Masonry construction is one of the oldest building techniques known to man. The birth of masonry dates back to the Neolithic Revolution. According to oldest known Masonic text, The Halliwell Manuscript, the “craft of masonry” began with Euclid in Egypt, and came to England in the reign of King Athelstan. From this time onward, masonry would become the building method of choice for civilization. While the advent of wood-based construction would eventually eclipse the popularity of stonemasonry, the craft is still used extensively in both commercial and residential structures. From installing brick walls and stone patios to bathroom tile and concrete blocks, there are dozens of viable applications for the craft of masonry.
Masonry construction has long been regarded as a noble trade. During the medieval ages, a stonemason’s guild was formed and a 7-year apprenticeship program became the status quo for entry into the profession. Modern day masons are typically required to have at least four years of apprenticeship experience.
In addition to offering natural beauty, there are many functional benefits of masonry work. Brick and stone are well established as excellent insulators, and may help reduce energy bills when compared to other building materials. Masonry proves superior in the categories of fire and termite resistance when compared to wood. Masonry, the assembly of larger structures through the use of bricks or stone and mortar is an environmentally friendly medium for your construction project.
Today’s mason constructs, maintains, and repairs surfaces and structures made from concrete, brick, stone, blocks and related materials. Masons work with other construction professionals to plan and implement projects. While the process of masonry may seem simple, the truth is that much experience is needed to deliver an appealing structure that offers long lasting strength and durability. For this reason, a master mason is much more skilled than the average bricklayer. Whether you are planning new construction, remodel or repair, you want to look for an experienced mason with demonstrated experience and skill in the trade of masonry.
The best mason will bring to the table “old school” tradition in addition to knowledge of modern innovations. It is important to keep credentials in mind when hiring a masonry contractor to ensure that your project will be completed in an efficient and sound manner. To minimize problems interview several masons and review photos of their completed projects to find the contractor that best meets your needs.