The first industrially made product ever produced was the clay brick. It is likely that one of many masonry contractors put that brick into place. Masonry contractors have been around since before the pyramids. Masonry is one of the oldest surviving professions, and it is still in high demand today. The work of masonry contractors can be seen in residential neighborhoods, large commercial buildings, monuments, and government buildings. Anywhere stone or brick is used, a masonry contractor was involved.
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To become a brick or stonemason, one must undergo a long and rigorous training program. Masons still employ the master apprentice form of training. There are other means of becoming a mason such as vocational schools and on-the-job training, but the traditional apprenticeship is considered the quickest and best route to becoming a master mason. Those interested in becoming a mason should inquire with a local mason's union or guild or a respected individual masonry contractor within the area.
A mason's apprentice begins by preparing scaffolding, mixing mortar, and doing cleanup. After the apprentice shows the required level of skill and attention to detail, he will be allowed to place brick or stone. As the apprentice nears the end of his apprenticeship, he will be trusted with technical tasks such as reading blueprints, drafting, and design. After about three years, the apprentice will be certified to perform at least one type of masonry at a professional level. This long and intensive training process ensures that anyone who calls himself a mason is qualified to do the job.
Masonry contractors typically work under the supervision of general contractors when a complex structure is being built, but they can be hired on an individual basis to complete projects such as building a retaining wall or repairing damaged exterior brick. When hiring masonry contractors there are a few things the general contractor or property owner should keep in mind.Is the masonry contractor qualified for the job?
Not all masonry contractors can perform all forms of masonry. There are areas of specialization. Hiring a stonemason to do brickwork might not be the best idea. Professional organizations such as the Mason Contractors Association of America maintain lists of masons and their specialties. A general contractor or property owner should take advantage of these resources before selecting a mason or allowing him to bid for a job.Can the masonry contractor handle the time requirements of the job?
It is rare for a mason to decline a well-paying job, but sometimes he does not have the necessary labor force or resources to perform the job in a timely manner. It is essential that the general contractor or property owner make sure that his project will be a priority for the mason. Asking pointed questions can help to determine if the mason is capable of completing the job on time.Is the masonry contractor the right fit for the job?
Personality is important in any large project. Masonry contractors come with a variety of personality types. It is a good idea to conduct a personal interview with any mason that bids a job. Making sure the mason is a good fit for the project and can take directions well will ensure that the job-site is as harmonious and efficient as possible.
Masonry contractors are artisans. The best can add value to a project by doing amazing and beautiful things with stone and brick. They are creative while having a keen eye for functionality, permanence, and efficiency. Brick and stone are meant to last forever. The use of masonry contractors in a project often means that the finished structure is likely to stand for years to come.