Rehabilitating or improving existing mortar joints in any sort of masonry is also known as tuckpointing, and when it is a brick wall or chimney, it is referred to as brick tuckpointing. While it may be an essential repair when mortar begins to crumble or fade, it can also be decorative and purely esthetic to add color or enhance brickwork.
When done for functional reasons, it improves the waterproof nature of brickwork and enhances its overall strength. It can boost the life span by decades and is worth the investment.
Brick tuckpointing: 20 sq. ft. wall, removal of existing tuckpointing, prep work.
|Labor||$50 to $200 per day|
Portland cement, lime, caulk, and decorative treatments
|Decorative work averages $10 per square foot, while Portland cement is 15% less, on average|
|Repairs||$3 to $10 per square foot|
Other considerations and costs
- Generally, the total cost of brick tuckpointing is divided 50/50 between labor and materials. However, when it is in a difficult spot to reach, contractors may increase labor costs substantially
- Waterproofing is an added option that can boost the total cost of the project by up to $15 per square foot
- Fresh mortar is not impervious to freeze and thaw cycles, so plan on doing the work in the early autumn or late spring
- Modern cement mortar is not functional on top of the lime-based mortar and cannot be used in this way. Contractors must match the materials
- Many homeowners want a tidy application of caulk around windows and doors, which is usually done by a separate painting contractor. This comes at an average price of $20 to $35 per hour
- Brick tuckpointing is not a DIY project. First and foremost, it requires incredibly expensive gear that even some contractors do not own. Dedicated masonry experts will have the grinding tools necessary to reach the deepest areas of mortar and eliminate it quickly. Many “handymen” offer this service but will spend hours with a hammer and chisel to remove it. It can have a tremendous impact on the overall price, especially if being billed for labor by the day.
- Additionally, some of the esthetic applications of tuckpointing require costly diamond blades, specialized cleansing agents, and more.
- Lastly, a great deal of tuckpointing is done in a hazardous location or one that is difficult to reach. The average DIY enthusiast should never attempt such work as they will not have the skillset, tools, or knowledge to do the job properly, safely, and effectively.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.