Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: I purchased an older stucco home that's never been painted. It's got some cracks in the stucco. Most range in width from 1/4 to 3/8-inch wide. The cracks are not getting any bigger and a structural engineer said that all is well and the cracking will not continue. What's the best way to […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Rick Castelli is doing some remodeling in his Falls Church, VA home. Let him give you the background about the masonry opening. "We have a 1947 Cape Cod with masonry walls.  The picture shows the old rear exterior wall where a previous owner removed a back door and window in the kitchen to open up into […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Troy McWhirter owns a townhouse in Ashburn VA. He's perplexed about what might be under the steps that lead up to his front door. Here's what he sent me: "I own a 1999 Toll Brothers townhouse with a brick second level walk up to front door. I want to know what is under those stairs? I […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Threasa Brown lives in an Irving, Texas neighborhood that has a perplexing mystery. Many houses have one sole gold brick in the front wall. Here's what Threasa says: "Most of the houses (built in the 1970's) in our neighborhood (including ours) has a single gold brick on the front exterior wall by the porch. I have […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Chad Ewald, who lives in Stillwater, MN - a place mentioned in  Roger Stelljes' Deadly Stillwater book, has paint pigment stains on his brick. Great read by the way! Here's what Chad sent me: "How do I remove paint from brick?  The white medallion elements on my home appear to have bled white paint onto the brick […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Quick Column Summary: How to remove adhesive/thinset from brick fireplace Try adhesive removers Thinset must be chiseled off Danielle Torkensen is a new homeowner in Bloomington, California. She inherited a mess where the previous homeowner, well let her tell you: "I am a recent new homeowner & the previous owners messed up our brick fireplace.  […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Quick Column Summary: Brick walls leak in heavy rain Can I drill weep holes into brick Do not drill bricks Coat bricks to stop water infiltration Sara, who lives in Elgin, IL, has an issue that plagues hundreds of thousands of homeowners. Let her tell you all about the water that runs down her basement […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Quick Column Summary: Brick steps falling apart Can bricks be reused Why all brick are not the same Reuse the brick with special mortar Raimond Cheung was working on his brick steps at his house in Rego Park, NY and got stumped. Here's his question: "My old brick step is falling apart.  I took a few […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Quick Column Summary: BBQ brick type Will pavers work Inferior brick will crack Links to columns on fire brick and brick bbq David from Longford, Ireland, wrote me with a fascinating question about building an outdoor barbeque. He's wondering about the correct brick to use. "I'm building a DIY bbq and need around 40-50 bricks. I was […]

READ THE ANSWER »

Quick Column Summary: Cut an arch in a doorway framed in brick Creating Arched Openings Make arched form to hold brick in place Steve Clake, who lives in England, emailed me on May 26, 2014 with this: "Tim, I would like to make an opening for a new door and round off the corners to […]

READ THE ANSWER »

SPONSORS /