The Strength of Masonry

Masonry is a skilled trade, and it involves the work of a mason who can chisel, mold and shape stone, brick or concrete in a way that looks like it has always been there.

Masonry’s durability, energy efficiency, and engaging aesthetic make it a popular choice for both commercial and residential construction projects. Click the link to know more.

What Are The Different Types Of Masonry?

Masonry is one of the oldest and most established building techniques. It has been around for hundreds of years, and innovations in materials technology and mix designs have improved the strength and durability of masonry construction. It is also environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Concrete masonry units are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors to achieve different functional and aesthetic objectives. A broad sampling is shown in TEK 14-6, Concrete Masonry Unit Shapes and Sizes Manual (ref. 2).

Brick masonry can be used to create a wide range of architectural styles. It is less expensive than stone and concrete blocks, making it a popular choice for commercial buildings. Brick masonry is also flexible and can be adapted to seismic conditions, but it has lower resistance to tension and torsion loads than stone or concrete block masonry. Brick masonry is susceptible to water penetration and must be properly maintained and waterproofed.

Stone masonry is often used to achieve a more rustic, earthy appearance in urban applications and to blend into rural settings. Its natural appearance and durability make it a good choice for residential applications as well. Stone masonry is usually highly flexible and resistant to torsional loads. It is a common choice for foundations, walls, and chimneys.

New developments in masonry construction include the use of pre-stressed masonry. This involves reinforcing masonry walls with cables within their cells before the wall is built, which increases its resistance to flexural stress and bending.

Maintenance of masonry structures includes the routine replacement of sealant in expansion joints, at through-wall flashings, and at the perimeter of openings such as doors and windows. These procedures should be performed as often as every seven to 20 years depending on climate. Periodic inspections by building maintenance personnel or masonry specialists can help to identify and resolve problems quickly.


Masonry is one of the most durable construction methods. It’s resistant to fire and offers excellent sound attenuation and energy efficiency. A wide variety of colors, shapes, and architectural finishes enable masonry to achieve any design style.

Masonry consists of individual units such as brick, stone, concrete block, glass blocks, and adobe, which are laid in a pattern and bound together with mortar. This mortar is made of cement and other ingredients that create a strong bond between the units. The mortar also provides moisture resistance and helps prevent deterioration and cracks.

A masonry structure’s strength is not completely dependent on its bond with the mortar; it also relies on the friction between the individual building units, which are often interlocking. This interlocking can be enhanced by grooves on the building units or surface features added to the mortar. Many dry set masonry structures forgo the use of mortar and depend entirely on this interlocking for strength.

Because of its durability and thermal efficiency, masonry is especially useful in buildings in climates that experience extreme weather conditions. Masonry’s high thermal mass helps regulate indoor temperatures by slowing heat transfer, and it can be used to insulate walls from cold winter air.

Masonry is easy to maintain and can last for centuries with proper care. Regular inspections and maintenance are key to extending the life of a masonry structure. Common maintenance tasks include cleaning, repointing (replacing deteriorated mortar), and repairing or replacing damaged masonry units. A well-draining site and the use of compatible materials during repair work are also important to help prevent water-related issues like efflorescence or freeze thaw damage. A good drainage system can also prevent structural problems, such as heaving and cracking, caused by soil movement.


Masonry walls are insulated, which makes them more energy efficient than wood stud walls. This means that you will save money on heating and cooling bills. They also help to keep out noise and dust. Masonry walls are also fire-resistant, which will help to keep your occupants safe in the event of an emergency.

Masonry construction requires attention to details to ensure a building will function as intended and have the appearance expected. Construction tolerances must be tight enough to preserve the appearance of the masonry but flexible enough to accommodate changes in the project scope, materials and methods. These tolerances are influenced by the condition of preexisting construction, the site, and the design.

Concrete masonry units are available in a broad range of shapes and sizes, allowing designers to achieve a wide variety of appearances and functions. In addition, architectural finishes and a variety of mortars provide color, texture and pattern that enhance the visual appeal of a building or structure.

