I just had some guys out doing some work on my siding and they informed me that there was some cracks along the edges of the cement staircase as well as the foundation that needed to be fixed (see images below).
The contractor proposed to use foam backing rods as they would be able to expand/contract properly. I asked another mason for his thoughts and he said to use soft cell rods since foam rods would hold in water. Not sure who's correct (and if these repairs are actually necessary in the first place?)
Additionally, the contractors power washed the stone facade and noted that it was "holding in a lot of water" and needed to be sealed. From looking around online it seems that people are divided about whether or not it's truly necessary to seal stone, and everyone else I've asked has said that they don't think its necessary. What are your thoughts BP?
Also, below is a copy of the estimate that the contractors provided me for the work. Given the pictures above and the descriptions of the work in the estimate below, is the work they're proposing necessary and reasonably priced?
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Get a bag of cement, mix it, apply it, call it a day. Those are exterior aesthetic, just make them look good, if that's a rental, forget it. That's a day's work with one guy, I won't pay anything more than 300 for it. Exterior cement wall needs no seal unless it is you want it to look like something, ie stained looking cement, or landscape decoration with a specific look, otherwise, forget it. If it is moving and a hazard, like a stair or building collapse, that's the time you need to do something. Disclosure: I can't see much pics on my phone.