As a homeowner, your home is your most important investment. Keeping it in tip-top shape is crucial to growing your investment and earning the highest possible return. We at Ray Arnold Masonry and General Contracting totally understand this.
If you are planning a remodel that requires masonry, consider this set of questions first:
- Who’s doing the job? You or a contractor?
- If you are doing your own masonry, do you have the skills?
- Do you have the required tools?
- Do you know the proper materials to use?
Always remember that a good masonry contractor is worth their weight in gold. It can be tempting to save a few bucks by going the DIY route. However, you might end up paying more in the long run if you’re underprepared or inexperienced in masonry work. Should you choose to do the job yourself (or not), here are the rules of masonry you’ll want to abide by.
1: Be Honest About Your Skill Level
It’s hard to admit that you don’t know how to do something. That is especially true if it’s something you’re trying to accomplish around your home. You might even convince yourself that with a little research, no home improvement project is too big for you to tackle.
But, when it comes to the structural integrity of your largest investment, honesty is the best policy. Being honest with yourself about your skill level and preparedness is one of the most important do’s on our list. If you’re not comfortable with a job, hire a professional to do it for you. This way, you won’t have to worry about biting off more than you can chew or making a costly error.
2: Make Sure You Have the Tools for the Job
If you’ve ever tried to do a job with incorrect or incomplete tools, you know how much of a challenge it can be. Masonry work is no exception. The first rule of masonry is to never underestimate the importance of having the right tools for the job.
That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy the most expensive tools on the market. The most expensive tools don’t always mean the highest quality. At the same time, you definitely don’t want to use tools that are too old or too new.
3: If You Hire a Contractor, Make Sure They Are Qualified
Are you planning to hire a contractor to help you with a project? Have you already started interviewing potential contractors?
Keep in mind that just because a contractor has a license doesn’t mean they’re well-equipped to do the work you need to be done. Many people would rather not put themselves through the hassle of shopping around, so they settle for the first contractor they find. That, however, is one of the don’ts of masonry.
Whether it’s installing a small brick patio or repairing your chimney, finding a masonry contractor can be a challenge. Hire someone whose experience and expertise align with the size and scope of your project. As part of your vetting, you’ll want to ask to see proof that your contractor is certified and insured to do the job.
4: Check for Additional Problems First, Not Last
Anyone with experience in masonry knows the feeling: You’ve built the foundation, made your cuts and installed your masonry. Then, much to your annoyance, you discover that nothing works as it should.
We turn to the internet for answers, only to find that the problem might be in the sill or the joints. Maybe it’s the mortar, stonework or foundation. The list goes on and on.
What you don’t realize is that the problem may be something else entirely. The installation or foundation might not be level. Or, perhaps the wall isn’t square. Always check the area of your project first, before starting the job to see if you have a bigger problem on your hands.
5: Having a Strong Foundation Is NOT Optional
The foundation is the most important part of any building. In fact, it’s the base upon which everything else is built. If you have a house built on a weak foundation, it could be in danger of collapse. Our advice? Have a building inspection done before the house is completed to ensure that everything that goes into the foundation is done correctly.
Why You Never Have to Worry When You Hire Ray Arnold Masonry and General Contracting
With nearly 70 years in business, we’ve built a fantastic foundation (pun intended) with our customers. You’ll find our staff extremely helpful and our certified technicians knowledgeable and committed to the finest craftsmanship.
Here in Ohio, we faithfully serve residents of Geauga, Eastern Cuyahoga County, the northern half of Summit County, the upper northern section of Trumbull and Portage County. Contact Ray Arnold Masonry and General Contracting today for a free quote!