Masonry is a popular construction technique that uses brick, concrete, and other materials. It’s also a skilled trade that requires years of apprenticeship and on-the-job training.
Masons build and repair walls, floors, partitions, and fireplaces. They also install lintels that support doorways and windows.
Load-bearing masonry systems offer one of the most cost-effective construction methods for medium and larger buildings. It is primarily due to single contractor responsibility, a small crew size, and locally available materials.
Masonry is a non-combustible construction material. This quality explains why many of the world’s most historic buildings are made from masonry. The Coliseum and the Acropolis are stunning examples of this construction method, but masonry is used for more than just aesthetics.
In addition to being fire resistant, masonry offers excellent protection from earthquake damage. That is because masonry structures can absorb much of the energy caused by an earthquake, preventing the building from collapsing or becoming damaged.
Masonry Seattle is also known for its acoustic properties. It can block unwanted sounds and reduce noise transmission, making a home more comfortable. It is essential if you live near a highway or in a noisy neighborhood.
A foundation not only holds a building up, but it also stabilizes against lateral movement. A robust and sturdy foundation can withstand heavy loads and resist earthquake damage.
A concrete foundation must cure adequately for it to reach the required strength. The foundation can crack and crumble when poured over soil that isn’t firmly compacted or if the concrete is rushed.
Concrete contractors use post-tensioning to improve the foundation’s tensile or stretching ability, making it less susceptible to cracking and settling. This method can also increase a building’s resale value.
Foundation walls support two weights – the structure’s dead load and the live load from its occupants and contents. Continuous masonry walls with good connections between the footings and floor diaphragm increase resistance to uplift and overturning. Masonry is not recommended in coastal flood zones because the walls obstruct flood flow. Consult a qualified construction and soil professional to determine the best foundation for your area.
Masonry is a natural insulator that can reduce energy costs by reducing heat flow from outside to inside. It will also help reduce the heating and cooling needed in a building.
The type of foundation you choose will also significantly impact your energy efficiency. For example, a concrete slab foundation is the best option for hot climates, while crawl space foundations are ideal for cold climates.
In addition, the soil quality will have a significant impact on the stability of your foundation. Dry, dense soil is more forgiving and less likely to shift after construction. The same can’t be said for soft, wet clay soils, which are much more likely to settle after construction and damage tile, drywall, and masonry.
Masonry is a building material that is comparatively less expensive than other foundations, especially for slab foundations. It is also very cost-effective to build a home from the ground up using masonry systems versus a traditional frame construction method.
A masonry system comprises concrete blocks, natural and artificial stones, bricks, and other fabricated units laid in a structure and bound together with mortar. Masonry is a durable type of construction that can last for centuries.
In addition to being an excellent building material for its aesthetic, masonry offers environmental and health benefits that other types of construction cannot match. Masonry does not release harmful gases into the air or leach chemicals into soil and water. Its thermal mass provides significant energy savings, and it is naturally soundproof. This combination of attributes is why masonry is so widely used worldwide. Masonry is also highly affordable from a labor standpoint.