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Brick By Brick

Customized masonry offers functional curb appeal.

From chimneys and porches to walkways and siding, masonry marries the worlds of practical and aesthetic value. Garden City’s Next Level Custom Brick (nextlevelcustombrick.com) offers expertise in both, infused with a family-owned sense of pride and service.

“We focus on the needs of the homeowner and their project. We are a team, and we work together with our customers from start to finish to ensure a smooth and easy transition throughout the process,” says Nic Thompson, who owns the business with his wife, Catie Thompson.

With Nic’s background in construction and Catie recently retired from 16 years as a hair stylist, the couple decided it was time to venture out on their own. Together, they founded the company in 2001.

“After being in the residential construction industry the majority of my life, I realized that with starting a business, we could specialize in one area —  masonry,” Nic says. “Whether it be brick, block, stone, or something else —  it can provide such a big transformation to any home. I absolutely love to work with our team and see the finished product.”

While Catie says chimneys and porches are their most often-requested jobs, the company offers a range of masonry services, including tuckpointing, stone veneers, walkways, landscape walls and more. They also work with a variety of customizable brick and stone options, all sourced locally from a select group of suppliers.

“We have really great standing working relationships with our suppliers,” Catie says. “The handful of supply places that we get our materials from are smaller companies that are local; we don’t just order in from other places.”

The company’s pride in being “family-owned” applies to more than its literal ownership — the business’ 12 employees include Nic’s brother, another set of brothers, and family friends among its tight-knit team. Additionally, Catie says the crews work exclusively with Next Level and are made up of master masons with at least 15 years of experience.

“We invited specific people; we had a lot of purpose behind our hiring process,” Catie says.

That expertise, she says, is important in masonry. Like electrical and plumbing, Catie says masonry should be done by people who know what they’re doing, or the consequences could be dangerous. Nic says waiting too long to make necessary repairs or not investing in quality work can also be costly.

“The value of adding upgraded masonry materials or even just keeping up on maintenance of the existing materials provides longevity on the exterior of the home,” he says, “which in turn keeps the interior of your home protected and weatherproofed from Michigan's ever-changing climate.”


 

NIC AND CATIE’S TIPS 

to easily update and beautify your home’s exterior:

  • Inspect your home’s exterior two or three times a year for signs of deterioration and disrepair.

  • Consider replacing dated vinyl siding with cultured stone.

  • Upgrade your entryway and front porch with stone veneer.

  • Used mixed materials and colors to add texture.

  • Create standalone outdoor fireplaces instead of portable fire pits to create a long-lasting focal point conversation piece. 

“Whether it be brick, block, stone, or something else —  it can provide such a big transformation to any home. I absolutely love to work with our team and see the finished product.” Nic Thompson

  • Catie and Nic Thompson. Photo by Shelby Dubin.