Read reviews before you hire

Read homeowner reviews and get informed before you hire.
Share your stories to help us keep contractors accountable.

Seventy-six per cent of Canadians say their purchase decisions are influenced by online reviews

While only twenty-five per cent ever check reviews when hiring home contractors

HOMESTARS - Purchasing Survey

We recently surveyed Canadians nationally and found that even though online reviews were influencing purchasing decisions in general, they were not always being consulted when hiring home service professionals. Despite the fact that home improvement can cost thousands of dollars and is also an on-going investment in the largest single asset of most Canadians, a staggering seventy-five per cent admitted to never checking online reviews before hiring home improvement professionals. Surprisingly, only four per cent of Canadians always use reviews when hiring a contractor.

People are influenced by online reviews – in fact, 68 per cent had changed their mind on buying a product or service based on a review they had read.  Regarding trust, two-thirds feel online reviews are either “somewhat” or “very” trustworthy, but there is lingering doubt among the remaining one-third of Canadians about whether reviews are real. So, here are some tips on how to detect a fraudulent review:

  • Look for details about the work done and their experience with the company. Names, photos and detailed descriptions are indicative of an authentic review.
  • Do an online search of the contractor’s name to learn more about them.
  • Some websites flag reviews that seem suspicious. Check recent reviews for flags or reasons why a review was removed.
  • If several reviews are written too similarly, it may be the same person with different usernames.
  • If the writer has reviewed more than one company, it usually signals an authentic reviewer writing about different jobs done in their home.

Editor’s Note: Survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys in April 2015, with responses from 1,004 Canadian adults.

Full release here.


  •    Mar 18, 2015
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Insulation 101

Insulation affects your energy bills and comfort levels year-round. Alex Schuts from Insta-Insulation has provided the basics every homeowner should know when it comes to insulating their home.



Most important areas to insulate:

1) The basement

WHY? Your appliances, like your furnace and water heater generate heat to the rest of your home. The goal here is to keep that heat captured so it can work its way upwards, making your house more comfortable.

  • Many basements are insulated with blanket insulation which was minimum code 25 years ago. New code requires basements to be fully insulated, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat your home.
  • Energy efficiency increases 25 per cent by putting in a better, properly insulated system.


  • A 1200 sq ft basement typically costs $4000-4500 to insulate with spray foam insulation.

2) The attic

WHY? Most homes do not have enough attic insulation. There are a couple methods for increasing your attic’s insulation:

  • Blowing cellulose or fibreglass over your existing insulation
  • Removing all the existing insulation and air sealing the entire attic, preventing all moisture from entering. A cellulose or fibreglass layer is then blown over top of that.
  • In both cases it’s very important to maintain ventilation. Your soffits must be open so fresh air is introduced into your attic and then exhausted out through your roof vents.


  • The average insulation upgrade for an attic (not including spray foam) costs between 1.25-1.50 a square ft. depending on the degree of difficulty.
  • This includes adding moore vents and the actual upgrade of insulation with cellulose or fibre glass.
  • An attic insulation upgrade typically yields a 20-25 per cent reduction in energy bills. This could be increased by doing a lot of air sealing in your attic as well.

4 Signs your house lacks insulation:

  1. You aren’t comfortable in your home – it’s either too hot or cold.
  2. Your energy bills are high.
  3. Moisture and mold – moisture in the walls feeds on the drywall and wood, causing mold.
  4. The snow on the roof of your house melts away quickly.
  •    Feb 13, 2015
  •   1 Comment
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Forget long-stem roses and chocolates!

Get your Valentine something they’ll appreciate year-round. Here are some truly thoughtful and creative gift ideas for your sweetheart!

1. Handyman Services: Kill the honey-do list.
friendly handyman in new house

2. Junk Removal: What’s more romantic then giving up something for the one you love?

Box of unwanted stuff close up

3. Closet Organization: Take care of something you’ve been planning to do every weekend for the last five years.
modern closet 3d rendering

4. A Hot Tub: This is actually pretty romantic, especially if it helps joint and muscle pain.
Man having massage in  hot tub spa.

  •    Feb 2, 2015
  • Posted in Best of Awards

  • Posted by Andrea O

Best of 2014 Winners

We have travelled across Canada to award the country’s best home improvement companies. Tonight we are wrapping up awards season in Toronto. This is our seventh year awarding contractors who have done outstanding work, based on homeowner reviews.

