Author: Dan Kamys

The Path Ahead

The Path Ahead Dan Kamys, Editor – dkamys@masonrymagazine.com What a whirlwind April proved to be. The new Masonry made its first appearance at the Coverings show. While our new approach has gone over very well, I still want to continue to push the envelope of both our messaging and the ways in which we get said message out. Though Coverings has a focus on tile and stone, I think there is a place for that type of content within the Masonry umbrella.   I was pleasantly surprised at what an event this show was. Jeff Buczkiewicz and I were...

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Contractor Tip Of The Month: Which Plan Should You Choose, A Discretionary Bonus or Results Oriented Incentive Plan? Part 2

Which Plan Should You Choose: A Discretionary Bonus Or Results Oriented Incentive Plan? Part 2 Damian Lang This is the second article of a two-part series. To read part one, go to EZG Manufacturing’s Blog or read it here.  Like a struggling football team, if your incentive plan isn’t working properly, you could end up 0-16 for the year – or in the contracting world – unprofitable… and we all know that’s not where you want to end up. So today we’re going to talk about the secret to building a winning team by insuring your incentive plan has been designed and is working properly. Let’s start by answering the following question: Why can’t everyone earn the same amount, regardless of what they do to drive company results? I.e. wouldn’t equal earnings make us one big happy family? Many of you are probably nodding your heads yes, and I get that. But let me ask the question in another way: If your co-worker were to get up on Saturday morning and watch cartoons, while you prepared for a meeting or loaded a truck with the right equipment for Monday morning’s job, should he still make the same as you? What if this happened week after week after week? Would equal earnings still make for one big happy family? You’re probably not shaking your head yes to this one. Put another way,...

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Technical Talk: Masonry Flashing

Masonry contractors are usually directed to install flashing with their masonry product. Flashing acts as a barrier which redirects moisture away from building interiors and back toward the exterior of the wall. Common flashing materials include synthetic membranes (peel and stick) and metals, such as copper and stainless steel. The material that is used will directly affect the expected lifespan of the flashing, especially where flashings are exposed to sunlight or weathering. Flashing needs to be accompanied by a weep mechanism to allow moisture to exit the wall, often in the form of weep holes or head joint vents...

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Full Contact Project Manager: It’s The Mortar

It’s The Mortar “Coach” Gary Micheloni This past month, the TV networks seemed to constantly be featuring Washington D.C., and that coverage really showcased our national monuments present there. Especially so, I noticed, during the presidential inauguration celebrations. But I soon realized that all of these really beautiful buildings in D.C. got that way (beautiful), not because they are made of granite and marble, brick, block and stone, but because they are all held together with mortar. We see them because of the mortar. Mortar…really? Mortar is what helps to turn a promising stack of block construction materials into a beautiful building. “Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.” — Ludwig Mies van der Rohe The term, mortar, also applies to the laws that keep our country safe, just as the love we have for each other is what binds us together. And it is that, completely, ‘American thing’, that swagger, the exceptionalism, that allows us to say to our enemies–in the words of the philosopher (and country singer) Toby Keith, “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!) It’s the mortar. A favorite political cartoonist I enjoy is Steve Breen. A recent cartoon of his showed a brick being thrown through a sign which said “free speech”. It reminded me that, by itself, a brick can be a weapon. However, when you add to...

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NCMA’s Unit Design Competition For Architectural Students — A Win-Win For All Involved

The NCMA Unit Design Competition involves the conceptual design of innovative concrete masonry or hardscape units that can be economically manufactured on a block machine (concrete masonry and segmental retaining wall units) or big board machine (concrete pavers). The competition is incorporated into the architectural program at major universities and in many cases is virtually the only exposure these students would ordinarily receive on utilization of concrete masonry or hardscape units. The competition was initiated at North Carolina State University as the NCSU Blockfest in 1996 through a joint venture of the Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association (now the Southeastern...

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