Nothing like a looming deadline of house guests to entice one to take a (huge) detour from projects that need to be completed
The past couple of weekends were dedicated to a place a guest will never see: the area under the stoop.
(yes, we didn’t think this through)
In all fairness, the work needed to be done – but whether it was more urgent than our bedroom, that’s debatable. In any case, the mortar was all but gone and the bricks were just hanging out there, held together by little more than hope and inertia.
Most stoops are made of a brick base topped by brownstone steps. A decorative brownstone veneer is often applied to the sides so that the whole thing looks like it’s made of stone – but really, it’s just smoke and mirrors. Periodically, the bricks need to be re-pointed, which in our case hadn’t happened in, well, ever. The 120 year mortar was mostly gone.
For some reason (gravity? age? evil unicorns?) there was a lot of brownstone powder on the floor under the stoop, likely from the underside of the steps.
We collected it for later use (mixing it into the cement mix to patch our façade, so that it doesn’t look fake like the terrible stucco jobs in the area).
There was a lot of it. Should we be worried?
Anyway, after the area under the stoop was cleaned up, the hubs set off to re-point all the brick. After 2 long weekends as the Stoop Troll, it now looks like this:
I’m told it’s not hard to do, however it requires a high tolerance for cramped, damp, dark spaces (where you’ll hit your head a lot). As long as you’re cool with that, and use the right cement mix, it should be easy enough to tackle (says the person that had nothing to do with this project).