Check out the winners in your region!

Toronto’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
A-Line General Contractors (Roofing Services)
A&F Duct Cleaning
A1 Quality Chimney Cleaning & Repair
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
Ac Appliance Repair
AC Electrical Contractors Ltd.
AccuServ Heating and Air Conditioning
Advanced Plumbing
Albvision Windows and Doors
All Canadian Self Storage
All County Aluminum
AllMax Home Inspection
Amazing Results
Ambia Windows and Doors Inc.
AMI Repair Service Inc
AquaDry Technologies
Arby Cartage
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Avenue Road Masonry
Beaver Brothers Decks inc.
Big Ben’s Junk Removal
Black Forest Woodworking
Bravehart Building Design & Build
Brighten Life Construction Cleaning Inc.
Bromley Contracting Inc Co Mr Stucco
Button’s Heating Inc.
Canadian Roofing Company Ltd.
Capps Duct Cleaning Services Inc
Captain Electric
Cargo Cabbie Professional Movers
Carpet Selections
Choice Leather Furniture
City 1 Roof Works
Clarke Basement Systems
Clean Cut Design & Build Inc.
Clean Cut Painting and Decorating Corp.
ColourWorks Painting
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Cosmopolitan Construction
Crowning Touch Trim
Damski Masonry
Dan The Drawer Man
Daryl Johnson Masonry
David Audio & Video Installations
David R. Smith Design
Davis & Davis Renovations
Derek’s Tree Service INC
DMS Home Services
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Double Tree Landscaping Inc.
DrainRooter Plumbing
Drape Master
Dufferin Iron & Railings
Easy Access Garage Doors
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
Elite Designed Concrete Inc.
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Eureka Assembly & Installation Inc.
Expert Crown Moulding
ExpressRooter Plumbing
Falco Landscape Design
Family Comfort
FFR Contracting
Fine Finishes Custom Design Solutions
Firemen Movers
First Choice Fence
Five Star Moulding Company
Floors Direct North
Foam Comfort Inc.
ForeverStoneDesign Inc.
Fortress Windows & Doors
Fujitech Technologies Inc.
Gardens in the City Inc.
Gas Fireplace Services & Repairs Inc.
Grand Alarms
Green Maple Home Renovations
Green Valley Irrigation Ltd.
Hall Developments
HotWire Electric-All 416-553-5533
IKEA Furniture Assembly Service
IKEA Kitchen Installation
Inch By Inch Inspections, Mold Detection and Removal
Infinity Gutter
Integrity Contracting
Invision Hardwood & Decor
Janice Lindsay – Pink, Colour + Design
Junk It!
Just Deck It
Kasa Bella
Kris’s Painting – Kris the painter
Lampert Renovations & Bathliners
Landscape Toronto
Lighting Innovation & Design Inc.
Lindy Consulting Limited, Architect
Locksmith Care
LS Kitchen Specialist
Lusso Glass
M Scott Home Improvements
M3 Design Group
Maple Carpet Care Ltd
Maple Window & Eaves Cleaning Inc.
Maret’s Quality Home Cleaning
Master Drain & Water Works 416-910-3599
Matthew Tormey Design and Woodworking
McDermott Plastering
Mega City Roofing Inc
Metro Chimney Inc
Mike’s Renovations
Millard Bautista Designs
Milorad Tiling
Mister Plumber
Mr Rooter Plumbing
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Mr. Handyman of Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Markham
Multiple Choice Flooring
Nanique Interiors
New Century Maids
NewRidge Refinishing Group
nighthawk chimney sweep & service
NK Windows and Eaves
Nu-Site Contractors Ltd
Oakville Kitchen Designers
Ontario Electronics Service
Open Sesame
Otto’s Masonry
Paint Core Finishes
PC Service On Site
Perfecto Painting & Renovation
Pest Solution Services – Bed Bugs Specialist
Potlight Expert
Pretty Handy Guy
Pro Appliance Ltd.
Pro Concrete & Paving Ltd
Pro-Land Landscape Construction Inc
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
Quick Bins Disposal Canada Inc.
Raywal Cabinets
Reach Restoration, Inc.
Red Robin Masonry
Reliable Home Comfort
Restoration 1 Toronto West & Etobicoke
Rileys Tree Services Inc.
RLC Electric
Roadrunner Bins Inc
Rockwell Masonry
Rovimat Construction Ltd
SafeTech Alarm Systems and Video Surveillance
Scott’s Painting Services
Skilled Taper
Sky – Blinds & Shades
SKY Kitchen Cabinets Ltd
Skywire Security and Surveillance
Smith Metal Works
snap pest control
So Green Canada (Landscape design / Build)
Solutions Electrical
Sonoma Contracting
Sosna Inc
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
Star Tech Stucco
Straight Up Masonry
Techno Kitchen Refacing
Templar Mould / Asbestos Analysis and Removal
The Appliance Guy
The Chimney Company Inc.
The Custom Deck Company
The drapery shop
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
The Expert Touch Interiors
The Floor Shop
The Home Cleaning Team
The Home Improvement People
The Reno Coach
The Tub Guys
TJ. Fine Upholstering
Toronto Decks and Fence by BinSolutions
Toronto Home Theater
Toronto Tree Removal
Trevor’s Drywall and Taping Services
Turnbull Masonry
Unique Custom Moldings and Trim
Valentini Kitchens
Victorious Carpet Installation & Repair Services
Victory Locks Ltd
Vorob Craft Cabinetry
Watchtower Interiors Inc.
Well Done BBQs
Wonder Woods Flooring
Wood Specialties
Zaid Moving

