Masonry Safety Inspections

The look of confusion and utter loss on people’s faces when I tell them that I’m a safety inspector for a masonry company is often hilarious.

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Dave Jollay Announced as Third Inductee for MCAA 2024 Hall of Fame

Following in the footsteps of his father, O.L. Jollay, the founder of Jollay Masonry, Inc., Dave Jollay has carved out a remarkable career in the masonry industry.

What AI Can Do For the Masonry Industry

If your pension fund doesn’t hold NVIDIA stock, your fund manager has some questions to answer. This week, NVIDIA became the most valuable company in the world, with a market cap exceeding $3.4 trillion. They have been at the forefront of AI mania that ha

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Brick: A Resilient Product That Will Make You Proud

Originating as the very dirt beneath our feet, brick has proven to be a sustainable, enduring solution that has been trusted for hundreds of years. While modern consumerism tends to focus on providing fast, cheap merchandise that is not intended to last,

Building a Sustainable Future with Brick: Benefits and Impact

In both residential and commercial building design and construction, there is a growing awareness and commitment to minimizing environmental impact while improving health, comfort, and overall well-being.

GEN NXT: Sam Berryman

In today's evolving landscape of skilled trades, where tradition meets innovation, Sam Berryman's journey into the masonry industry is not just a career choice but a testament to heritage, passion, and the profound rewards of hard work. Influenced by his

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The Corporate Transparency Act: What You Need to Know

Like many government regulations, the intent may be clear and worthwhile, but the implementation causes more harm to law-abiding citizens and business owners than it does to actually block or punish the bad actors the regulation was meant to address.

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The Walkaround Rule is Misguided

As we work together to help rebuild a strong economy, workplace safety is an important consideration in rulemaking; however, the Walkaround Rule, which went into effect at the end of May, won’t bolster workplace safety but rather burden small businesses.

Ham And Vacala Among 2024 Masonry Hall Of Fame Inductees

We're thrilled to announce two of this year's Masonry Hall Of Fame inductees. Former MCAA Chairman Larry Vacala and esteemed masonry instructor James T. Ham will be welcomed into the prestigious group during the 2024 MCAA Midyear Meeting in Park City,

Stone Veneer Mortar: More Than Meets The Eye

One of the greatest pleasures of being in the masonry industry is that we are the privileged few who never have to give up our Legos.

OSHA Releases Proposed Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Rule

On July 2, OSHA released its “Proposed Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Programs Rule” as a new, proposed standard to prevent heat illnesses and injury in indoor and outdoor settings.

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Masonry In The Media - Bradbury Building, Palace of Fine Arts, The White House, and More

Completed in 1893 in downtown Los Angeles, the Bradbury Building showcases meticulous masonry work throughout its structure, blending various materials to create a stunning visual and tactile experience.

Marvelous Masonry - Soldier Field

Soldier Field, a Chicago landmark and one of the most iconic sports venues in the United States, demonstrates masonry's enduring strength and beauty. Opened in 1924, Soldier Field has undergone several renovations, but its original masonry work remains a

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Fechino Files: Applicants and Sponsors

It is the time of year when summer gets crazy, and time off, schedules, and deadlines can make for some really stressful days. However, the Masonry Apprentice Scholarship is the opposite of stress—it is just a cool way of supporting younger folks who want

Engineering Out Silica Hazards

In recent months, we have addressed the dangers of silica exposure. Unfortunately, we often think of protection from silica in the form of PPE. Suppose there's silica; put on a respirator. This should be the last resort.

GEN NXT: Khalib Kennedy

When it comes to choosing a career path, sometimes it's the unexpected opportunities that lead us to our true passions. For Khalib a young mason currently working for McGee Brothers, his journey into the masonry industry began with a chance encounter duri

Chairman's Message: Planning for Pivots and What-ifs

When watching a football game, it’s always interesting to first see the play live in real-time, followed by the slow-motion replay afterward. In real time, it plays out in a handful of seconds.

Business Building: Too Busy To Build A Better Business?

Your construction company's goal is not to be busy. Your goal is to build a business that works and delivers what the owners want - Profit, including a high return on investment of time, energy, people, and money.

