Masonry tech- niques aren’t hard to learn and can be valuable on small jobs
by John Carroll
P lacing a nice new home on top of a bare block foundation is like getting all dressed up for the prom and then wearing a pair of construction boots. So I like to build my foundations out of a combination of brick and block, a common method here in North Carolina.
Blocks — or CMUs (concrete masonry units) — are economical, come in different sizes, and lay up
quickly, so they’re used below grade. Bricks are more expensive and take longer to install, so they’re saved for above-grade work, where they’ll show.
While most GCs will never lay the foundation for an entire house, brick- and block-laying skills can come in handy on small jobs when it’s tough to enlist a masonry contractor. In this article, I’ll use a small workshop foundation that I built to illustrate
NOVEMBER 2006 I JLC I 1