Working with brick and stone nowadays can produce some interesting results in modern homes. Generally a very stable and long-lasting material, brick or stone requires no maintenance for the first 25 years of its life. Working with masons can create truly innovative architecture as the market has drifted away from the more traditional methods of building a home. This is especially the case when constructing a fireplace in a house. New methods have all but eliminated air pollution and allows for a warmer fire (3). Masonry is traditionally brick and stonework, but can also include other materials, including (4):

  • Cob


  • Glass Block

    Glass Block

  • Cast Stone

    Cast Stone

  • Limestone


  • Travertine


  • Granite


  • Marble


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Some of the oldest walls and buildings in the country are made of brick. This is because brickwork is near guaranteed to last over 100 years with next to no maintenance. Brick pavers can craft masonry in such a way that allows for a longer lifespan than most other building materials (5). So while it's also one of the more expensive materials, the payout in the long run is certainly worth it. A professional mason has the right tools for the job, and can turn even interior jobs into a work of art (6). If you're interested in a fireplace, exterior walls, or just something that will last several lifetimes on your property, brick is the way to go. Brick is humanity's oldest manufactured product (7).

  • Brick wall by square foot: $12.45 - $15.10
  • Brick interior wall by square foot: $6.50 - $10
  • Brick siding by square foot: $5.40 - $9.50
  • Brick fence by square foot: $10 - $16
  • Brick fireplace by linear foot: $60 - $100
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Another classic and classy example of modern architecture, stonework is similar to brickwork in that the professional is using mortar to "glue" together rocks, but stonework is a little more complicated because you're not using neat masonic bars of brick. You're using actual rocks. Which is why it's important to hire a professional when crafting a wall. Not only is there a certain technique to it, but the cutting and dressing of stone is a difficult task for an untrained DIYer (8). Furthermore, it requires intimate knowledge of the field to correctly assemble a structure (9).

  • Exterior stone wall: $9 - $13 per sq. ft.
  • Interior stone wall: $12 - $16 per sq. ft.
  • Stone walkway: $14 - $18 per sq. ft.
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Most foundation work and basements are made from concrete. This makes the entire home more stable, and stands the test of time. There are three types of foundations; slab-on-grade, frost protected, and T-shaped foundations (10). As the name suggests, slab-on-grade is poured right onto the rocks of the property. Frost protected foundations are meant to be used with heated structures. The latter foundation is literally anchored into the ground by a "T-shaped" concrete shape to secure the basement. In all these cases, a rigorous checklist is needed to ensure safety (11).

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Masonic Additions

There are lots of ways to spruce up the old home. Consider adding mason projects to the siding, porch, or driveway to increase the value of your property. It's an affordable fix that adds serious curb appeal. Alternatively, you can find something to DIY (12).

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Concrete Pavers

Aside from foundation work, concrete can also be used as driveways, patios, or walkways. In these cases you can have the beautiful option of including concrete pavers. These incredibly aesthetic pavers really add a touch of class to any exterior construction. The human eye craves symmetry and concrete pavers certainly deliver.

  • Paver cost per brick ~ 50 cents each
  • Paver cost per sq. ft. ~ $5 - $15 dollars
  • Paver cost installation ~ $10 - $20 per sq. ft.
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Another less frequently used masonic work that still sees a large practical benefit, driveways are not just a place to park your car, but also an opportunity to present some serious curb appeal. Consider having driveway pavers put in to really increase the value of your home. Made from concrete, brick, or stone, these prove a fine addition to any home. They're also very easy to install and require no curing process afterwards (13).

  • Brick material cost: $3.96 per brick
  • Material cost per square foot: $19.01
  • Asphalt total cost: $23,000 (for an average driveway)
  • Asphalt per ton: $100 - $150
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Yet another example of practical masonry work, a walkway can make a great feature for your home. You don't have to stop at one path from your driveway to the door, either. Try out a plethora of ideas around your home (14).

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For the ultimate in classy home interior work, a fireplace speaks volumes. Nothing quite screams decadence like a well lit fireplace mantle. There are many different ideas and designs available, so pick out what's right for you (15). Should your mantle ever become damaged, you can easily look into fireplace repair.

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  1. "Masonry". Encyclop�dia Britannica. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  2. Roberts, Jason."Repairing Masonry". ipernity. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  3. Vandervort, Don."Is a Masonry Fireplace Right for Your Home?". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  4. "Masonry". Wikipedia. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  5. "Masonry Construction Techniques". Digital Engineering Library. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  6. "Masonry "How To" Basics". Masonry for Life. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  7. "Masonry Facts". MCAA. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  8. "Stone Masonry". Lecture Sharing. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  9. "Building Stone & Masonry". Civil.emu. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. "Three Types of Concrete Foundations". Concrete Network. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  11. "IMI Masonry Checklist". IMI. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  12. "How to Do Stonemasonry". wikiHow. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  13. Beneke, Jeff."Pros and Cons of a Concrete Paver Driveway". The Spruce. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  14. "The Right Path: 15 Wonderful Walkway Designs". Bobvilla. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  15. "Flat-screen or flowers? What belongs on your mantel". CNN. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
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