Top Ten Mistakes Made in Masonry Repair

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When you have settling cracks in your brick walls, you need to get them repointed. This process is known as tuck pointing. However, before you make any attempts at repairing this yourself or hiring the repairs done by a contractor or handyman, you should know the top ten most common mistakes made in repointing mortar.

The first mistake is having the repairs made before checking for additional problems. Repairing the cracks in the mortar and brick before checking the foundation or other problems that occur can result in more damage to your home and to your masonry siding.

Settling cracks occur due to the foundation settling and applying stress to the bricks. This makes them a common symptom of foundation repair and can help in understanding where and how much movement of the foundation has occurred.

To tuck point the mortar and replace broken brick along these settling cracks limits the ability to accurately repair the house foundation. Performing these repairs often results in damage to the brick walls when the foundation is repaired. Any mortar or bricks placed in these cracks to fill the gap become a wedge and force the opposite crack to form in the area and the brick tend to push out at corners of the house causing brick walls to crack, lean away from the house, or come off the foundation entirely when the house is lifted.

It can not be stressed enough to check for other problems with the structure or foundation of the home before repairing mortar cracks.

The second most common mistake made in fixing settling cracks in brick is choosing a foundation repair company to level your foundation. There is a difference between leveling your foundation of your house and fixing your foundation problems.

There has never been a house foundation built perfectly level that I am aware of, and to level the foundation under your house would apply stresses to your home and cause more problems with your foundation. This in turn would create more cracks in the bricks and mortar joints around your home. When they stress the word level and use a computerized level for their readings, it is a strong indication that they intend to try leveling your foundation even if it causes more problems. If they focus on lifting, stabilizing, adjusting, and use the cracks in the mortar and brick to acquire their range of movement in the house slab, then they are likely taking more accurate details about the movement and have a better chance at providing quality foundation repair services.

The third common mistake in brick repair is using these tubes of mortar repair caulking in an attempt to repair the cracks yourself. While caulking is used around doors and windows and in expansion control joints to seal the wall and still allow movement, they are not intended for use as the mortar and can cause other damage to the brick.

The caulking will never look like the mortar and tends to be difficult … Read More

DIY – Repair Cracks in the Ceiling by Removing Old Drywall Tape (Part 1) – Drywall Repair

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Bathroom remodel

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Bathroom remodel

Bathroom remodel (After)

Posted by Barry.Reider on 2009-02-22 04:06:25

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Bamboo Bathroom Cabinets: The New Alternative to Wood

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The trees that are harvested to create real wood products often take decades to reach the maturity level necessary for them to be harvested. Because of this, wood is slowly becoming a depleted resource. This grass, on the other, hand is plentiful now and can reach full maturity in as little as four years, making it a more sustainable natural resource. Environmentally friendly people are encouraged to double check with the manufacturer that they are purchasing their products from to make sure that the grass was harvested in an earth friendly way.

No Damage from Moisture

Wood often absorbs moisture and water, causing it to swell and lose its original shape. This wood alternative doesn’t absorb moisture the same way that wood does, making bamboo an exceptional choice for bathroom remodeling projects, particularly if the members of the family enjoy extremely hot showers. Homeowners will not be concerned with their bamboo bathroom cabinets becoming warped as time goes on. Instead, they can enjoy a room that will have the same visual appear years later as it did the day their products were first assembled.


Most people seem to be under the impression that it will not be as durable as wood because it is technically a grass, but it is the exact opposite. This material has proven to be more durable than wood in most cases. It can withstand a little bit of abuse, hold more weight than the sturdiest wood shelves in some cases, and, so far, it lasts longer. This alternative to wood has the potential to outlast much of the furniture in your home today while retaining its beauty.


Because this resource is still plentiful in the world, the recent surge in demand for this natural resource has not resulted in an increase in prices. Instead, the price range for this material is still affordable for families with a variety of incomes. After bamboo bathroom cabinets are installed, they stay affordable for homeowners. No special chemicals or maintenance is required to keep your home looking beautiful aside from oiling the material and occasionally cleaning them with warm soap and water.

Different Colors and Styles

Bamboo can be manipulated into a variety of styles and can be stained in a fashion like wood, making this new building material as versatile as wood when it comes to redecorating. Homeowners should stain this material with caution, however. It does not work the same way with wood, so some practice on a small, inconspicuous piece of your shelves is a good idea.

Remodeling projects can go one of two ways: they can result in your home becoming less than appealing or you can wind up with a home that requires less maintenance and has more visual appeal. Bathroom cabinets made of this material help you do the latter, providing you with a unique design that will impress your guests that requires little to no maintenance on your part. Take the time to research this earth friendly option to … Read More

Kitchen Remodeling Planning

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Kitchen remodeling is generally one of the largest expenditures in any home remodeling project. As such, there is a significant amount of planning involved, whether you decide to do it on your own or seek the services of a professional. In this guide, we will detail out the process in three steps: 1) determine the scope of kitchen remodeling project, 2) seek out remodeling contractor bids and financing options, and 3) getting your kitchen ready for the remodeling. 

The first step of determining the scope of the project will assist you in figuring out an estimated budget, as well as a time frame. You will need to decide whether you will be expanding the kitchen, changing the floor plan, what appliances you want, flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. If you are expanding the kitchen and adding custom cabinets, expect your costs and timeline to both increase significantly. Custom cabinets generally have turnaround times greater than 6 weeks. What kind of countertops (granite, marble, tile, etc.) do you want? Do you want to add some new hardwood, engineered, bamboo, or laminate flooring? Do you want your dream kitchen to have an island, a backsplash, stainless steel sinks, larger exhaust fans, new doors? The best way to get a better feel for what options are available is to go into home improvement stores and do some online research. If you are willing to spend a little bit more you can hire the services of a professional kitchen designer. Figuring out exactly all the specifications you want for your kitchen remodeling project is essential and needs to be written down. Where will you be sourcing all these kitchen components? You can buy from retail locations or shop online. More often than not, online retailer prices are lower than their brick and mortar counterparts, even with cost of shipping factored in.

With a detailed project scope you are now ready to being requesting remodeling quotes. If you are planning to do the kitchen renovation yourself, you should make sure that you know all the laws and regulations that must be adhered to. We recommend that for larger projects that you either consult with a professional contractor or just hire one outright. Requesting remodeling quotes can be done through references, the yellow pages, or online. There are several online home improvement companies that have large pre-screened databases of professional remodeling contractors. To request a kitchen remodeling quote, you simply fill out a request form that essentially asks for the scope of your project. The company will review your kitchen remodeling project and send out this information to the appropriate contractors within your area. These contractors will then call you and set up a time to bid on your project. When you meet these kitchen contractors, make sure that you ask them for references, experience, insurance, and estimated timeline.

While you are searching for a kitchen remodeling contractor, you should simultaneously be exploring various financing options. What type of financing you use really depends on how costly … Read More