How Much Do Tuckpointing and Repointing Cost?

Typical Range:

$500 - $2,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 15, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Tuckpointing costs $5 to $25 per square foot, or $500 to $2,500 for a 100-square-foot section of brick. Repointing brick costs slightly less, from $3 to $15 per square foot (or $300 to $1,500 for that same 100-square-foot brick section).

The cost of professional labor is the largest factor when calculating the cost of repointing a house. Whether for tuckpointing or repointing, labor accounts for roughly 80% to 90% of the overall cost.

The location and accessibility of the brick or wall can raise the overall tuckpointing cost. Above 8 feet, you'll pay about 20% more for increased time and scaffolding. Chimneys command an even higher fee of 50% or more than ground-level pricing.

Tuckpointing vs. Repointing

You might hear people use “tuckpointing” and “repointing” interchangeably. Even professional masons will sometimes conflate the two terms in casual conversation.

But tuckpointing and repointing are slightly different, which is why you’ll notice a difference in the overall tuckpointing cost vs. repointing brick cost per square foot.

So what’s the difference between repointing and tuckpointing?

  • Repointing: Repointing refers to the process of removing about 1 inch of old mortar, typically by grinding or chiseling, then laying in new mortar. Brick and stone walls and chimneys typically require repointing every 20 to 30 years as general maintenance.

  • Tuckpointing: Tuckpointing also involves grinding out old mortar and filling in with new mortar but goes further. The mason color matches the mortar to the brick. Then, the mason cuts a thin and straight groove in the color-matched mortar and fills it with a contrasting colored mortar to give the illusion of straight, tight joints (called “fillets”).

Note: In new construction, when building a brick wall, masons are merely brick pointing (rather than repointing). Sometimes masons will use the term “brick pointing” even when they mean repointing.

Tuckpointing Cost Factors

In general, tuckpointing costs $5 to $25 per square foot, but a variety of factors can affect the overall price of the tuckpointing work. Here are a few tuckpointing cost factors to consider when getting quotes from masons for your project:

  • Size of project: Masons generally charge by the square footage. Though other factors will affect the price, the square footage of the project is the single biggest cost factor.

  • Height and accessibility: The higher the project is off the ground, the more the mason will charge. If your chimney needs tuckpointing but is on a three-story roof and is challenging to get to, the cost will be much higher than it would be to tuckpoint a brick fireplace inside your home.

  • Time of year: In general, masons prefer to do outdoor tuckpointing work in the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate. Air temperatures should be between 40 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 to 72 hours after the work. Emergency work in the winter or during extreme heat waves will likely result in much higher prices.

  • Mortar type: The type of mortar your mason uses will affect the overall cost. You won’t pay for materials separately; the mason’s quote will include their labor and materials.

  • Historic preservation: If your home is considered a historic property, the mason may need to adhere to certain federal, state, or local regulations about restoring the brick. This could add to the cost.

  • Inflation and local labor costs: Construction costs continue to be high because of the ongoing global labor and supply shortages. If you need tuckpointing work this season, anticipate higher than average brick prices, mortar prices, and labor prices.

Common Tuckpointing Costs

The average tuckpointing cost ranges from $5 to $25 per square foot, but how does that translate to actual projects? Chimneys are the most common source of tuckpointing work, but you might also want to explore the cost of tuckpointing an entirely new brick home.

Let’s dive into the basic cost of tuckpointing and see how it can vary by project scope.

Cost of Tuckpointing Price per Square Foot

Tuckpointing runs between $5 and $25 per square foot, then at least $10 per square foot after 8 feet in height. Higher work requires the setup and use of scaffolding, which takes more time and adds to the expense.

Chimney Tuckpointing Cost

Expect to pay at least $10 per square foot to tuckpoint a chimney. At this rate, a 20-square-foot chimney section would cost $200. However, you may pay as high as $25 per square foot for chimney tuckpointing; in that case, the project would cost $500.

You'll pay $10 per square foot at a minimum for tuckpointing above a certain height. Chimneys are harder to access and require additional equipment. Masons or contractors typically start charging extra past 8 feet.

Severe mortar damage affects the chimney's structure. While tuckpointing, a professional might find other issues with your chimney. If that's the case, repairing a brick chimney costs $750 to $1,500 for 10+ cracked bricks.

In some cases, a mason may recommend tearing out and rebuilding the chimney, depending on the brick condition. A full chimney rebuild costs $1,000 to $3,000, or roughly $150 per linear foot.

Cost to Tuckpoint a House

Assuming a two-story, 2,600-square-foot house, which according to the National Association of Home Builders is the average home size, has sides totaling 2,000 square feet, it costs $10,000 to $50,000 to tuckpoint an entire house.

However, very few homes are perfect squares. These numbers purely serve as a guide. Consider several factors when calculating the cost of tuckpointing a new house:

  • House style: A ranch home will likely cost less than a two-story.

  • House size: Smaller homes are less to tuckpoint.

  • Chimney: Brick chimneys in need of tuckpointing will add to your costs. If you plan to include an interior stone or brick fireplace, this can add to your cost as well.

  • Rate changes: Many masons lower their costs after a certain point for larger projects. It's unlikely they'll charge exactly per square foot for an entire house.

For the best estimate, contact a tuckpointing contractor near you.