Peel/Halton/Wentworth’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Ac Appliance Repair
Action Appliance Sales & Service Inc.
Amazing Results
Arby Cartage
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Babus Electric
Beverley Hills Home Improvements
c-clear window cleaning
City 1 Roof Works
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
Family Comfort
Firemen Movers
Five Star Moulding Company
Green Maple Home Renovations
Heart’s Content Gardens
Home-Pro Electric Inc
Innovative Contracting & Maintenance
Milton Hardwood Floors
Mr Rooter of the Golden Horseshoe
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Natik Painting
New Century Maids
New Steel Roofers
NewRidge Refinishing Group
Oakville Kitchen Designers
On The Level Home Renos
Orsan Air Services
Pop-A-Lock of Halton
Potlight Expert
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
Purisoft Water Solutions
Rankin Home Inspection
rapid pest control
Raywal Cabinets
RCC Waterproofing
Real Home Inspections Ontario
Rightway Roofing
Rockwell Masonry
Studio Linea Home Staging and Redesign
Techno Kitchen Refacing
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
The Expert Touch Interiors
True North Home Services
What Wood U Like
Zen Construction

Durham’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
All-Pro Landscaping & Carpentry Ltd.
AllMax Home Inspection
Apex Glass & Mirror
Bath Revival
Button’s Heating Inc.
Captain Electric
Clarke Basement Systems
Complete Window Decor
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Crowning Touch Trim
Distinctive Designs Landscaping
Double Diamond Duct Cleaning
Durham Plumbing
Emmons Electric
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Fyfe’s Roofing
Ideal Stairs
Infinity Gutter
Kitchen Court
MacLeans Custom Kitchens
Mason Restoration
MV Drywall
Natural Choice Heating & Cooling
NewRidge Refinishing Group
Prestige Carpet Cleaning
Rand Electric
Reliable Home Comfort
Restoration 1 Durham
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
Taylor Landscape Construction
The Cutting Edge Roofing
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
True North Eavestroughing
TWG Landscaping & Property Maintenance Inc.

Eastern Ontario’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

ABC Appliance Service
Appliance Surgeons
Bats Canada Inc
Best Price Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Blu Dot Interiors
Boiserie Sebo Woodwork
Bronson Johnson Seamless Eavestroughs
Bulgari Paving
Canadian Water Inspection Services
Capital Junk
Custom Roofing Ltd.
Danco Electrical Services Ltd
Dave Marcotte Foundations
Dr. Clean Air
Eaves Experts Ottawa
Fireplace West
Hills & Valley Water Systems
J. Lamarche Landscaping
Krumpers Solar Blinds
Mike Shurben Heating Ltd.
Old World Craftsmanship
Penta Plumbing
Probitas Plumbing
Rainsoft of Ottawa -Eternally Pure Water Systems
Reliable Home Environment
Remember Me Roofing Inc.
Ring Electric
Safari Plumbing … The White Glove Plumber(TM)
Saley’s Custom Woodworking
Salter Electric
Sarah Kidder Design
sunrise roofing
Verdun Doors & Windows