Contractor Tip of the Month: Rebounding When You Hate the Job or Business You Once Loved

“Take This Job and Shove It.” Every job has highs and lows. But if you start talking – or singing – like Johnny Paycheck, then it is time for a rebound.

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Building More: The Real Project Cost

How many of us have landed in this scenario? We have a crew, maybe our only crew. They have been with us for a while, and we are comfortable letting them handle projects without much supervision. You decide that you are going for broke this year.

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Maximizing Masonry Project Success: How Early Involvement of Consulting Experts Mitigates Risks and Resolves Disputes

In the complex and ever-evolving world of construction, particularly in masonry projects, the expertise of consulting professionals can be invaluable. We spoke to James Gallagher, a seasoned consultant, who sheds light on how involving experts early in th

Salazar Celebrates Anniversary of Historic, Bipartisan Dignity Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the introduction of her groundbreaking, bipartisan immigration legislation: the Dignity Act (H.R. 3599). This bill continues to gain support from individuals across

The Masonry Masonry Must-Haves: Top 10 Essentials

To achieve professional-quality results when laying brick, block, or stone, it’s crucial to use the right tools for the job. In the masonry industry, there is a plethora of tools and equipment you can use, but which are the most necessary? From trowels to

Glen-Gery Expands Brick Paver Collection with New Cityscape Series and Urbanscape Series

Glen-Gery Corporation, a premier brick manufacturer that is part of Brickworks North America, expanded its Brick Paver Collection with the introduction of its Cityscape Series and Urbanscape Series, two new lines of genuine clay brick pavers. “The new C

Comparison of Laying Brick Versus Block

Brick and CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) are two commonly used materials in masonry. As a mason, it is important to understand the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both materials, as well as the variations in layout and measurement techniques, mo

Westlake Royal Building Products™ to Showcase Be Boundless™ Campaign, Top Industry Trends and New Product Innovations at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC)

HOUSTON (June 18, 2024) — Westlake Royal Building Products™ (Westlake Royal), a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), will showcase its Be Boundless™ campaign, top industry trends and new product innovations at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in Anahe

Bringing Bricks Back To Life with BrickRecyc

BrickRecyc, a machine that removes old mortar from bricks, was invented by three entrepreneurs from Quebec in 2021. Tommy Bouillon, David Dufour, and Hugo Cartier were the innovation's source. The invention emerged out of necessity. Tommy Bouillon, head o

Are Your Employees Safe While Working In Hot Weather?

As the temperatures rise outside during summer months, so do the risks that employees working in hot conditions may be harmed by the dangerous effects it can have. Exposure to high temperatures can be deadly. It’s your responsibility as a business owner

Maximizing Efficiency with CrewTracks

In the masonry industry, efficient project management is crucial for success. CrewTracks addresses this need by streamlining various aspects of daily operations.

SOLA Innovation: Digital Levels

In 2021, SOLA introduced a new generation of digital levels at the World of Concrete. Because it was in the midst of Covid it wasn’t the most well-attended show, but we were optimistic. We attended, showcasing both our SOLA and Keson brands. The standout

Bonding with Masonry 2024 Q2

This issue’s questions come from an Architect, an Engineer. and a Mason Contractor. What questions do you have? Send them to, attention Technical Talk.

Ham And Vacala Among 2024 Masonry Hall Of Fame Inductees

We're thrilled to announce two of this year's Masonry Hall Of Fame inductees. Former MCAA Chairman Larry Vacala and esteemed masonry instructor James T. Ham will be welcomed into the prestigious group during the 2024 MCAA Midyear Meeting in Park City,

Mast Climbing Safety and Documentation

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) enforces standards to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. Ever wonder where they get these standards?

Screen to Stone: Carving Fallout's Iconic T-60 Power Armor

The Washington Monument is little more than a ruin; entire cities are nothing but crumbling skeletons of houses, and entire areas of land are contaminated and uninhabitable.

Blending the Best of Old and New: The Future of Efficient & Durable Architecture

Designing With Masonry

Building More: Commit Or Swing Away, The Choice Is Yours

Our yearly golf trip recently came and went. It is always fun to get out there with the guys. It does help when the guys consist of other business owners, sales reps, lawyers, financial guys, and more.

