- He mentioned that he used to live a couple blocks away in an old house, and how neat these old houses are.
- He mentioned that the old mortar was just lime and sand, which would need replicated to avoid damaging brick BEFORE I asked about what mortars he would use. (The other mason danced around this question, and mentioned something about white mortar)
- He was appalled that we might paint, and said he could make it look good enough to not need paint. (The other mason said we couldn't NOT paint)
- He has enough bricks of the right size, age, and approximate color in his yard RIGHT NOW to do the job. (The other mason wasn't sure where to get them)
Did I mention he doesn't want us to paint?
We had him give us two estimates; one for just structural work so we could paint and one for making it "pretty" with matching brick and mortar.
Structural Work: $600
"Pretty" Work: $1800
(In comparison, the first mason was $400 to $800 for essentially structural work)
I must say... the "pretty" work was much less than I feared it could be. It doesn't include filling the nail holes, as he said that anything he could do would look like filled nail holes, and the holes themselves would be less notice-able.
Now the quandary... perhaps we should not have started this project this summer, but money is tight around here. Due to grad school, less work than usual this summer for me, and the rising cost of fuel and food, we will really have to scrape $1800 up (and credit of any sort is NOT an option). Unfortunately, I don't think we can do the $600 structural fix, and then "go back" and have them do the "pretty" fix. We really do want the natural brick, and I think it will have higher resale value overall...
Vote: Paint or Natural?