Calgary’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

24/7 Electric
A Better Way Plumbing Ltd.
A T A Appliance Services
Abacus Landscaping Ltd
above all overhead doors ltd
Academy Ceramic Tile
Alpine Services
Appliance Service Centre
Attic Pros Insulation Services
Blackstone Tub Refinishers
Boulevard Exteriors
Bull Tough Flooring Ltd
Calgary Carpet Restretch
Copper Brook
Day & Knight Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Diamond Home Inspection
Distinct Heating & Cooling
Eisses Windows
Ekko Cabinetry
Elite Trade Painting (Calgary)
Enviro Surface Removers Inc
EuroStar windows and doors INC.
Frontline Home Inspections
Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning
Great Dane Electric
Handyman Connection Calgary
Hatton’s Hardwood Floors Inc
Helene’s Siding Inc.
Highland Moving & Storage Ltd. | Starline Overseas Moving
Hubbard Roofing & Exteriors Inc.
Impact Zone
Interiors With Elegance Inc
Jamison Furnace LTD
Johnston Glass Ltd
Lakeview Floors
Laporte Custom Stone Inc.
Marvellous Movers Ltd.
MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd.
Mega Roofing & Exteriors Inc
MoldPro inc.
Nu-Way Floor Fashions Ltd
Reliance Home Comfort
Rodex Enterprises Corp.
Roof Right Solutions
SIS Supply Install Services
Stampede Overhead Doors Ltd.
Sterling Exteriors Inc.
Stone Consulting Group Inc.
Strand Home Inspections Inc
Sundeck Solutions Inc.
The Gutter Patrol
The Honest Electrician Inc.
The Mudd Monkey
The Pine Nuts Woodworking and Renovations Ltd.
Trademark Renovations ltd
United Roofing
United Roofing
Vacuum Specialists
WallNuts (Formerly ValuePro)
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
Western Granite & Stone Ltd
Williams HVAC

Vancouver’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

911 Restoration of Vancouver
A & Wes Tile
A Glass Act Window Cleaners & Building Maintenance Ltd.
Acme Home Inspections
Adanac Roofing and Gutters
Alan O’Rourke Construction
Andy’s Appliance & Refrigeration
Benchmark Painting Ltd.
Bulldawg drywall
Busy Boys Roofing Ltd
Cedar Coast Fence Ltd
Celsky Vinyl Sundecks & Railings
Centra Windows, Exteriors, Restorations – Okanagan
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
Coast Mountain Roof Ltd.
Crucial Roof Services Ltd
Delfabulous Home Improvements Inc.
design happens
Eclipse Painting and Decorating
Electra Technologies
EuroLine Windows Inc
GVA Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Hot Electric
Imagine Maintenance Ltd.
J. Murphy’s Contracting
Joyce Heating Service Ltd
Kitchen Makeovers
Landmark Roofing Ltd
Mcloughlin Construction Ltd
Meadow Ridge Plumbing & Gas
Miller Plumbing and Drainage Ltd.
Millwall Roofing Ltd
Modus Enterprises
Monkey Tree Services
Networx Windows, Doors, Exteriors
Newtech Appliance Repair & Refrigeration
North Shore Stone Works
Nu-Phase Electric Ltd
Pest Maven
Pure Luxe Painting
Quality One Home Services
Raincity moving and storage Ltd.
Sean Moss Home and Mold Inspections
Silverback Electric
Sunrise Painting & Stucco Ltd
Super Rooter
THE Home Inspection Co
Transformations Landscaping
Triple R Construction Inc.
Westmount Heating

Edmonton’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Acclaimed! Heating, Cooling & Furnace Cleaning
Amsteam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Budget Blinds Edmonton & St. Albert
Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd
Capitall Exterior Solutions / Window and Door Clearance Centre
Clean air solutions Ltd.
Dan’s Carpet & Upholstery CleaningEdmonton
Do It Right Heating & AC LTD.
Fair and Square Roofing Inc
Generation Contracting Inc
Golden West Exteriors
Green Thumb Landscaping
GreenFox Windows & Doors
Harmcor Plumbing & Heating Ltd
Heights Residential
Ironclad Mechanical
JTL Alarm & Surveillance
Nomad Roofing
Picture Perfect Flooring
Recoveryworx Roofing
REI – Real Estate Inspections
River Valley Final Grading
Robart Electrical Services Ltd
Ryalz Tree Care Inc

A big congratulations to all the winners! We will continue announcing this year’s Best of recipients as we hand out the awards.