Business Building: What Happens When Owners Won’t Let Go?

In today's construction industry, there is a significant talent shortage, with less than 3% unemployment for critical roles such as project managers, estimators, and field supervisors.

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Complementing Regional Architecture with Manufactured Stone and Brick Veneer 

In the realm of home building and design, the allure of stone and brick is undeniable. These timeless materials have long been valued for their durability, versatility and aesthetic appeal, lending strength and charm to wide-ranging commercial

Fechino Files: Reinforcing Bar

I still like doing projects that are new to me. Learning as I go still has that pressure that makes “making sure you have it right” more fun than if I have done something 100 times.

Contractor Tip of the Month: Stop Worrying and Start Living

Who among us can claim that worry has resulted in a longer life? The same thing applies to business. Who among us can claim that worry has resulted in business growth? I’m confident the answer is no one.

Chairman's Message: Round Up The Usual Suspects

There’s a fabulous scene in the climax of the film CASABLANCA starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In the scene, Claude Reins, the French Police Captain during German occupation, arrives at the airport hanger only to find Bogart had just expired

Built for the Brave: Patriot Point In Maryland Offers a Rustic Retreat for Recovering Service Members, Their Families and Caregivers

For those who have fought to defend liberty for the United States and other areas of the world, the residual battle scars are often both physical and psychological, and they last for a lifetime. But amongst grueling rehabilitation and therapy, these servi

Guide For Designing An Ideal Home Entertaining Space

Summer is near and cocktails with friends is on the calendar. Now comes the hard part. Which bar is the right spot for this group? Are they the type that care about the cocktails? Will they comment on the aesthetic? Are they looking for “dark and stormy,

The Biophilic Imperative: Designing With Nature In Mind

In today’s world, people spend many waking hours trying to minimize the adverse effects of stress in their personal and professional lives. It’s now commonplace for techniques like aroma therapy, painting with calming colors and utilizing various types of

Shaking Up Masonry: Seismic Activity Research Update

The BIA Research Codes and Standards (RC&S) Committee recently focused on technical research intended to support or increase the use of clay brick. Multiple research projects are being pursued.

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Fall Protection and OSHA Requirements

Fatalities caused by falls from heights continue to be the leading cause of death for employees, accounting for 844 of the 5,486 fatalities recorded in 2022. Those fatalities were preventable.

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Masonry In The Media - Grand Central Station, Art Insitute of Chicago, and More

The McCallister House, an iconic Chicago landmark, stands as a testament to timeless architectural elegance and historical significance. Constructed in 1887 by architect Henry Ives Cobb, characterized by its robust stone, intricate carvings

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A Quick Chat With Toro Stone - Rob McKay & Kevin Grotke

The MCAA had a chance to sit down with Rob McKay and Kevin Grotke from Toro Stone, a relatively new brand within the manufactured stone market. Despite its new branding, the product itself has a history spanning over 35 years.

Marvelous Masonry: Castillo de Coca

Nestled in the heart of Spain, standing amidst the Castilian landscape, lies the formidable Castillo de Coca, a testament to the grandeur of Spanish medieval architecture.

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American Treasure - Blackbeard's Castle

Blackbeard’s Castle is a small, historic castle located in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Sitting at the highest point on Government Hill, the Castle is one of five National Historic Landmarks.

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Bonding with Masonry 2024 Q1

This issue’s questions come from an Architect and a Mason Contractor.

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Upstate New York Chapter Inducts Officers

The Upstate NY Chapter met on May 1, 2024, and inducted three new officers and said thank you to three others. The chapter represents firms working within New York State and was formed in 2015.

