How to Repoint a Wall: Restoring Your Masonry to Perfection

Over time, the mortar joints in a brick or stone wall can deteriorate due to weathering and the effects of time. Repointing, also known as tuckpointing, is a vital maintenance task that can help restore the structural integrity and aesthetics of your masonry. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of repointing a wall, ensuring your masonry looks and performs its best.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you begin repointing, gather the necessary tools and materials:


  1. Cold chisel and hammer
  2. Joint raker
  3. Wire brush
  4. Mortar mix
  5. Mason’s trowel
  6. Pointing trowel
  7. Mortar board
  8. Bucket
  9. Safety glasses
  10. Dust mask
  11. Work gloves


  1. Mortar mix (matching the existing mortar)
  2. Water
  3. Tarp or plastic sheeting
  4. Mortar dye (optional, for color matching)
  5. Masonry sealer (optional)

Step 2: Prepare the Work Area

  1. Start by erecting a tarp or plastic sheeting to protect the area below your work zone from falling debris and mortar splatter.
  2. Safety first: Put on safety glasses, a dust mask, and work gloves to protect yourself from dust and debris.

Step 3: Remove Damaged Mortar

  1. Use a cold chisel and hammer to carefully chip away the deteriorated mortar from the joints. Be gentle to avoid damaging the surrounding bricks or stones.
  2. Clean the joints: After removing the old mortar, use a wire brush and a joint raker to clean out any remaining debris and ensure the joints are clear and free from loose material.

Step 4: Mix the Mortar

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the mortar, or you can prepare a custom mortar mix by combining one part Portland cement, one part hydrated lime, and six parts sand.
  2. Add water gradually and mix until you achieve a consistency similar to peanut butter. The mix should hold its shape but not be too stiff.

Step 5: Apply the New Mortar

  1. Wet the joints: Lightly dampen the cleaned joints with water to ensure proper adhesion of the new mortar.
  2. Using the mason’s trowel, pack the mortar into the joint, working it into the gaps left by the removed mortar.
  3. Smooth and shape: Use a pointing trowel to shape and smooth the mortar, ensuring it’s flush with the surrounding masonry.
  4. Clean up: Before the mortar sets, use a brush to clean any excess mortar from the face of the bricks or stones.

Step 6: Finish and Cure

  1. Match the color: If needed, apply mortar dye to achieve a color that matches the existing mortar. This is especially important for maintaining the wall’s aesthetic.
  2. Allow the mortar to cure: Keep the repointed area damp for several days as the mortar cures. Cover it with a damp cloth or plastic sheeting and mist it with water regularly.

Step 7: Seal the Wall (Optional)

After the mortar has thoroughly cured, you can apply a masonry sealer to protect the repointed joints from moisture and further deterioration. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the sealer application.

Repointing a wall is a rewarding DIY project that can help maintain the beauty and structural integrity of your masonry. By following these steps and taking your time to ensure precision, your repointed wall will not only look great but also stand the test of time. Regular maintenance of your masonry can extend the life of your walls, preventing costly repairs down the road.…

10 Simple Home Improvement Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

10 Simple Home Improvement Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

While substantial home improvements are costly, it’s important to think about how your ideas will increase the value of the property. Nowadays, many homeowners opt to improve their existing homes rather than move to a new one. So, here are 10 simple ideas to make your property better to live in, in a way that can also increase its value. Our lofts guy from Encompass Lofts is always eschewing the benefits of boosting your home’s value before you sell to get maximum bang for your buck.

Therefore, it’s wise to focus on home improvement projects that not only enhance your living experience but also boost your home’s value. But what increases a home’s value?

  1. Kitchen Remodel 
    The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and updating it can greatly increase its value. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update a kitchen is by painting the cabinets. This can give the kitchen a fresh new look without having to replace the entire cabinetry. Updating the backsplash is also a great way to add a pop of colour and personality to the kitchen. 
  2. Redo Your Bathroom
    Replacing an old and outdated toilet with a new one is a simple update that can make the bathroom look more modern. Updating the sink and faucet can also give the bathroom a fresh new look. Installing a new shower head can improve the overall shower experience.
  3. Energy-Efficient Upgrades 
    Improving a home’s energy efficiency can increase its value and appeal to potential buyers. Adding insulation can improve the home’s energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. Sealing air leaks can also improve the home’s energy efficiency. Installing a programmable thermostat can also enhance the home’s energy efficiency.
  4. Spruce Up Your Landscaping 
    Landscaping is a simple and effective way to enhance the exterior of a home. This can include planting flowers, adding shrubs or trees, and creating defined walkways. Adding a new mailbox or giving the old one a fresh coat of paint can instantly boost the home’s curb appeal. 
  5. Invest in Home security 
    Investing in home security not only provides peace of mind but can also increase a home’s value. Simple updates like adding a security system, installing deadbolts, and adding motion-activated lights can make a big difference in deterring potential burglars and protecting your home.
  6. Refinishing Flooring 
    Refinishing hardwood floors can improve their appearance and give the home a more modern look. Replacing old and worn-out carpet with new carpet or hardwood floors can enhance the overall look of the home. Adding area rugs can also add a pop of colour and personality to any room. 
  7. Upgrade Your Lighting
    Adding dimmer switches can provide a more relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Replacing old light fixtures with new ones can also give the home a fresh new look. Adding under-cabinet lighting can also enhance the functionality and look of the kitchen.
  8. Redo Your Paint 
    Choosing the right colours and painting techniques can greatly enhance the look and feel of a room. Neutral colours such as beige or grey are popular choices that can appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.
  9. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living 
    Creating an inviting outdoor space can expand the living area of a home and provide a space for relaxation and entertainment. Simple outdoor living ideas like adding a patio, building a fire pit, and creating a vegetable garden can make a big impact on a home’s value and appeal.
  10. Build Clever Storage Spaces
    Adding shelves to a room can provide a place to display books or decorative items. Installing closet organisers can greatly enhance the functionality of any closet. Adding built-in bookcases can also enhance the look and feel of a room.

