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Bricklaying: Choosing Stone Restoration vs Replacement Brickwork
by
Checkatrade

Sometimes aged brickwork and stone can look beautiful. As the materials become weathered, they begin to display a certain period charm. However, sometimes, things can become decidedly less pretty. In fact, as brickwork and stone start to age, it loses some of its structural soundness. When this happens, homeowners can be left in a tricky situation. Often, the temptation is to knock down the wall and start again, but this can be expensive. Fortunately, there is another option, using a team of brick and stone restoration professionals to help repair the damage and restore the structure to its former glory.

expert stone masonryWhat sort of brick and stone can be repaired?

There is a wide range of brick and stone materials that can be repaired by professionals. Lime-based repair mortars are suitable for older brick and stone structures to help restore them back to their natural finish. According to Samuel Jones of Spartan Restoration, the majority of brick and stone restoration jobs are on older properties. As a result, a lot of his firm’s work focusses on Bath, Portland and York stone.

Samuel told us:

“They are the three main types of stone that are used on period properties. It’s also possible to conduct stucco repairs, but the majority of our work features these stones.”

Why should a homeowner restore a wall and not replace it?

There can be a lot of reasons why homeowners might decide to restore a wall, as opposed to replacing it. According to Samuel Jones, the main reason is cost, he told us:

“It’s often far more cost-effective to repair a wall rather than completely replace it. Still, if you want to get the job finished correctly it’s important to find a competent team to do the task. I’d always recommend finding an experienced team to do the job. Restoration tasks can be difficult and very technical so if you don’t know what you’re doing then it could end up being an issue.”

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Can you restore brick and stone without losing its original charm?

You certainly can! As long as the restoration task is completed by a competent team then there’s no reason you should lose the original charm of your brick or stone. According to Samuel Jones, the key is only to restore the essential parts of the stone, he told us:

“It’s important to only try and restore the necessary parts of the stone. The problem is that some firms will try and restore the whole wall, which takes away some of its original appeal. It’s also essential to use the right material for the job. You need to ensure you’re using products that match with the rest of the material to ensure that the overall appearance of the wall remains the same.”

Is it important to choose an experienced professional in restoration jobs?

stone restorationAs mentioned, it’s so important to choose an experienced professional on restoration jobs to avoid running into problems. According to Samuel Jones, this is the most significant consideration you should make when selecting a brick and stone restoration firm.

Samuel told us:

“In my time in the trade I’ve seen some absolute horror jobs. For the most part, these disasters have been caused by inexperienced firms. Competence, knowledge and experience is an absolute must. Knowing the materials and history of a property is crucial. Nowadays, I see a lot of modern materials being used on period properties, such as cement. This is a massive no as these properties were all built in natural lime, which allows the façade to naturally move and breath.”

How long does it normally take to restore a façade?

No two jobs are the same, but restoring a façade should generally take between a couple of weeks to a few months.

For more information about Spartan Restorations, please visit the company’s Checkatrade Membership profile at https://www.checkatrade.com/SpartanRestoration/

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