Marvelous Masonry-Celebrating Masonry’s Heritage: The Historic City of Porto, Portugal

Portugal has emerged as a popular tourist destination. While the country has long been a fascinating destination, a more noticeable surge in international tourism has occurred since 2010. This can be attributed to cultural richness, natural beauty

Glen-Gery Showcases New Brick Products Reflecting Latest Design Trends at the AIA Conference on Architecture & Design 2024 (AIA24)

Toro Stone Brings New Stone Veneer Collections To Market, Emphasizing Craftsmanship and Quality

Toro Stone, a fresh face in the stone veneer landscape, burst onto the stone masonry scene in April with a bold name and vision for success. As the brand focuses on meeting the specific needs of masons and contractors

Mind The Gap: How Injection Foam is Changing the Insulation Game

I recently stayed overnight in a 120-year-old converted warehouse to hotel in Minneapolis that was built with uninsulated clay brick walls. I was perfectly comfortable as it snowed outside, and I had even turned the hotel room’s heating system off.

GEN NXT: The Next Generation of Masons

MASONRY Magazine had the opportunity to speak with father-son duo Mike Kern, Sr. and Mike Kern, Jr. Mike Kern, Sr. is a recently retired Masonry Instructor at Burke’s Career and Technology Center in Pennsylvania, and his son, Mike Kern, Jr. has stepped up

Safety On Mast Climbers: Potential and Prevention

When it comes to working on a mast-climbing platform, the most prevalent risks revolve around the peril of falls, be it objects or individuals, and the potential collapse of the platform. While other hazards like electrical and environmental factors

Preparing for the Future: Succession Planning

Succession planning is multi-faceted, strategic preparation for the movement and change of personnel within an organization. It is not just the change of ownership from one generation to another but so much more.

Reid Kubesh Appointed to NSI Board of Directors

The Natural Stone Institute board of directors has appointed Reid Kubesh (Coldspring) to fill a vacancy left by Alexandra Niedbalski, who resigned her position after leaving the industry. Kubesh will serve a four-year term from 2024-2027.

Reinforcing Masonry Projects: The Hog Leg Wall Bracing System - Sponsored by EZG Manufacturing

Strengthening masonry structures is not just about bricks and mortar; it's about ensuring stability and longevity. In the realm of masonry construction, where every brick counts towards the integrity of a building, the Hog Leg Wall Bracing System emerges

Fechino Files: A Better Understanding of Batteries

Batteries are used every day in our work, from big trucks to small trucks, equipment, cars and hand tools. They for the most part seem to be maintenance free, but with a better understanding we can help them last longer.

Business Building: Why Core Values & Principles Matter

Have you ever played on a team where there was one player who was a bad apple, didn’t play fair, or didn’t follow the team’s vision for success? Or have you worked with a fellow employee who had a bad attitude and constantly complained about the company a

Contractor Tip of the Month: Seeing Issues from the Other Person's Perspective

Sometimes, our own viewpoint and limited line of thought can hinder us when we are confronted with an issue. This lack of perspective can make you your own worst enemy. But incredible things can happen if you take a step back and view a problem from the

Chairman's Message: Vendor No. 25 and Selling Norman Rockwell’s Cottage

Growing up in the home of a mason contractor had all sorts of wonderful experiences for my siblings and me. My father and mother had a good thing going in their little household. They had a happy marriage and were raising four children.

Building More: Survival Tips From Some Hard Lessons

Winning with Homeowners: 3 Tools To Give You The Edge

In today's fast-paced world, masonry professionals are increasingly turning to technology to streamline their workflows and stay ahead of the competition. With the right tools at your fingertips, winning new jobs has never been easier.

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Guide For Designing An Ideal Home Entertaining Space

Summer is near and cocktails with friends is on the calendar. Now comes the hard part. Which bar is the right spot for this group? Are they the type that care about the cocktails? Will they comment on the aesthetic? Are they looking for “dark and stormy,”

The Spirit Levels Made for Masons

In the intricate world of construction, precision isn't just desirable—it's non-negotiable. When it comes to determining whether a surface is truly level, settling for anything less than perfection simply isn't an option.

