Stonework Repairs - Options?

I'm about to get quotes for repairing/replacing crumbling sandstone blocks in the front of our house and I don't want to sound totally clueless. The front half inch or so has worn away, so what might the options be? Would it be possible to somehow patch these over, or is it necessay to dig the whole blocks out and replace them?

There are about 10 problem blocks and I'm worried what I might get stung for, if anybody has any clue what sort of sum might be involved.


  • You need to think very carefully about whether these actually need replacing or not. In most cases the answer is no

    Most delaminated or friable blocks can be left or repaired with limited lime repointing, it is rare if damage requires complete replacement or re-facing of the stone - but whatever you do, don't let anyone use a cement render type repair

    Also, check for the cause of the defects, as water runnoff or dampness, or defective (or incorrect) pointing is often to blame

    As for costs, get comparable quotes from proper masons or experienced people - not normally general builders
  • edited 31 January 2011 at 9:52PM
    frank.hopperfrank.hopper Forumite
    208 Posts
    edited 31 January 2011 at 9:52PM
    Don't fall for the old linostone trick. :eek:
  • wdw2003wdw2003 Forumite
    235 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks folks. iamcornholio, when you say limited lime repointing, would that work for the whole face of the blocks? They're about 2 feet wide and 6 or 8 inches high and the whole face has basically crumbled away. They're on the two courses nearest the ground, which maybe suggests damp coming from there. I don't know how that could be remedied.
  • Lime repointing would be the perimeter joints and any large cracks or fissures - its just to keep water out of the stone and let it run down the face. You don't really want any large patch of anything smudged over the face of the stone as this will accelerate the deterioration and will just fall off after a year or two.

    It may be possible to do some work to the ground around the building to make it less damp right by the wall, which will in turn help relieve the wall problem, or it may be another 50 years or so before the stone needs some work

    But ask your mason, he will have seen it all before and will be able to advise better on the local problem
  • limestone/lime/marble feature stone. will not run, and can be coloured to match. Not a dIY job i think.
  • stone7stone7 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    You have 3 options.

    1. Cut out defective units and replace.... expensive for both labour and materials.

    2. Cut back face of units and indent new face only..... still expensive, but a marginal saving from option 1.

    3. Cut back face of units and restore using a suitable repair mortar from Keim or Remmers..... relatively cheap and undistinguishable from natursal stone when done properly.

    I used to work for a firm at Bankhead Drive, Sighthill who specialised in masonry restoration. I'll try to find out if they are still there.
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