge.

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Old 08-06-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


you call all that just ' issues ' ? wish we had you for a client,,, was he the lowest price of all you found on craig's/angie's list ? none of his references answered the phone ? is it too late to stop pymt on the ck OR was he pd in $$$ ?

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Old 08-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz72 View Post

Is that normal? Is that to code?

What am I missing here?

Thanks!
No, that is not normal. If he can't fix the problems properly, you will have to find a reputable masonry contractor to fix it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


There's no 'code' that applies here. What it sounds like is he just did a horrible job. You're faced with limited options. One being to have him remove and redo it. The other being to have someone else remove and redo it. Whether you then go after the first guy to recover your lost money is another matter.

I'd make it clear this is an entire insufficient result and that it has to be entirely redone, at his expense. Or that he's going to be paying for having someone else redo it. You'll most likely end up paying someone else yourself and then have to expend a ton of effort trying to get the first guy to pay up. Lawsuits, etc. Sometimes it's worth it.

But if you want the job done now, and done right, you're pretty much faced with paying to have it all done again by someone else. Given the range of mistakes the guy made the first time there's really no way I'd want to let him anywhere near it again.

Meanwhile TAKE pictures and write down everything that's gone on. You're going to eventually need it all to present to the court...
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


What do you mean there is no code that applies? Of course there is. I recommend you read, "Direct Adhered Ceramic tile, Stone, and thin brick Facades" by Richard P. Goldberg AIA, CSI as a start.

After you are able to determine what an adhered veneer IS, then you can begin to figure out what codes actually cover the type you are talking about.

In this case, the code is covered under Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05/ASCE 5-05/TMS 402-05). There are also various other sections and codes that can be used for each specific application.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


Given the mention of backer board it didn't come across like being a typical fireplace masonry-only structure. Sure, there's going to be some code to address various parts of any project. But as a whole, given the scope of the crappy work, there's no all-encompassing "code" to come to the rescue here. That and no mention of inspections being done was made, nor permits.

But besides citing code, what are your recommendations for the problem?

Me, I'd be more worried that the firebox and chimney assemblies were installed correctly. Crappy looking veneer stone is just cosmetic, but failure to properly set up the things you CAN'T see are perhaps more important.

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Old 08-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Cultured stone in MI, Durock, no Metal Lath


We're a friendly site. Keep the answers limited to the OP's questions, thank you.

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