Overcoming Adversity and Improving Rehabilitation - An Interview with Rebound

In an MCAA interview, Jayson Williams, former bricklayer and NBA All-Star, takes us on a journey through his life, detailing how he went from a celebrated athlete to wrestling with substance abuse, and eventually finding a new purpose in helpin

MCAA Interview with Kevin Grotke and Rob McKay of Instone

The MCAA was fortunate enough to have an interview with Kevin Grotke and Rob McKay of Instone, a Platinum Tier partner. Throughout the interview, they covered a broad range of topics about the company, Instone's operational focus, mission, and unique

MCAA Platinum Partner InStone Introduces New Brand, Toro Stone

Toro Stone, a new stone veneer brand designed with the needs of masons and contractors in mind, is launching to the masonry world this month. With selling points that include nationwide distribution, innovative packaging and consistent colors, Toro Stone

MCAA Interview with Tim Leese on Materiality Book

Founded in 1890, Glen-Gery has been a cornerstone of American brick manufacturing for over a century. With a rich history spanning more than 130 years, Glen-Gery has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the construction industry. Today,

Interior Remodeling Refined: Unlock the Potential of Stone Veneer Inside

Typically, stone is linked with exterior settings, yet its versatility extends far beyond. With manufactured stone veneer (MSV), the possibilities to enhance interior applications are virtually boundless.

MCAA Interview with Architect Morris Adjmi: Materiality Launch Event

In architecture, the materials used are just as important as the design. Morris Adjmi, an architect with a background from New Orleans and Italy, brings a unique view to modern architecture. He has learned a lot from his experiences abroad and from

Building Strong Foundations: CMU Specifications

In the dynamic landscape of construction, architects, engineers, and developers are continually seeking materials and methods that not only meet the demands of modern design but also deliver sustainability, efficiency, and safety.

Silica Safety: Silica and the Tragedy of the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel

Do you think silica is dangerous? Is it blown out of proportion by OSHA? The Hawk's Nest tragedy was a horrific incident of immorality against workers by overt neglect as it pertains to silica exposure.

Marvelous Masonry: The Great Wall of China 

The Great Wall of China is an iconic testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. Winding its way through China's rugged terrain, it is one of history's most impressive architectural feats.

The Exoskeleton by Mawashi Science and Technology

PPE Maintenance: Keeping Your Gear in Top Condition

Technology Trends in Masonry

Masonry is often regarded as one of the oldest trades, and although the time-honored tricks of the trade have been passed down for generations, the industry has seen numerous innovations in the tools, equipment, and technologies that assist contractors.



Showcase Your MSV Mastery to Transform Interiors

Highlighting the Popularity of Architecture In Media

There will always be a desire for familiarity in entertainment and cinema; the thrill of seeing a structure you’ve visited or studied will never fade. Many might not even realize what they see in the media is also in real life.

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This efficient and economical masonry system allows a single layer of brick to perform as both the structure and the exposed surface of the wall.

Concrete Block Veneer / Steel Stud

This versatile wall system features a durable, low-maintenance masonry façade with a steel structure.


This solid masonry wall features a structural concrete block backup system with a classic, natural stone facade.


This efficient and economical masonry system allows a single layer of concrete block to serve as the structure and the exposed surface of the wall.


The excellent insulating value and heat capacity of masonry and concrete make this system a good choice for schools and commercial buildings.


This versatile wall system features a durable, low-maintenance masonry façade with a steel structure.


Often used in residential design, this classic wall system pairs a beautiful, long lasting brick exterior with a wood structure.


Beautiful stone panels over a concrete block backup system create a sophisticated and long-lasting exterior for important buildings.

Concrete Block Veneer / Reinforced Concrete Block

Designed to stand the test of time, this all-masonry wall system pairs a concrete block structure with brick for a beautiful, durable, and maintenance-free façade.

Brick Veneer / Reinforced Concrete Block

Designed to stand the test of time, this all-masonry wall system pairs a concrete block structure with brick for a beautiful, durable, and maintenance-free façade.

Masonry Wall Sysytems

Below are eleven of the most popular masonry wall systems in use today. Click on any system below to learn how to design and build it for optimal performance.

Natural Stone Institute Awards Program Call for Entries 

Glossary of Masonry Terms

Want to learn more about the materials and accessories that make masonry wall systems work? Search our glossary of essential terms for a primer on the components of well-built masonry walls.

Dutch Quality StoneTM unveils dark and moody new colorway, Coal Crest™