There are many different home designs in the United States. There’s the Cape cod famous in New England, the ranch-style home typical in the Midwest, and the masonry house which people can find in every region.
Masonry homes are known for their durability and resistance to severe weather. They’re also low maintenance and energy-efficient. Here are the five essentials you need to know if you’re thinking about building a masonry home.
The Right Kind of Stone
Masonry homes have always been built with stone. The most common type of stone used in masonry construction is limestone. It’s strong and durable and easy to find in most parts of the country. Other types of stone used for masonry construction include granite, sandstone, and slate.
Granite has high compressive strength, making it an ideal choice for your home’s foundation and load-bearing walls. Sandstone is a softer stone, often used for decorative accents like fireplace surrounds and entryways. Finally, slate is a popular choice for roofing because of its water-resistant properties.
However, consider new cultured stones instead if you want something more modern. Cultured salt stone is an artificial stone that looks and feels like natural limestone. It’s less expensive than natural stone and easier to work with. It’s great for modern masonry homes and easier to build.
The Right Tools
In order to build a masonry home, you’ll need the right tools. The most crucial tool you’ll need is a trowel. This hand tool is used to spread mortar, and it comes in various sizes to fit your needs. You’ll also need a level to ensure your walls are straight and a tape measure to get accurate measurements.
Other tools you might need include a hammer, pliers, wire cutters, and saws. If you’re working with natural stone, you might also need a chisel and hammer to shape the stone to your liking.
The Right Mix
Mortar is the adhesive that holds masonry together. It’s made of cement, sand, and water. The ratio of these ingredients will vary depending on the project you’re working on.
For example, a wall exposed to the elements will need a different mortar mix than an interior wall. The type of stone you use will also dictate the mortar mix you need.
Granite requires a more potent mortar mix because it’s a heavier stone. A good rule of thumb is to use one part cement, two parts sand, and three parts water for your mortar mix.
Add the cement to the water first, then slowly add the sand until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
You can also add pigments to your mortar to give it color. This is a popular choice for modern masonry homes.
The Right Process
Building a masonry home takes time and patience. The first step is to lay out your foundation. Once the foundation is in place, you can start working on the walls.
When you’re ready to start laying stone, spread a layer of mortar on the wall with your trowel. Then, begin placing the stones one at a time. Be sure to press each stone into the mortar, so it’s securely in place.
Continue this process until all of the stones are in place. You can then use a trowel to smooth the mortar between the stones.
Once the walls are complete, you can move on to the roof. There are various roofing options for masonry homes, so be sure to consult with a professional before making a decision.
The most popular roofing choice for masonry homes is slate because of its durability and water-resistant properties.
The Right Finish
The final step in building your masonry home is to add a finish. You can do this with paint, stucco, or stone veneer.
Paint is the most common finish for masonry homes. It’s easy to apply and protects the stone from the elements. You can choose any color you like, and you can even add patterns or designs with paint.
Stucco is a type of plaster that’s made of cement, sand, and water. It’s often used as a finish for masonry homes in warm climates because it helps keep the home cooler.
Stone veneer is a popular choice for modern masonry homes. It’s a thin layer of stone applied to the house’s exterior. Stone veneer comes in various colors and styles, so you can find something to match your home’s style.
Building a masonry home is a big project, but it’s ultimately worth it. These homes are durable, and they can withstand the elements. With the right tools and materials, you can build a masonry home that will last for generations. The best part is that you can do it yourself when armed with the proper knowledge and determination.