Dear PoP – Brick Pointing and Lasik Surgey Recs

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“Dear PoP,

We live in an old row house in Columbia Heights and need some of our brick repointed. Do you or any of your readers have any good recommendations on a company (or persons) that do this type of work?”


“Dear PoP,

Would you please ask your loyal followers if they would recommend a particular surgeon or center for LASIK or PRK?”

38 Comment

  • Renaissance Development for repointing. They are not cheap, but they do it right. Christina Wilson, the company’s owner, said that her main competitors are Edgar’s Masonry and Bricklands. We also got a quote from Edgar’s – very nice guy – but couldn’t get in touch with anyone from Bricklands.

    • Wanted to add – make sure whoever you hire, especially if it’s not one of the more established repointing companies, uses the right kind of mortar. We saw what concrete did to the brick in our fireplace in the living room and it’s not pretty – you can crumble it barehanded. Not the condition you want for the exterior of your house.

    • How much is “not cheap”? Are we talking $10k, $20k, $5k? ballpark figure?

      • I’m using Bricklands….and have had monumental problems with “staying in touch”. I’ve been rather disappointed with their customer service; still waiting on the actual repointing. If they miss their next start date, I’ll look into Edgar’s or Renaissance.

        I’m looking at $10k-ish for the facade.

      • We live in a two-story rowhouse with a bay front, the kind where the front door and that 1/3 of the house is recessed. I thought I had a square footage estimate but can’t find it. Anyway, the total cost for repointing the entire facade was about $9800. We waited until their low season (January) to have them do the job, so they took 10% off – the full-price cost was just under $11k.

        Ragged Dog – glad to know we got similar numbers. We were really impressed with Renaissance and didn’t look elsewhere afterward, so it’s good to know they were competitive.

        • I think you’ve got the going rate nailed.

        • thanks for passing on the hard number. i’ve got the same style and size house and need to have it repointed as well.

          i havent talked with anyone yet, and didnt have a guess on the costs.

      • I was told $6k for basically one wall of my house that wasn’t acceptable so I hired these guys who repointed the side of my house they could reach with a step ladder for $500 and figure that would last until I decide to do the whole thing.

  • We use a neighborhood guy (he lives right in columbia heights, as do we). He’s very good, inexpensive, and a good guy who will come right over. Call him: Rod Greenaway 202-651-1445. Tell him Al gave you his number.

  • Gotta go with Renaissance Development. Mortar used in old masonry structures is NOT something you purchase at Home Depot. They know what they’re doing and well worth the money.

  • A related question: our 100 year old town house has been painted over several times. Anyone have recommendations on someone that can remove the layers of paint and restore it to plain brick?

    • I would think that all of the repointing companies do this. I saw a house that bricklands repointed that included removing the paint.

  • for LASIC recommendation – TLC Laser Eye Center with Drs. Whitten & Perrault. They’re top notch and most respected & recommended in area. I had it done 5 years ago and have had no complaints.

    • Agreed. Had PRK done with them 6 years ago. Amazing.

    • I also agree. Had it done with Dr. Whitten in January and it was amazing. I’ve had no problems and it was worth every dime.

      • agreed but doc whitten has done mine twice now because the eyes reverted back after the first time. obviously the second time you dont pay for, it was just kinda weird to do it again. but they are all really nice now and it’s been 3 years since my last one and i can see everything!

    • 100% Agree. 2.5 yrs after LASIK with Dr. Whitten and still 20/15 vision. Procedure was very quick and simple. Recovery was very easy. Worth every penny.

    • +1!! Just got LASIK a few weeks ago with Dr. Whitten. Excellent doctor!

  • For LASIK, my wife went to Dr. Clinch at Eye Doctors of Washington, and has basically raved non-stop about the experience ever since.

  • I’ve used both Renaissance and Edgars and had positive experiences with both. Edgar seems to have a larger volume of business, which explains why he may not return calls promptly. Dr wilson knows here stuff and is very responsive. HPRB had a list of contractors that they considered qualified on their website at one time. On that list was: Bricklands, The Shining Brick Company, Pointing Plus, Precision Renovation & Cons., Edgar’s Masonry, TR Sellheim Construction. I think that Renaissance didn’t exist when they published the list many years ago.

  • For Laser surgery, I would recommend Dr. Grewal at GW Medical Faculty Associates. Had it done 4 years ago, and am still very happy.

  • You’d seriously choose a Lasik surgeon based on the views of a random sampling of comments on a real estate blog?

  • My recommendation for Lasik is Dr. Clinch – he was part of the FDA trials that actually originated the procedure and is affiliated with a teaching hospital (which was important to me as I didn’t just want some strip-mall surgeon). I have 20/10 vision now which is better than what’s required for a fighter pilot! 🙂

  • Edgar has done several projects on our house and we’ve been thrilled with the work. We had the interior walls of our basement re-pointed and had the basement curb rebuilt (it had been dug out years earlier and was starting to crumble). Also had him do some exterior touch ups. Can’t recommend Edgar highly enough.

  • By the way, if you ever need to repoint something that’s not critical (not the front of your house), Frager’s sells the correct type of historic mortar. It’s called Virginia Lime Works Mix n Go and I think they have another one for butter joints (the pencil thin brick joints on some houses). It comes in ready to mix sacks.

    If you mess around with it for a few hours, you can get the hang of using mortar pretty easily. It’s just messy and time consuming, but you can save yourself some money.

  • I used Pointing Plus and highly recommend them. Ask for Danny. They can strip old paint, too (and actually prefer doing that to repainting an old brick building). It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely worth it.

  • I know several people who have had problems with Renaissance; really messed up the faces of the stone. Pointing Plus and Edgar’s are better.

  • I had Lasik 5 years ago with Dr. Rajpal at See Clearly Vision in Tysons. Was blind as a bat before, have had 20/20 vision ever since. He also did several of my work colleagues, all of whom had equally good experiences.

  • We used Edgar’s and had a great experience. Money was tight, so he was able to do the parts of our front that really needed repointing and skip the rest. He guarantees his work and his guys stayed on schedule. Many others on our block have used him as well.

    • Yeah, this was one difference we found between Renaissance and Edgar. He was willing to do just a portion of the facade where we were having moisture issues; Christina Wilson strongly recommended doing the entire thing because all of the mortar was in the same condition and we might eventually have problems elsewhere. I was willing to take a chance on doing only part, but my husband wanted to do the whole thing so it was one less thing to worry about in the future.

  • Here’s a related question. How often should brick be re-pointed and how do you know? Our old rowhouse is painted and the mortar doesn’t appear to be crumbling, but because of the paint, I’m not sure how I would tell if it needed to be re-pointed. A little help?

  • oh, and my husband used TLC for Lasik too. He had a great experience, but there are much cheaper options . . .

  • Can highly recommend Pointing Plus. They did the back exterior (entire area)plus a retaining wall of our row house last summer. Excellent job. They matched the mortar perfectly. Great crew. Danny, the owner, was very responsive to all our questions and concerns. The company is environmentally conscientious too.

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