  •    Jan 20, 2015
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

A message to owners of home improvement businesses:


Our HomeStars Best of Awards (BOA) were launched seven years ago to recognize top-rated companies that we believe are the most trustworthy and have been recognized for great work by validated homeowners. We know that people take note of the Best of Awards badge and that it informs their hiring decisions. As this award has grown, HomeStars continues to improve the process by which we select our winners.

Recent events surrounding the bankruptcy of a previous BOA winner has triggered some changes to how we decide who wins. We have implemented new, more rigorous checks to ensure authenticity of reviews. As a result of these new checks, we are confident the BOA winners for 2014 will be our most trustworthy group of winners yet. In addition, we have applied these new checks to previous year winners and in rare cases the we have taken the difficult step of revoking the award from a few BOA winners from previous years.

We will not be communicating our enhanced checks to anyone. We will also be rolling out further changes to our review moderation processes later this year, as these learnings will inform all activities on the site.

Every year our team and I get contacted by companies asking why they did not win. We will not answer these questions. HomeStars has a rigorous process for validating reviews, and that is not something shared with anyone, including most of our own employees.

In closing, the Best of Award is the HomeStars “seal of approval”. As Founder of the company, my first priority is that we only select winners we believe have earned it. We also reserve the right to revoke past awards at any time, without notice, if we suspect fraudulent activity. We want to ensure all winners serve each homeowner to the best of their ability and in the most professional way possible.

I wish you and your business a prosperous 2015.

Nancy Peterson
Founder & CEO

  •    Jan 9, 2015
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Update to Assisted Reviews (aka Add a Review) 

Last week, HomeStars was referenced in Toronto media after a home renovation company (GarCon Building Group) went bankrupt. Concerns were raised about the validity of some of this company’s reviews on HomeStars, in particular those published using our assisted review tool.

Assisted reviews are designed to help contractors get homeowner reviews for the work they’ve completed. Assisted reviews account for eight per cent of the reviews on our site.

We have listened to your feedback and made changes, such as flagging all assisted reviews across the site. The flag is a green icon that reads “Assisted Review” and when it is clicked, this explanation appears:

Pasted image at 2015_01_09 11_07 AM

We’re working hard to ensure the integrity of reviews on HomeStars by continuing to invest in automated fraud-detection systems. Our review team carefully reads every review to verify its authenticity before it is published. We also listen to members of our community to help us remove suspicious reviews.

To learn more about how we check reviews please visit the following:

Review Guidelines

Review Approval Process

Reading reviews is part of the research process, but we urge homeowners to check references diligently before they hire. Hiring well will save you time and money and deliver the best results.

Homeowner inquires can be sent to and media inquires can be sent to

  •    Dec 23, 2014
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Happy Holidays from HomeStars


HomeStars would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday.

Our website will be shutdown for maintenance December 27th and 28th. Over the holiday season our offices will be closed from December 24th – January 2nd. During this time there may be a delay in review moderation and email response times.

We thank you for a wonderful 2014 and look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!

  •    Dec 2, 2014
  • Posted in What's New!

  • Posted by Andrea O

Best of 2014 – Are you one of the best?

As we approach the holiday season and the end of the year, it signifies another annual time of celebration, the HomeStars Inc. Best of Awards season!!!

Each year, hundreds of companies across Canada are celebrated as HomeStars’s Best and we are excited that the announcements of who was the best in 2014 are just around the corner.

Qualification for the 2014 Best of Awards is based on the following criteria:

A company must have received a minimum of five reviews between January 1st – December 31st, 2014. 

Geographic winners are based on the location of the homeowner (where the work was done), not on the location of the company.

Winners are determined based on our proprietary ‘Best of Award’ Reputation Rank algorithm, which uses a number of different factors (more than 15) each uniquely weighted.  It’s more than simply number of reviews and the score.

NOTE:  Category search results pages are in no way connected to the Best of Awards.


In order to drive a higher level in trust and value in our Best of Awards we will be recognizing our Best of Companies for all the services they provide versus for one specific category.  The goal of our Best of Awards is to provide homeowners with an indication of which companies are the best, and this change gets us closer to doing that.

