A customer wanted to remove the mantel from his fireplace. The problem was that there were support bricks that were placed when the first masons originally bricked the fireplace. One option would be to remove all of the bricks and to replace them. This would be both expensive and wasteful. A second option would be to remove the support bricks and patch in new bricks. However, the replacement bricks would be an obvious and unwanted eyesore. Luckily, the fireplace extended past the basement’s drop ceiling, and we were able to harvest a few bricks from there. In the end it turned out to be a perfect match due to the expertise of my mason. See photos:

You can see the support bricks above the fireplace opening. Also note the extra bricks above the drop ceiling.
My mason skillfully removed the offending supports.
Another angle of my mason removing the offending bricks.
All done, and a perfect match!