While masonry is very strong, it must be built correctly to be structurally sound. Typical construction tolerances for masonry are between 1/8 and 3/4 inch (3 to 19 mm). It is important that these tolerances be followed closely, but in some cases it is necessary to vary head or bed joint thicknesses in order to meet the design criteria of the structure.

New developments in masonry construction include the use of pre-stressed masonry. This consists of installing cables within the cells of the concrete masonry units, which are then tensioned to increase resistance to flexural and bending stresses. This allows the masonry to support heavier loads without damaging the building. It can also be used in blast-resistant applications.


Masonry offers a wide range of aesthetic possibilities, including color, scale, texture and pattern. Its unique structural qualities can also be highlighted through the use of innovative architectural features. In addition, masonry can help control sound and regulate temperatures while providing an appearance of permanence and stability.

The oldest masonry structures date back to prehistoric man’s effort to supplement natural caves with sun-dried brick and stone huts. The ancient Egyptians perfected the art of stonemasonry, building the Great Pyramids and other iconic temples using a variety of materials.

Masonry continued to play a major role in Gothic architecture, which emerged in the 12th century. This style featured innovations like the pointed arch and ribbed vault, allowing buildings to be built taller and more elaborately decorated. Iconic Gothic church structures like Notre Dame and Chartres demonstrate the full potential of this architectural style and masonry construction.

During the 20th century, architects sought to break away from traditional styles and materials. Although modernism favored glass, steel and other innovations, it also celebrated masonry as a means of merging architecture with nature. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, for example, incorporated local sandstone walls and concrete slabs in its design, demonstrating how masonry could be used to craft a house that blends with the landscape.

Today, masonry continues to be one of the most popular construction methods. Innovative developments in material technology, mix designs and engineering have made masonry even stronger and more durable than before. It’s important to properly maintain a masonry structure, however, to prevent damage and decay. For example, if English ivy is allowed to take hold on a brick facade, it can discolor the surface and cause mortar problems. It’s important to have a professional mason inspect your home for signs of damage and take steps to stop the spread of ivy or other unwanted plants.


Masonry buildings have high thermal mass, which helps to minimize temperature fluctuations and shift heating and cooling loads to off-peak hours. Moreover, their insulation and airtightness reduce energy consumption while providing a comfortable space for occupants. In addition, masonry blocks and bricks are natural and locally available, which reduces transportation-related carbon emissions and supports sustainable construction practices. Additionally, masonry is pest-resistant and does not rust or rot, which contributes to lower maintenance costs.

Concrete masonry structures are strong, durable and highly resilient, making them well-suited to resist the impact of manmade or natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. They also offer acoustic and thermal insulation, reducing noise and maintaining a comfortable atmosphere for their occupants. Moreover, they are non-combustible and fire-resistant.

As a result, many architects have been using masonry in their projects. Especially in contemporary architecture, architects are increasingly interested in sustainability, context and materiality, while still embracing the versatility of masonry. Examples of this can be found in projects by Herzog & de Meuron and Peter Zumthor, who have used masonry to create buildings that harmonize with their surroundings.

The main drawback of masonry construction is that it requires skilled labor, which can add to the overall cost of a project. However, advances in concrete technology are promising to reduce the impact of masonry construction by improving durability and energy efficiency. Additionally, new materials such as self-healing concrete and digital fabrication technologies allow for more complex forms to be built using masonry.

Furthermore, the use of recycled aggregates and the use of concrete block manufacturing techniques such as the Cold-Formed Continuous Form (CFCF) which reduces energy and rebar usage can further reduce the environmental impact of masonry construction. Additionally, many masonry manufacturers now use flash and slag to make a portion of their cement, which reduces CO2 emissions.

General Construction

How Bathroom Remodeling Can Add Value to Your Home

A bathroom remodel or renovation adds value to your home. However, the type of value you get depends on how you approach the project. For more information, click the J&R Construction to proceed.

Start by planning out your renovation, ideally with a professional. This can take weeks or months. Narrow down a design idea, check shipping times for materials, and line up contractors.

