Pros and cons of using masonry method of construction

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    Construction industry has seen evolution of many methods of building. Multiple techniques have improvised and improved for increasing durability and reducing the maintenance efforts. This has increased the efficiency of material as well as techniques. Construction estimators have also evolved their techniques along with different methods. There are certain popular methods of construction that are used for building heavy and high-rise as well as homes. Most popular among them are wooden structures and the masonry structures. Both of these methods have their own pros and cons. whereas, some of them are more significant than the rest. Wood is not durable when put in comparison to concrete and stones. Masonry includes the building with the help of these materials. Bricks are used along with the concrete blocks and stones. Cement is also a material used in masonry. Nevertheless, this method of construction has its own advantages and disadvantages. We are going to discuss them here in detail. 

    Advantages of masonry construction: 

    There are many significant advantages of this method, which are helpful in deciding whether to use this for building or not. It includes durability and low maintenance of the structure. The details are as follows: 

    High temperature resistance: 

    Concrete is used as one of the most significant insulation material. It has great insulating properties, which prevents the absorption of heat and penetrates the high temperature. It is used for insulating structural steel as well due to this property. Hence, this is the biggest advantage of masonry. It is non-combustible and the stone masonry is highly durable against the fire hazards. The concrete blocks also have high insulation properties, are resistant to hot weather, and high temperatures as well. 

    Resistance against degradation: 

    Masonry is resistant to rotting and pests attack. It is also resistant to the damage inflicted by the natural disasters. Due to its strength and resistance to all weather conditions, it is suitable for multiple locations and seasons. It does not require much of maintenance and hence are more efficient against weather conditions. Stones in particular have high resistance properties and are not easily degradable. 

    Aesthetic look for buildings: 

    The design sense for buildings and architectures has changed greatly. Many of the owners renovate their houses in order to highlight the aesthetic sense of design. Raw and natural looks on the exterior are preferred. Masonry provides the owners with that look. It brings out the rustic look that is appealing and mystical in its own ways. Stones are mainly preferred which come in different sizes, shapes and textures. Bricks and mortar is also used which look great on the exterior walls. This kind of construction does not require paint and hence easy to maintain. Repairs are not required often. It is easy to make openings for windows and doors when using bricks for construction. There are endless design possibilities in this sense of design and all of them have high values of durability. Concrete blocks are made with recycled materials and have a sense of rustic look to them. 

    There are many other advantages of masonry construction. These include an increase in the lifespan of the building constructed through this method. Since the walls are thick and are built with bricks or stones, soundproofing is a natural property. In addition, this requires local labor for work, which makes this method of construction an economic friendly way of building. 

    Disadvantages of masonry construction: 

    Every picture has two sides of story. It is the case here as well. This type of construction has its disadvantages as well. Although it is a great medium for constructing durable buildings, it has some cons attached to it. These are discussed in detail below: 

    Transportation of materials: 

    Concrete and other construction materials are heavy and require no-conventional means of transportation. Convention vehicles cannot be used for transporting masonry and hence, it becomes costly to move these materials. This is probably one of the biggest cons when it comes to this method. Construction takeoff services include the estimates for these expenses as well. 

    Foundation work is hectic and risky: 

    Foundations are the most important part when constructing something because the stability and sustainability of the structure is dependent on it. In masonry construction method, foundations are required to be larger and hence require more work and material. If not built carefully and on time, moisture can seep in and there are fair chances of cracking and settlement occurrences. This makes the whole building structure fragile and susceptible to damage in case of tough conditions. 

    Moisture absorbent: 

    The most important things that the contractors and owners should be concerned about is that of moisture ingress in the concrete and mortar. Bricks are prone to this as well. Due to heavy rains and extreme conditions, the water vapors can seep in the material and make it weak overtime. This puts question on the strength of the whole building structure. However, there is a solution for this that is being practiced while constructing with masonry material. That is, a cavity is kept in the building structure in order to provide an evacuation way for the moisture. This can help in making the whole structure water free and can increase the durability of the building. 

    Low tensile strength: 

    Concrete and other materials have high strengths and sustainability. That is to say, these materials have high capability of withstanding the pressure and power exerted by the external factors. But these materials have low tensile strength. Tensile strength is defined as the resistance of the material to break under tension. This means that concrete and other masonry materials are not capable of withstanding the exertion inflicted upon the, as a result of high tension. This makes them vulnerable to the exposure of heavy winds, which can cause severe damage to the structures. 

    Several other disadvantages are part of this list. Masonry requires specialized work force and commitment. This method requires complete planning and time in order to discuss minute details related to the process pf construction. Although, there are disadvantages associated with this method, it is still the most durable and reliable method of construction which embodies strength and the ability to sustain under heavy pressure. 

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