Before tuckpointing

Before tuckpointing

The next step down the road to getting our basement livable is repointing the brick walls. 120 years of water damage, bad patching, paint, and neglect had left the brick in bad shape. Large portions of the walls had been parged with mortar or concrete, which can trap water in the brick rather than allowing it to dry. We started by chipping off the parging. Some of it was so loose and brittle we could snap chunks off with our bare hands, while other sections came off only reluctantly with a hammer and chisel. About the time I got my rotary hammer back from a friend, I decided we just needed to hire out the job to some professional tuck pointers.

After hammer and chisel

After hammer and chisel

We got a couple of quotes, but wound up settling on Tuckpointing Masonry Systems, who Dean had used and recommended. They came in with a crew and after two days of dust and noise, the basement looked amazing. They ground out all of the mortar below grade and completely repointed it. Above grade they knocked out the loose material and spot-tuckpointed where it was needed.

After tuckpointing

After tuckpointing

The other thing we had them do was to rebuild the sills on the front bay windows. The bay windows are taller than the other windows in the basement, extending down to ground level, which makes them susceptible to water coming in. To prevent this, the tuck pointers installed new concrete sills with flashing. The next step is to re-frame the two angled windows in the bay, since they currently don’t have lintels.

Rebuilt bay windows

Rebuilt bay windows

I’ve requested quotes on new windows and asked Percy, our electrician, to come over and give us a quote on new electrical in the basement, including lights, outlets, and switches. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but once all of that is done we start breaking up the floor!

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2 Responses to Basement Tuckpointing

  1. alex says:

    How much did you end up spending on this? We’ve been following you for a couple of years. We bought a two flat and ended up getting a lot of the work done by “professionals”.

  2. Matt says:

    Including the rebuilt front windows, the basement tuckpointing was about three grand.

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