After December 15th, 2014 assisted reviews WILL NOT COUNT towards the Best of 2014 calculation.  Only approved reviews added organically (directly to the site) by homeowners will be counted after this date until the deadline on December 31st at midnight PST.

We will announce the winners the week of January 19th, 2015. Best of Awards event info for the winners across Canada will follow shortly after that.

As always, if you have any Best of questions, please contact us at

Happy Best of Awards Season and good luck to all!

The One of a Kind Show 2014 – Want to Go?

If you’ve got a long list of people to buy gifts for this December but aren’t in the mood for the mall or online shopping, the One of a Kind Show is for you! It’s the largest consumer craft show in North America, featuring the works of over 800 exhibitors.

The One of a Kind Show runs until Sunday, December 7 and HomeStars is giving away tickets!


This is a great place to purchase unique and thoughtful gifts. While the winter edition of the One of a Kind Show is typically considered a Christmas show, most of the items for sale aren’t holiday themed. Though there are splashes of Christmas decorations at the show most items can be used year round and they truly vary.

Here are a few eye-catching exhibits from the show:




Sylvain Tremblay

La Glasserie

La Glasserie

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

All through the House

All through the House

foutu tissu

foutu tissu

Pheylonian Bee Works

Pheylonian Bee Works

Tania Gleave

Tania Gleave



Stinson Studios

Stinson Studios

Daniel Pollack Accessories

Daniel Pollack Accessories

  •    Oct 29, 2014
  •   1 Comment
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Tuckpointing 101

Tuckpointing is a trade many people are unfamiliar with until they need it done on their house.

It involves repairing the worn out mortar between the bricks of your house and it is the restoration aspect of the masonry trade. Not every masonry company is specialized in tuckpointing, so you need to make sure you hire someone who is an expert at it in order to get the best results.

Joe Hill from A&A Masonry is a tuckpointing expert, and his speciality is colour matching, a key indicator of whether or not tuckpointing has been done right.  In our latest video he shows us the tell-tale signs you need tuckpointing done and walks us through the steps of the process.

Some signs you need tuckpointing:

  • Deeply recessed mortar joints, meaning 8 to 10 mm past the surface of the bricks
  • Stress cracks are incredibly common — usually above doors and above and below windows
  • Deeps holes, in the mortar

Not getting tuckpointing done on them can lead to:

  • Water entering your home
  • Insects getting inside the house
  • Wasps building nests between the layers of the bricks
  • The face of the brick can pop right off
  • Water sits in the cracks of the bricks and will rot them, this could lead to needing the bricks replaced, which is a lot more costly down the road

Tuckpointing Steps:

1. First the joint is removed. This is the line of mortar between the bricks, it is removed either with a grinder, saw or hammer and chisel.

2. Then a tuckpointing bag (similar to an icing bag you’d use on a cake) is used to fill in the mortar joint.

3. You must then wait for the mortar to set, how long it takes depends on the weather, and how much water the bricks have absorbed over the years. Stone absorbs zero water and takes a lot longer to dry. Clay bricks absorb the moisture quicker unless they’ve been saturated with water for years, which means the setting process could take longer.

4. A finishing tool is then used to shape the joint. Most joints get a concave finish. Other common finishes are v-shaped or flush with the brick.

5. Finally, the bricks are brushed off with a mason’s brush.

Colour Matching

The trickiest part of tuckpointing is matching the colour of the new mortar to the original mortar on the rest of the house. Many factors determine the colour: how deep the mortar is in the wall, how hot it is outside, how long it takes the colour to set (it tends to lighten up). Within a couple weeks you can see the final colour of the mortar and when tuckpointing is done properly it shouldn’t stand out from the rest of the wall. Ask to see the contractor’s portfolio in order to determine his ability to colour match and ask to see houses they’ve done in the neighbourhood – this will be the best indicator of the mason’s skill.

Pricing guide:

  • Get multiple quotes and don’t go with the lowest one
  • 90% of what you are paying for is the skill of the mason as the material cost itself is low
  • The main factor in determining price is access, if you have to put up scaffolding on a three-storey house to get to a small patch on the chimney, it’s going to cost more than a bigger patch on ground level
  • The cost doesn’t go by square footage because a lot can be wrong with one small area of a wall

In this week's newsletter: True Stories and New Promotions!