Masonry 101: What You Need to Know

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Whether you need a new fireplace, brick features, a cement slab or a new chimney, they all require the blending of art and practicality found in masonry. Masonry typically consists of building or designing a structure with materials like stone, brick or cement. 

Not all masonry is created equal, so be sure to do thorough research before hiring the right masonry contractor. Luckily, we specialize in masonry services and have compiled a guide for what you need to know about masonry. 

What Do Masons Do?

Masonry is a special trade that has been around for thousands of years. Depending on preference, masons can specialize in specific materials like brick, stone, cement or marble. Masons can also choose to specialize in designing structures like fireplace veneers or stone pathways. A crucial part of masonry is knowing how to do repairs. 

To become a certified mason, most people train through an apprenticeship. In many cases, masonry runs in the family, and the skills are passed down from generation to generation, as is the case for Ray Arnold Masonry. Typical apprenticeships last 4-5 years, and upon graduation, most masons get to work right away. 

How do I Find the Right Mason or Masonry Company?

Finding the right masonry contractor depends on what you need to have done. Since most masons specialize in a specific style or material, it is best to search for specific types of masonry. Here are some common types of masonry:

  • Brick masonry: hire a bricklayer for any brick walls, chimneys, pathways or repairs
  • Veneer masonry: Veneer masonry is more design-based and is perfect if you are looking to jazz up your fireplace. 
  • Cement masonry: Call a cement mason if you need a new driveway installed or if you have cracks in your sidewalk. 
  • Stone and marble masonry: If you are looking to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, stone and marble masonry is your best bet. 

Once you know who to look for, make sure you know exactly what you want. Give the contractor as much information as possible about your design specifications so they can do the job correctly. Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations and references before hiring a contractor. Ask your friends and neighbors or check out the most highly rated contractors in your area. If you can, pick a contractor who has experience working on similar projects. 

Once you find the right contractor, schedule a consultation with them to make sure there are no other issues with your property. A good contractor will know exactly what to look for. It is essential to pick the right contractor because you do not want someone to cause even more damage to your home. 

Blending Art and Practicality

While most masonry is for building and repairing, many masonry contractors are design experts, too. For example, revamping your fireplace does more for your home than just make it look attractive. If your home is older, your chimney and fireplace may be trapping cold air, leaving your home drafty and uncomfortable. Replacing your fireplace veneer with an updated design can help your home stay warmer. 

Keeping You Safe

A big part of masonry is doing repairs. If your basement walls are bowing or you have issues with your chimney or driveway, a masonry contractor can help you. A mason will know what to look for and how to make the necessary repairs. 

Hiring a mason will save you time and money on expensive repairs. For example, bowing basement walls are usually a sign of excess water in your foundation, so correcting the bow is essential for preventing further water damage. 

With over 70 years of experience, Ray Arnold Masonry and General Contracting specialize in all types of masonry services, with a special passion for chimney repair. Let us keep your home safe and beautiful for years to come, so you have peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our masonry services. We’re happy to serve you.