The Complete Guide to Masonry & Stonework: Poured Concrete, Brick & Block, Natural Stone (Black & Decker)


Masonry is a popular home building material for many reasons, including its beauty, versatility, and resistance to fire, earthquakes, and sound transmission. And let’s not forget its remarkable durability.

While few of us imagine that our homes will exist for centuries, when we choose masonry we’re choosing a material that has precisely that capability.

Some of the world’s most venerable masonry structures—the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Colosseum in Rome, the Great Sphinx of Giza—have awed countless generations with their ability to withstand time.

Poured Concrete introduces you to the tools, materials, and basic techniques necessary for accomplishing functional and attractive concrete projects. You’ll learn foundation skills that allow you to build projects ranging from foundations to retaining walls and for inside, a kitchen island countertop. We walk you through each project, step-by-step, providing illustrative photos to guide the way.

Brick & Block includes projects such as building a brick barbecue and laying a mortared brick patio. You’ll learn the tools, materials, and skills necessary to complete basic brick projects and sophisticated designs.

A comprehensive section of projects gives you an opportunity to explore the possibilities of brick and block as a functional, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing construction medium.

Natural Stone introduces fresh design interpretations for an age-old material. Versatile and texturally interesting, natural stone is an increasingly popular landscaping material, and a robust selection of paver materials that resemble old-world stone are accessible and easy to use in building projects.

We’ll show you the various types of stone, how to choose appropriate material for your project, and techniques you’ll want to master before taking on the projects in this book. Then, we give you a portfolio of natural stone ideas and step-by-step instructions to accomplish them at home.

Decorative Masonry Finishing shows you how to add interest to concrete surfaces, install veneer siding, and accomplish a stucco finish. These skills will help you customize other projects in this book.

Repair & Maintenance teaches you how to make quick fixes and take on more substantial repair projects to keep your masonry and stonework projects in top condition.

So, dig in! Peruse each section and earmark projects that interest you. You may want to make a priority list—one project inevitably leads to another. Consider yourself a masonry apprentice learning a time-honored craft and let
us expose you to the hands-on techniques and creative possibilities.

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