Masonry contractors are experienced at building and repairing structures made from bricks, stone, blocks, and other hard materials. Pro Angle Masonry Charleston also specializes in different types of concrete work.
Masonry contractors have unique insurance needs, including general liability and business property coverage. Workers’ compensation and commercial auto coverage are also recommended.
Masonry contractors have many design options that allow them to create a unique look to their construction projects. They can choose from various material colors, sizes and textures. They can also choose between mortar, concrete and stone finishes to create a desired aesthetic effect. Masonry work is durable and can withstand the elements. Its non-combustible nature makes it a good choice for safety and security applications. It is a cost-effective solution to meet a range of design requirements.
Unlike some other building materials, masonry is a very fast process. Footings can be poured in one day, and a masonry contractor can have brick and block from local sources on site the next to begin laying blocks. This contrasts with the lag time that can occur with metal building construction. Masonry contractors stay with their project until it is completed, resulting in a sense of continuity that can reduce errors and problems.
Aside from its beauty, masonry is also an effective sound attenuating material and a good energy conservation choice. The insulating properties of concrete masonry walls can help offset the high costs of heating and cooling. Adding an architectural feature like fluting to concrete masonry units adds visual interest and also enhances the sound attenuating properties of the wall. Similarly, contrasting surface finishes can create an interesting interplay of light and shadow.
For example, a mason can design a walkway of contrasting color brick or stone pavers to guide pedestrians to the front door. The paving stones can be set in a geometric pattern to add visual interest to the sidewalk space and create a focal point for the entryway. Alternatively, a mason can make a more subtle statement by placing a bench with a water fountain or decorative wall in a geometric design at the end of a walkway.
In addition to designing structures, a mason can build or repair structures on private homes and businesses. They can work on chimneys, driveways and patios. They can even design retaining walls that offer landscape stability and seating. Masonry is the most durable, versatile and beautiful outdoor feature a homeowner can have.
Tile work can be a labor intensive project that requires many different types of tools. While most masons have many of the same tools that they use for other types of projects, there are also a few masonry-specific tools that help to speed up and simplify the process.
Before you hire a mason for your tile project, be sure to ask about their experience with the type of work you want done. They may be able to provide you with pictures of similar work they’ve done in the past that will give you an idea of their skills and capabilities.
A good mason will be able to mix the right thinset for your job and know how much material is required, especially for large-format tile. They should also understand how to back butter the tile (applying thinset directly to the back of the tile) before laying it in order to achieve a solid bond.
Some installation guidelines suggest that homeowners use mastic adhesive to secure their tile to an underlayment, but a qualified mason will always recommend the use of thin set for ceramic and porcelain tiles. They will also know how to properly mix the specialized mortar products needed for tiling.
Tile is a great choice for many different applications around the home. Some masons are experts at installing tile in showers, bathrooms, and kitchens, while others can do more complex jobs like creating an outdoor patio or building a stone chimney.
If you are considering a project that requires tile, be sure to find out if the contractor is an NTCA Five Star Member and has Certified Tile Installers on staff. This means they follow NTCA’s best practices for installation, are up-to-date on the latest industry standards and procedures and have access to a live technical support resource to troubleshoot and solve problems.
It’s also important to discuss your expectations with the mason regarding how long you expect the project to take before completion. Unforeseen circumstances can always affect a renovation project, but having clear communication up front about what you want completed and how soon you would like it finished can be helpful for everyone involved.
Masons work with a variety of materials like stone, brick and concrete to install chimneys, retaining walls and patios. Their broad expertise is a valuable asset for homeowners. They can recommend popular options and lesser-known alternatives that can add unique aesthetic value to a home.
Homeowners should ask masonry companies for references and photos of previous projects. This will help them decide whether or not the contractor is a good fit for their home improvement project. Homeowners should also consider the company’s service area. Some masonry contractors work nationally while others operate within a specific geographic area. Depending on the location of their home, it may be best to select a local contractor to avoid travel fees and ensure that their work will meet local building codes.
When choosing a mason, homeowners should be sure to inquire about the quality of their materials. Masons that use low-quality materials will end up costing their customers more money in the long run due to maintenance issues. The mason should be able to explain the differences between the various materials and what type of work is best for each material.
During brickwork, it is important for homeowners to make sure that the mason is using proper mortar ratios and ingredients. The mason should use a good quality cement with a minimum of 2% by weight of sand. The sand should be free from silt and coarse enough to provide adequate strength. The sand should also be raked clean of debris before mixing with the mortar.
It is also important for homeowners to make sure that the masonry company understands safety requirements. For example, the masonry company should be careful to keep the workspace clean and safe for children and pets. Leaving tools and dust lying around the house can be dangerous, so it is important to hire a masonry company that will take care of the cleanup process after every workday.
When building a brick wall, it is important to follow a certain pattern to ensure that the final product is high-quality and strong. The first course of the brick wall should consist of two half bricks and a header brick. This will form a “lead” that is used to support the rest of the wall. The next courses should be alternated between stretchers and headers to achieve a strong, structurally sound wall. Lastly, the bricks should be cleaned regularly to avoid buildup and water damage.
Masonry contractors can work with a wide range of materials like stone, brick and concrete. They can install chimneys, retaining walls and patios as well as entire homes. These contractors are a great resource for homeowners looking to improve their home or add an extra element of style and appeal. They can help with design choices, offer expert opinions and provide advice on lesser-known masonry options.
Some of the most popular options for masonry are tile and stone work. Tile is a common choice because it is affordable, durable and easy to clean. It is available in a variety of styles, colors and finishes. It can be used indoors or out and is a popular choice for walkways, patios and bathrooms. It is important to note that if a homeowner wants to use tile on a wall they should have their masonry contractor ensure it is done properly to prevent water leaks and damage.
Stone work is another option for masonry and can add a rustic touch to any structure. A masonry contractor can create beautiful, intricate designs using various types of stones. Stone can also be used to make unique accent walls in living areas or kitchens. It is important to note that stone masonry requires extreme care because it must be shaped to fit properly. It is recommended that a stonewall be designed so there are no visible vertical joints.
One of the most popular types of stone work is ashlar rock-faced masonry. This is a type of masonry in which the beds and sides are finely chisel dressed, while the exposed faces are rough tooling. This gives it a more natural appearance. Another type of stonework is rubble masonry. This is a type of stonewall in which the stones are roughly shaped and fitted together. This is the cheapest form of stonewalling.
Concrete masonry is also an option for masonry and involves working with poured concrete or concrete blocks. Typically, this type of masonry is completed in commercial construction projects or large residential projects. Having a skilled mason on hand to handle concrete projects is crucial for any homeowner as it can be time consuming and labor intensive. It is important to note that not all masonry contractors specialize in concrete work so it is important for customers to contact their local masonry contractors to see if they can assist with their project.