Please contact us for a free estimate.

Pointing, with good colour matches
The keys to success in pointing:
Remove all the weakened cement; Make enough room for new cement to hold securely; Wash the dust fron the joints and moisten the brick; Make the cement appropriate to the wind, temperature and humidity. And use a dye colour that closely matches the original, with white or grey cement as a base.

Foundation Pointing - inside and out.
Cleaning out and maintaining stone is essential.
Colour can be used for effect, from white through black and grey, to any colour.

Parging - inside, and coloured?
A good preparation includes cleaning the old surface, digging out damaged cement, and fully saturating the surface. A bonding agent may be applied before the parging cement, or if needed a wire mesh can be attached for a scratch coat.

Ideally, when setting, temperature and humidity change only slowly, and in the range of 4 to 30 degrees.

Tile, Hearth Tile, Stone installation
A proper surface was made for this installation, with a ditra in between two Thinset cement layers, and a good cleaning before grouting.

We prefer small tile jobs, like around fireplaces. Please don't call us to tile your kitchen, we prefer masonry.

Fireplace hearths, the firebox
Replacing firebrick and repointing with high temperature cement prevents gases from leaking through the chimney structure into the house.

Also of concern, some of the unburned gases collect on the chimney walls as an oily residue known as creosote. A build-up of creosote can result in an increased risk of chimney fires.

A high-temperature paint can make the firebox look uniformly black.

Closing your damper helps prevent heat loss in the winter.

Brick repairs, brick work.
Replacing broken bricks, repairing damaged areas.

Here we build a wall in New Edinburgh with more than 500 oversize bricks, each weighing 10 lbs instead of the usual 3 lbs. The wall was structurally connected to the building, but otherwise free-standing. Every third row has special wire reinforcement running the length of the wall.

Stone, Real and Cultured
From retaining walls to walkways to weeping tile systems, to building stone stairways, to patios. Using quarried stone, and manufactured interlocking and patio stones.

Here we look down a set of stone steps to flagstone walkways, a site where we've also built stone retaining walls.

Sidewalk: Coloured Concrete? Curved? Layered?
The repair and improvement of existing walkways and patios.
We'd love to build new for you.
We can help you choose materials, colours, design.

Stairs & Stones & Maintenance
Keeping stones in place requires periodic maintenance.
Here we removed old cement and replaced it.

We can chip and cut stone to fit your repair needs,
or build a new structure.

We also do stone retaining and decorative walls, either dry-stack and mortar-set.

We love working with our stone tools. Is this an old gene at play?

Window Well, Basement Windows
Here we excavated 7' down to the weeping tile drainage system.
The vertical pipe, covered in cloth, rises from a gravel bed at
the weeping tile through gravel to below the window. We then cut a hole for a window.

Hot Tub or Shed Slab
Need a very flat, extra strong, slab on a deep base for a hot-tub?
Fibre-strands can be added to the concrete for greater strength.
Want a row of blocks with framing anchor bolts to support walls?
Want a ramp, drain, colour?

Pointing, to match the original colour.
Brick and flue replacement.
Rebuilding, with new brick when needed.
Your cap in aluminum or cement, with drip edges.
We use drop sheets to protect your roof.

Kitchen Counter, Table
Choose a shape, choose your colour. Add style to function.
$200 per square foot, and very labour intensive.
We recommend granite, quartz, or epoxied-quartz - as they're more durable.

The facade or surround partially or completely covered, in Stone, Cultured Stone, or Brick

Mantels of wood, stone, or custom concrete. We have a good friend who does art with wood, as well as custom wood furniture, which can add a special effect.

The RE/MAX Return on Reno Index will tell you that installing or upgrading the fireplace in your home will generate 11% greater return on investment than the average return on other popular renos you might consider.


Structural Work
In this case, we were brought in to cut holes in the foundation's cement block walls and concrete floor and reinforce both of them.. We ended up doing the rest of the beam removal and installation job.

Temporary supports for the joists were erected and the old central support, three wooden beams, was removed. The new steel I-Beam carries the joists, and stands on welded jackposts on reinforced concrete footings. Each end of the I-Beam rests in reinforced holes in the basement's concrete block walls.
We only do such projects with building permits.


Plans and Permits
Hire an engineer to prepare a plan, then get a permit, then get your masonry quotes, as the contractors will know exactly what you need done, and their bids will be more comparable.

The site will be inspected by the City, which acts to protect you.
The rule of thumb is repairs don't need permits, structural and otherwise important changes do.

Building Permits for smaller renovation projects are usually handled by the City of Ottawa in 5 working days, and cost a minimum of $80, or $5 for every $1000 of renovations, whichever is greater.

Click here to visit the City of Ottawa's central page for Building Permits.

  Interior Floor
  Need to level or replace an indoor
  floor as a base for another layer?

  Would you like a special effect?
  Coloured concrete, an acid-stain?

  Do you need to fill in around
  pipes, or need new footings?

  The Scarifier, left, grinds off paint
  with carbide pegs.

Replacing Brick Window Sills
Brick window sills need constant watching for fine cracks in the mortar.

A brick sill was replaced here with a stronger, rock-faced, concrete sill.
The precast sill has a drip-edge to keep water from the wall below.
Sills with fewer pieces, with stronger joints, make them better than brick sills.


Using tools, like our videoscope that connects via wi-fi to our smart phone for hard-to-see places, we can do a variety of masonry assessments.

You can put our knowledge to work for you, examining small problems before they become big ones, or in helping you with the big ones.


This page last modified: March 19 2011