Tips for Bathroom Remodeling: Enhance Your Space with Style and  Functionality | World News and Events

A bathroom remodel can dramatically improve the look of a room. New fixtures, tiles, paint, and other upgrades will give the space a brand-new look. If you need help figuring out where to begin, hire a professional designer to help you create the perfect look for your home. They will also ensure that your plumbing is installed correctly and efficiently.

Choosing the right lighting is another important part of any bathroom renovation. You can choose from recessed lighting, spotlights, or sconces. Depending on your bathroom style, you can install a chandelier or pendant light to make a statement in the room. If you want a more minimalist look, use recessed lighting and white sconces to brighten the space. If you’re doing a full remodel, consider installing a window to let in natural light.

Another great way to add visual interest to a bathroom is by introducing patterns and colors. Choose a tile or wallpaper with a design you love that goes well with the rest of the space. Add some plants to the room for a pop of greenery and freshness.

If you have a windowless bathroom, consider painting the walls in an accent color to help it feel bigger. Opt for a light shade that’s easy to wipe down and resistant to mold and mildew growth.

On the other hand, if you’re going for a more minimalist vibe, paint the entire bathroom in one neutral color and opt for a matte finish. Matte finishes are also easier to wipe down and resist moisture than glossy finishes.

While remodeling, you may need to remove or cover furniture and other items in the area. Dust and debris will travel throughout the house, especially during a major remodeling project.

While many people avoid remodeling their bathrooms because of the cost and disruption, the fact is that this project offers a strong return on investment (ROI). It’s important to have your expectations set realistically. While a complete overhaul of the bathroom can significantly increase value, you can still make a dramatic difference with even a small renovation.

The bathroom is a very functional space in any home, and it’s important to have it meet the family’s needs. It’s also a great place to add luxury that helps to create a relaxing experience. One of our main goals when transforming bathrooms is to incorporate the right blend of function and luxury.

Your family’s needs can change over time, which is where a bathroom remodel comes in. You can make it better fit your needs by adding features such as storage for towels and linens, a double sink to accommodate different users, or simply changing the layout to maximize space.

You can also upgrade your fixtures and appliances to be more energy-efficient. This is not only good for the environment, but it can save you money on your energy bill as well. For example, swapping out your old showerhead for a low-flow option can significantly reduce water usage without impacting your comfort.

A bathroom remodel is also a great opportunity to add safety features that will help protect your family’s health. For example, you can add grab bars in the shower or bathtub to prevent falls. You can also add non-slip flooring and lighting to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Another reason to perform a bathroom renovation is to make your bathroom safer for older family members. Adding features such as a walk-in tub or ramp can make it easier for elderly family members to use the bathroom.

There are many other ways to improve the functionality of your bathroom, including adding a laundry room or installing a window. These changes can greatly help people with mobility issues or other physical limitations.

When performing a bathroom remodeling project, you must consider building codes. For instance, you must ensure that the first four feet of drywall are moisture and mold-resistant. Other requirements must be met, such as an exhaust fan and a vent.

Bathrooms are the most-used spaces in a home and play a critical role in our everyday lives. Upgrading your bathroom can give you more comfort and add to the overall value of your property.

As a result of their constant use, bathrooms tend to be one of the most energy-consuming rooms in homes. Remodeling them to incorporate more energy-efficient fixtures and appliances can help homeowners save on utility bills while contributing to a healthier environment. Many newer toilets and showerheads are significantly more water-efficient than older models, and replacing old light fixtures with newer energy-efficient ones can also reduce utility costs.

A bathroom remodeling project can be as simple or as extensive as possible. Adding more storage space, for example, can make it easier to keep the room clean and free of clutter that could pose a health risk. Creating more storage can also help you keep essential items within reach when needed. If installing more storage, consider using wall or ceiling spaces to make the most of limited floor space. For example, installing a wall-mounted hanging basket for towels or a corner shelf to hold toiletries can be an attractive and functional addition to any bathroom.

Another way to increase efficiency in your bathroom is to install a showerhead that uses low-flow technology. This can dramatically reduce your water consumption, saving on the electricity used to heat it. Other simple ways to reduce your energy usage in the bathroom include switching to CFL or LED lighting and limiting the number of light bulbs you use.

