Brick is beautiful and durable. In fact, most brick work can last a very long time. When it finally does need some repair work, it will be quite obvious. Cracks, chipped corners, and even the presence of weeds poking through warrants attention. So, how do you fix it? Can you do it yourself and save some cash? What does it cost anyway to have a professional bricklayer or mason fix brick work? The answers to these questions and more follow.
DIY Brick Work? Is It Doable?
If you are talking about the brick work on your brick home or brick foundation or brick retaining wall, then no, you cannot DIY this. It requires a master mason’s touch and a whole lot of grout, not to mention the fact that vertical brick structures heavily rely on each layer below them to remain vertical. If you pull out the bad bricks and attempt to replace them, guess what happens? You get a tumble down effect of bricks cracking and falling until you are standing there staring into your house or through your garden wall.
On the other hand, if you are talking about brick driveways, brick walkways, brick porches, or brick patios, then yes, you could DIY that. The bricks do not rely on the weight of the bricks on either side of them, so pulling this or that brick loose from a horizontal/flat structure will not cause more damage. The cost to do these brick work repairs and jobs depends on the type of brick you have or the type of brick you choose, and whether or not you are going to lay a layer of cement underneath to hold things in place.
The bricks are the least of your cost, and if you only have to replace twenty of them, you can expect to pay about $10-$60 for these bricks. The concrete is another $10-$20 per bag, plus rental of the equipment to mix the concrete and pave it flat underneath is around another $50, roughly. If you do a patch job on your own, it will run around $200-$1,000, depending on the number of bricks and bags of concrete you need, and the type of bricks and concrete you use.
The Costs And Benefits Of Hiring A Professional
Sure, it is expensive to hire a contractor, but that is true of any home improvement, home repair, or home remodeling project. The difference between DIY and a contractor, however, is that you know the job is done correctly and it will last. Additionally, the brick mason or bricklayer knows exactly how to address structural issues and damaged brick in vertical structures, such as your home or a retaining wall. You will never pay twice to fix and re-fix these types of jobs because the pros do not make the same mistakes as amateurs.
That said, depending on the nature and seriousness of your brick work repair needs, it can cost as little as $300 to as much as $10,000 or more. Hopefully, all you really need is a few hundred dollars’ worth of work, because that is reasonable and easy enough to budget for. If not, your contractor may have some suggestions on how to pay for the job, reduce costs, and/or do the job in chunks so that you can make the money, pay for part of the job, and repeat.
Location Of The Needed Repairs
Obviously, the smaller the area to be repaired, the less expensive the job. Chimneys and short walkways to your front door will cost less than rebuilding the entire north wall of your home or restoring your fifty-foot driveway. This is why it is always important to get a quote from a few contractors to see what the approximate cost of the job will be. Quotes for the same work can vary as much as a few hundred to a few thousand dollars up or down between contractors. If any work is subcontracted out, you may also pay more.