Lime Pointing Cost

Lime makes up a part of most mortars and costs around $8 just for the material. An $8 bucket of lime mortar covers 60 square feet. However, masons rarely use pure lime mortar since it has less strength and wears out much faster.

Most masons mix mortar as part Portland and part lime. Lime provides more workability and flexibility in application while the Portland adheres better with more durability. Most pointing is done using type N.

However, the cost of materials is covered in the price of hiring a specialist. You'll still pay $3 to $10 per square foot for tuckpointing materials

The table below explores various mortar types, their PSI (pound per square inch) ratings, and the average cost per 80-pound bag. The higher the PSI, the more pressure the mortar can withstand (and the more durable it is).

Mortar Types
Mortar TypeCost per 80-Pound BagPSI
M$5 – $102,500
S$5 – $101800
N$5 – $20750
O$20 – $50350
  • Type M mortar costs $5 to $10 per 80-pound bag. At 2,500 PSI, type M is too strong for regular brick work. Instead, masons use type M mortar for brick foundations and retaining walls.

  • Type S mortar costs $5 to $10 per 80-pound bag. At 1,800 PSI, type S mortar is common for brick walls and chimneys.

  • Type N mortar costs $5 to $20 per 80-pound bag. At 750 PSI, it is more flexible; masons commonly use it for chimneys and exterior walls.

  • Type O mortar costs $20 to $50 per 80-pound bag. At 350 PSI, this low-strength mortar is ideal for interior brick walls and is often used in restoration work.

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Repointing Cost Factors

The cost factors affecting the overall price of brick repointing are the same as those we discussed for tuckpointing. Here’s that list again for reference:

  • Size of project

  • Height and accessibility.

  • Time of year (and temperature)

  • Mortar type

  • Historic preservation

  • Inflation (for labor and material costs)

Common Brick Repointing Costs

The average repointing brick cost ranges from $3 to $15 per square foot, but how does that translate to actual projects? A basic chimney repointing may be as low as $700 while an entire house might cost $30,000 to repoint. Other common repointing projects include stone walls, stone foundations, and brick patios.

Let’s dive into the basic brick pointing cost and see how repointing prices can vary by project scope.

Repointing Project Cost
Chimney $700 – $2,200
House (2,000 square feet of brick sides) $6,000 – $30,000
Stone Wall $500 – $2,500
Stone Foundation $3,500 – $6,500
Patio $700 – $2,250

Repointing Brick Cost per Square Foot

It costs between $3 and $15 per square foot to repoint brick, though the average homeowner pays $8 per square foot. Costs can rise to $15 per square foot or more depending on the materials used, local rates, and the mason's experience.

Cost to Repoint a Chimney

Repointing a chimney costs $700 to $2,200. Costs for this type of work vary considerably based on its size, the type of brick, and accessibility from both inside and outside the home.

Cost to Repoint Brick House

To repoint a perfectly square, 2,600-square-foot house with 2,000 square feet of brick sides, expect to pay at least $6,000 or as much as $30,000. However, most contractors will lower prices after the first 1,000 square feet.

Repointing Stone Wall Cost

Repointing a stone wall costs $500 to $2,500. The size of the wall and whether it's ground level will affect the final price.

Cost of Repointing Stone Foundation

Homeowners may pay $3,500 to $6,500 or more to have their stone foundation repointed. Smaller basements can cost less than $1,500.

Because it's hard to see the work, many masons do this type of job on a “time and materials” basis, meaning masonry contractors will charge an hourly rate of $70 to $110 per hour and add on the cost of the mortar. But mortar usually makes up only 10% to 20% of the total project cost.

Repointing Patio Cost

The price of patio repair ranges from $700 to $2,250. For a brick patio, you can expect to pay the same square foot prices (between $3 and $15 per square foot). An average 10-foot-by-10-foot patio will average $800 to $1,200, but could cost as low as $300.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Tuckpointing Pro

Tuckpointing is an elaborate, time-consuming, and tedious project. Without the proper experience, you could very well end up with a mortar mixture that doesn't hold well and crumbles fast, and then you're back at square one.

In fact, a poor DIY tuckpointing job can harm the structure of your home. For example, you could use the wrong type of mortar, which could destroy the brick.

Finally, masonry work can be dangerous, especially if you have to be up on the roof. Hiring a brick and stone professional is faster, safer, and easier and may end up saving you tons of money in the long run.

FAQs

How much do masons charge per hour?

Hiring a mason typically costs $70 to $110 per hour. There's a good chance a mason has a minimum service fee (which could range anywhere from $80 to $300 or more).

Most bricklayers offer free estimates. Even if they come out to your property to inspect things for an estimate, you likely won't have to pay unless you move forward with their service.

How long does repointing last?

A professional repointing job can last at least 20 to 30 years without maintenance. Talk to a professional mason about how to maintain it; proper maintenance might help it last for closer to 50 years.

How do I know if my house needs repointing?

Look for a few common signs that indicate your house might need repointing, including:

  • Cracked or flaking mortar.

  • Holes in mortar (mortars that are missing).

  • Discoloration across the mortar.

  • Loose bricks or stones.

Why does a house need repointing?

Repointing brick preserves the structure of a house. Mortar holds brick together in the same way that your gums and jawbone hold your teeth in place. When it starts to deteriorate, everything else is at risk of falling apart—and eventually will if it's not taken care of.

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