Before starting a remodel, it is important to disconnect the electrical and plumbing services and to take care not to damage existing fixtures or pipes when removing the old fixtures. It is also a good idea to remove the drywall and have the space patched and primed before putting in new drywall. This will help to prevent mold and mildew, as well as make the room more attractive.

When planning a bathroom remodeling project, working with licensed professionals is important to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. A full-scale renovation includes dropping walls and rerouting plumbing lines, which requires a great deal of skill and experience to do properly. Working with a professional will also guarantee that the project meets local building codes and standards.

While the value of your home is based on several factors, including location and market conditions, remodeling your bathroom can help increase its value. A beautifully remodeled bathroom is a big draw for buyers, and homes with updated bathrooms tend to sell faster and at higher prices. Even if you plan to sell your home later, a well-designed bathroom can enhance your quality of life while you live there.

Adding more storage is another simple and effective way to increase the value of your bathroom. You can add more cabinets, closets, shelving, or a combination of these to make your bathroom more spacious and organized. This will also provide a more luxurious feel to the room, which can appeal to buyers.

Replacing old fixtures with energy-efficient versions is a great way to add value to your bathroom while helping the environment. Upgrading to low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets will save you money on your utility bills, but it will also help reduce your water consumption, which is good for the environment.

Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs Value report shows that most bathroom renovation projects return 56-64% of their costs. This is a strong return on investment, and it makes sense because the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house.

The decision to remodel or renovate your bathroom is a personal choice and should be based on your preferences and your family’s needs. However, if you decide to renovate your bathroom, consult a professional contractor and choose the right materials for long-lasting results.

While many homeowners renovate their bathrooms, hiring a professional for more complex projects like installing a new tub or shower stall is best. A qualified bathroom contractor will have access to the latest tools, materials, and techniques for a high-quality result. In addition, they can recommend other upgrades that can improve your bathroom’s functionality and appearance. They will also know how to navigate local building codes and regulations when they work on your project.

General Construction

Renovations to Increase Your Home’s Value

The main purpose of renovations is to increase the value of a property. Adding new fixtures and upgrading existing ones are ways to do this. Visit Retaining Walls Perth for more information about renovation.

It’s important to stay within a budget when doing renovations. The most common reason that renovations go over budget is due to changes once the work begins.

Many renovations are designed to increase a home’s value, making it more appealing to potential buyers. These improvements can be cosmetic or structural and may include:

  • Adding new features to a kitchen or bathroom.
  • Finishing a basement.
  • Putting on a new roof.

Other renovations are designed to make a home more energy-efficient or green, which can also boost its value. Moreover, homeowners’ tastes and needs change over time, so renovations may be done better to match a house with its owner’s lifestyle or add more functionality to the living space.

The exact percentage of value an improvement adds depends on the renovation’s timing, the work’s quality, and how it compares with similar homes in the neighborhood. For example, a pool may add less value to a home in a colder climate where the cost of heating and maintaining it could outweigh the benefit in terms of added home value. Additionally, certain types of improvements will last longer than others. For instance, building an addition will last longer than installing a new air conditioning unit, which will likely be outdated within a few years.

In general, exterior and outdoor improvements impact a property’s value most. Projects like garage door replacement and wood deck additions can significantly increase the value of a home, while interior changes have a more limited effect on home values. Energy-efficient enhancements are a top-value driver, as they can lower utility bills and help reduce carbon emissions.

However, not every renovation makes a profit. Some may even decrease a home’s value. For example, overly personalized or highly detailed remodels may turn off some potential buyers. Other projects, such as an oversized pool or a kitchen that is excessively expensive and out of alignment with the local market, can make it difficult to sell a home for a good price.

Energy-efficient renovations increase the performance of building structures, resulting in reduced energy consumption and lower operating costs. This is possible by incorporating high-performance insulation materials, efficient heating and cooling systems, and well-sealed windows and doors. In addition to reducing energy costs, these changes can improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality.

