Over the past couple of years, I have been meaning to do some tuckpointing on my chimney and on a few places on the side of my house. For those who don’t know, tuckpointing is the process whereby the cement cracks in between bricks are patched up in order to avoid any further damage to a home. Unfortunately, my chimney is located right alongside the brick wall beside a very slanted roof, which has led every bricklayer assessing my house to tell me two things; 1) scaffolding would be needed and 2) it was going to cost a lot.
Since I figured there had to be a better solution, I have been putting off the work until I recently received a recommendation for a guy named Tartino- an older Portuguese man who works with his brother. When they showed up at my house, I could barely understand them because of their thick accents, however I was able to understand that they were offering me a reasonable price for the job and that they could do it on the following weekend.
Even before they started the work, I was impressed by the way they prepared themselves- first by putting down drop cloths so as to not dirty the landscaping around the brick wall, and then by the way they set their tools down in a organized manner (in steep contrast to the way many other tradespeople just throw their tools, suggesting that if they don’t care about their own tools, they probably don’t care about your house).
In addition to working in an organized manner, perhaps the most impressive thing Tartino and his brother did involved the “scaffolding”. While every other bricklayer told me “scaffolding this” or “scaffolding that”, Tartino and his brother used a couple boards of wood as support and a ladder as a bridge to support another ladder against the chimney in order to reach my chimney safely and quickly. What other bricklayers would have taken extra time and a ridiculously large bill to do, Tartino and his brother were able to complete on my brick wall within a day and at a much cheaper cost.
Even when working on my chimney, Tartino and his brother showed the same care they had when setting up. Unlike other contractors who will just slap on more cement between the bricks, Tartino and his brother actually grinded down the existing cement, cleaned out the cracks, then added their own cement. This left a chimney that looked like they had built a new one for me.
They did such a great job, that I recommended them to one neighbour, who after completing his chimney, recommended them to one of our other neighbours. It was a testament to the quality of their work, how hard they worked to finish the job quickly, and offering reasonable prices for their services.
While it may have been hard to understand them at times, it’s well worth the great quality and service when doing business with Tartino and his brother.
Tartino & Brother