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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pa, juniata county
Re: mason work
I am a Bricklayer. Done it all my life, started with my dad at 14, i'm now 50. I've built many , Many fireplaces.
Take a bit of advice. Not all Bricklayers, know how to build a fireplace properly. Building Fireplaces is somewhat of a dying skill. Housing goes through trends, and while fireplaces in homes used to be fairly common, it no longer is. Many of the fireplaces built in homes today, are in fact gas fireplaces, which is not the same.
Do your homework before you hire, or you may be dissatisfied on down the road. Your best bet is a older mason with years of experience....most younger guys, or Union or commercial masons that do nothing but lay to the line, simply haven't had the chance to build very many fireplaces. The whole firebox opening, the way you roll the back of your firebox, the height between the angle supporting the face, and your damper, the way you build the smoke shelf, the smoke chamber, flue size...ect...ect. Needs to be done right or it will not draft properly and will smoke. Leaving you with a nice looking expensive fireplace that doesn't work very well.
sorry to stir doubt....but far to many masons will claim they have experience, when in fact, they have very little. Then later on a experienced mason has to come in and fix their screw up's to make it work right. Which is a Total! pain in the butt.
I actually just gave a guy a price to do that very thing.
Do yourself a big favor, and find out how many fireplaces they have actually built. If he says oh a couple....keep looking. If he laughs and says...holy cow, i wouldn't begin to remember them all....he's probably your man.