Despite the economic potential of energy efficiency measures, installation rates remain low. This is largely because formal models of renovation decision-making – including those used in applied behavioral research on energy-efficient behavior – largely ignore the wide range of personal and contextual influences on investing in energy efficiency improvements. This is a significant shortcoming, as understanding the reasons for and barriers to investment in efficiency improvements can help shape policy interventions to overcome these obstacles.

In addition to financial benefits, owners invest in energy efficiency measures for various other reasons. These include:

Improved living and building conditions: The most significant motivating driver identified in the study was enhanced thermal and indoor comfort. This is because owners value having adequate comfort levels to live and work in their homes, which can be achieved by installing energy-efficient insulation and efficient heating and cooling systems. Owners also value co-benefits such as reduced draughts and condensation, better indoor air quality, and the ability to rent their properties at a higher price.

Sense of obligation: The impact of the recent spike in energy prices may have increased owners’ awareness of their energy consumption levels and the need to take steps to reduce them. This, combined with the desire to maximize resale values and minimize technical problems and complaints, motivated many owners to improve energy efficiency.

It is important to hire a contractor for any renovation project. This will ensure that the work is done correctly and professionally. Look for a contractor who has experience and good references. In addition, consider getting quotes from multiple contractors so that you can compare prices and services. This will help you find the best contractor for your needs.

One of the most important reasons for renovation is to improve a building’s aesthetics. A well-planned and executed project can increase the appeal of a property and even attract new customers. However, homeowners should always be aware of how their renovations will affect the neighborhood and choose projects carefully to avoid over-improving the home. For instance, if your neighborhood is full of homes with in-ground pools, installing an above-ground pool will probably decrease the value of your house. Improvements that are too personalized and out of line with the style of other homes in the neighborhood are also likely to detract from the property’s value.

There are many different ways to renovate a house. Some are more cost-effective than others, but the return on investment (ROI) will depend on the local market and the residential real estate market state when the house is sold. Historically, home improvements such as adding a wood deck, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and window replacement have shown the greatest ROI.

Other improvements have a more limited impact on resale value, such as swimming pools, wallpaper or bold colors, and elaborate landscaping projects. These improvements can be more costly, and they may turn off potential buyers with other priorities or looking for a specific type of property.

If you’re considering a renovation project, consult a professional to ensure the work will be done correctly and safely. It’s also a good idea to consider the renovation’s impact on the neighborhood and check whether any legal requirements need to be met. If you’re not licensed or insured, it could be illegal to do the work yourself, and you might be liable for any accidents during the process. Finally, remember that renovations can significantly impact your property tax assessment. Contact your local city or county government if you need clarification on what your property tax assessment will be. They’ll be able to tell you what your property’s current value is and will be able to help you determine the right renovations to make.

Full renovations are a major overhaul of the home area and usually involve changing everything from walls to fixtures. This process can be time-consuming and costly but is necessary to keep up with modern trends and meet the homeowner’s vision. There are several ways to renovate, including repairing, painting, or varnishing wooden surfaces, installing new floor coverings and tiling, and installing systems utilities like ACs and furnaces.

Renovations can also involve restoring the original features of a building and preserving its heritage and rich culture. This is especially important for historical buildings and involves altering surfaces while retaining the appearance of the original structure. This process can be more expensive and complicated than other renovations, but it is often less disruptive to daily life.

Situated approaches to energy-efficient renovation decision-making highlight the importance of understanding why and when householders choose to renovate. They reveal that the reasons for renovating are complex and multifaceted and that decisions to renovate are shaped by and emerge within the conditions of everyday domestic life.

For example, household members may cite aesthetics and thermal comfort as important motivations for renovating before the renovation takes place, but they will retrospectively emphasize savings and energy efficiency [87]. This post hoc rationalization reveals that it is difficult to incorporate non-monetary motives into behaviourally informed policies to encourage energy-efficient renovation. This is a key challenge in the research on residential energy efficiency and may explain why many interventions aimed at increasing energy-efficient renovation have failed to reduce energy demand or generate savings [89]. A broader perspective on renovation decision influences, which considers how homeowners think about their homes, may help improve the effectiveness of policies and measures promoting energy-efficient renovation.