We also hired a mason to repair (repoint) the old brick chimney upstairs. This feature was originally covered by plaster and would not have been exposed originally. While I have long argued to cover it back up, I lost that argument. So, the brick needed to be repaired.
Someone just slopped in some concrete between the bricks in an attempt to repair them. The challenge with that is that these bricks are over 100 years old and are quite soft – the original lime mortar would have had high lime content and would also have been soft, and it must be repaired with the correct mortar so that the bricks are not damaged by a much harder concrete joint that can cause them to crack.
Below is a photo showing the joints between the bricks partially ground out. The left side of the photo below shows how the bricks looked before grinding, while the right side shows the grinding underway. It is already a remarkable improvement.
Our house has a balcony above the old kitchen. It’s a small but cool feature that we hoped to make use of one day. The roof of our house is supported by its walls, and in this case, the outside wall lands in the middle of what was our old kitchen.