Ask TOH | Circular Patio, Repointing Brick Steps

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook heads to Fargo, North Dakota, where he and a local crew help a homeowner build a new circular patio and fire pit. Then Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Then, Tom and Kevin head outside to repair a set of brick stairs.

Building a circular patio

Roger and a local landscaping crew help a homeowner install a new circular patio, complete with fire pit. Both the patio and firepit are manufactured kits that come with all of the necessary curved concrete pavers.

Where to find it?

A local landscaping crew helped Roger install the patio:

Valley Landscaping

Concrete paver patio & fire pit kits manufactured by:

Barkman Concrete Products

Additional product assistance provided by:

Opp Construction

Bobcat/Doosan Infracore International

Additional video production assistance provided by:

Prairie Public Broadcasting

What is it?

The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to find it?

Roger showed an "Illumi-knob" night-light that hangs on a doorknob. It is available from:

AbsolutelyNew, Inc.

Re-pointing brick steps

Tom and Kevin replaced the failing mortar on a set of exterior brick steps. To remove the old, loose mortar, Tom used several tools including a cold chisel, a 4" electric grinder, and a new type of brick & mortar saw that scrapes out the old mortar and captures the dust in a shop vacuum. With the old mortar removed, Tom filled the joints with pre-mixed mortar that contains cement, lime and sand.

Tom used a new type of electric saw for cutting masonry.

Brick & Mortar Saw (model #AS170)
Manufacturer: Arbortech USA
80 Erdman Way, Suite 200
Leominster, MA 01453

Other re-pointing tools such as tuckpointing trowels, jointers, and joint rakes are available from some hardware stores, home centers, and masonry yards. Many masonry tools are manufactured by:


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