Tips for Designing with Masonry

Tips for Designing with Masonry

The Mason Contractors Association Members often get asked for suggestions on designing and building with masonry. In order to address questions relative to specific applications we have provided FAQ’s within each specific product section. The following suggestions apply to a broad range of masonry applications and warrant special emphasis. Adherence to these suggestions can save you time, money, and aggravation.

We recommend the following:

  1. Always require that your Union Mason Contractor have a minimum of five years of experience with your type of work. By hiring a Union Mason Contractor you are ensuring premium quality craftsmanship. The Union Mason Contractor is equipped with the experience, technical knowledge, and training necessary to provide you with outstanding results on all your projects, from the simplest to the most complicated.
  2. It is very beneficial to bring the mason contractor on as a team member in the very early stage. The mason contractor can help you develop a cost effective design & installation.
  3. We highly recommend that Field Panels be built on site and approved by the architect prior to construction. We further recommend that the panels remain on site until removal is authorized in writing by the designer. ACI 530 code states, “The acceptable standard for the work is established by the accepted panel.”
  4. To ensure that both product and workmanship meet spec, we recommend that you refer to ACI 530: Code Requirement for Masonry Structures Brick and Block Workmanship when inspecting jobs for information on allowable tolerances and variations in the construction of masonry walls.
  5. Proper design and construction techniques combined with quality craftsmanship does more to prevent water penetration than any other practice.
  6. Always check all materials for compatibility.
  7. Any and all penetrations in engineered block walls should be coordinated with the mason contractor and the structural engineer.
  8. When washing walls with dissimilar materials, always consult the manufacturer for recommendations.
  9. Never rule out masonry for any project based on a presumed cost. Consult this guide book and your mason contractor for cost information and product recommendations. Masonry is extremely cost effective and there is a product for every budget. There is no need to walk away from masonry as your product of choice based on cost.