In conclusion, home improvement projects can go a long way toward increasing the value of your home. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just improve your living space, these projects can make a big impact without breaking the bank. 

By taking on some of these projects, you can improve your home’s appearance, energy efficiency, functionality, and overall value. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things to make your home truly stand out. With a little effort and investment, you can make your home a more enjoyable and valuable place to live.

10 Expert Home Services Tips To Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home

Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular as technology continues to advance and become more accessible. With the right smart home devices and services, you can transform your home into a modern, automated living space. From thermostats that monitor the temperature of your home to lighting fixtures that adjust to fit any mood, there are so many different ways to make your home smarter. To help get you started, here are 10 expert home services tips to turn your home into a smart home.

1. Invest in a Smart Home Hub: A smart home hub is the core of all your smart devices and connects them together. It allows you to control all of your connected appliances with one app or voice command. You can choose from hubs like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, or Samsung SmartThings depending on what type of products you have in mind for your smart home setup.

2. Add In-wall Switches & Dimmers: Installing in-wall switches and dimmers allows you to control your lights with ease as well as automate certain tasks based on certain conditions (i.e., when the sun sets). You can also program these devices for specific times so that lights automatically come on or off at certain points during the day without you having to manually do it each time.

3. Install Motion Sensors: Motion sensors are great for getting alerts when motion is detected in certain rooms in your house or even when someone is entering an area they shouldn’t be accessing like an office or storage closet. This type of technology also helps save energy by turning off lights when no one is in the room and notifying you if a door or window has been left open unexpectedly.

4. Get Smart Locks: Smart locks make it possible for you know who is entering and leaving your house while also making it easier for visitors to enter without needing keys since they can use their phones instead. Some models even allow remote access so that if someone else needs access while you’re away then they can get it as long as they have permission from the owner first!

5. Install Wi-Fi Enabled Thermostats: Wi-Fi enabled thermostats are great for controlling temperature levels within your house remotely via an app–you don’t even need to be present! This type of device makes it easy for those who travel often but want peace of mind knowing their home will still be comfortable when they return from vacation or business travels abroad

6 Upgrade Your Security System: Security systems are essential for keeping unwanted guests out of our homes and property safe from harm’s reach which is why adding security cameras around vulnerable areas like windows and doors will help add an extra layer of protection against thieves looking for easy targets Add alarms that notify both homeowners and authorities alike whenever motion is sensed outside after dark too!

7 Add Voice Assistants For Convenience & Safety Purposes: Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home can be used not only to play music but also answer questions about weather, news updates, local restaurants etc–all while remaining hands free which is great if ever needed in an emergency situation where both hands might not be available like dialing 911!

8 Automate Your Lighting With A Smart Lightbulb Kit: A complete kit including bulbs plus a compatible hub will allow users to control their lighting with just voice commands — perfect if ever forgetful of turning off lights before leaving! Users can also use apps on their phone or tablet device such as Philips Hue’s ‘Hue Sync’ which will enable dynamic colored scenes across entire rooms depending on moods/personal preferences!

9 Utilize Power Strips For Electronics That Require Constant Power Supply Or USB Accessibility: Most electronics waste energy until turned off by either unplugging them from the wall outlet or using power strips which switch off multiple devices at once with just one button press–saving electricity bills significantly over time! Plus some power strips offer USB accessibility too making it convenient charging phones/tablets without having cords dangling everywhere throughout house/apartment complex!

10 Set Up Video Doorbells For Added Safety And Convenience: Video doorbells provide added security by allowing users see who’s ringing at door directly through their smartphone screen no matter where they are located–perfect if ever expecting packages/visitors during work hours when usually away from residence 🤩 Plus many systems today come with two way audio communication capabilities so homeowners always feel secure while speaking with strangers outside (even if unable open door itself!)