For some time I've been dissatisfied with the job done by the "masons" on the brick steps on our house. The bricks adjoin a wood porch (not the end grain though). The ends of the bricks in the joint weren't sawed, it looks like they just roughly knocked off pieces of brick until it was short enough to miss the wood floor on the porch, then filled in the gap with mortar. In some places I'd guess there is as much as a 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch gap filled in. Over the five years since this was done the mortar has become brittle, some has broken off and this evening my wife noticed that at least three of the bricks on the top step where this was done have become loose enough to be rocked back and forth.

So my question is, what to do with it? Should the brick come close enough to the wood that it doesn't touch but not far enough that it needs to be filled with some material, and how big should that gap be? Should I just replace the mortar? Should I replace the entire row of bricks with ones that have been properly sawn to length?