In this fireplace rebuild we needed to support a very old two-ton chimney while removing the main floor’s fireplace and the basement’s footing, then rebuild the basement structure and main floor fireplace properly to pass an insurance inspection with a new wood burning fireplace insert. All the other contractors declined Read More

Engineers are Valuable

For this fireplace the original architect, quite well known but young, proposed hanging the approximately 8,000 pounds of stone from 2×4’s from the ceiling over this three sided fireplace. On my advice an Engineer was brought in, who requested the basement be reinforced and a steel structure be built to Read More

Experiments at Algonquin College

I’ve been conducting experiments at Algonquin College!  What fun.  Their Masonry Lab with its specialized tools and machines all hooked up to computers is not an environment most masons ever get to play in.   The textbook says X will happen.   I get to test and see what that really means.

Sealant around window sills

Window sills are a place where water often gets in, and can cause damage not only to the exterior wall but even the interior walls. Why?  Usually there are a variety of materials competing at this part of the house, each with a different rate of thermal expansion and contraction.  Read More