Category: Essentials

Chairman’s Message: Sweet Tea and Grits

Sweet Tea and Grits Michael Sutter, MCAA Chairman If it is May then it is the MCAA Legislative month at the Capital. We will be in DC this month to sweep through the Capital offices and let our legislators know that the masonry industry is important to us and how they can help us create jobs and get the government off our backs. We have been there on such a regular basis that most of the legislators know us by name. I don’t remember how many years in a row I have been there but I start looking forward to it months in advance. I’m just as excited to visit the congressional offices as I am to go on our behind the scenes tour of the National Cathedral given to us by the head mason on site. When we went on this tour a few years ago it was said that this would be a “once in a lifetime” tour. At one point during the tour we were literally on the roof of the cathedral. The opportunity to go on this tour again is certainly a gift. Of course, everyone also enjoys the socializing with fellow MCAA members as well and there will be plenty of time for that. If you are unable to attend this year’s event, I’ll report back to you some of the highlights in next...

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Painter’s Corner: MCAA Magazine

MCAA Magazine Jerry Painter   Question: What Can I Do About Congestion? What can I do about congestion? The short answer is take an anti-histamine and call your doctor. Oh, not that type of congestion! That’s a sinus problem and all in your head anyway! Congestion in a concrete masonry unit (CMU) wall creates frustration and aggravation for the mason. This leads to lower productivity and the possibility of mistakes by actions or omissions. Add it all together and you have created the potential for a less than expected quality product. “Congested” is defined as something being too full or overcrowded. There are several ways that CMU wall can suffer from congestion. The main contributors to the clutter in the CMU wall are the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades. Masonry is the only one of the three major wall types that is expected to accommodate their “stuff” as we build the wall. Wood and stud walls are built and then the MEP folks do their rough install. On the other hand, we (masonry) are expected to install piping, boxes, conduit, holes for duct work, etc. the accumulation of these things created congestion. One of the worst I ever saw was a section of an 8” CMU wall over 48” long with two rows of ¾” conduits side by side. There was no room for a web of the CMU. The...

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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: If It Looks like a Duck and It Quacks like a Duck…

If It Looks like a Duck and It Quacks like a Duck… Damian Lang Have you ever dealt with a philosopher? ​ Someone who confuses everything he touches – including a duck with a duck? Then you’ve been the victim of a crime. That’s because this person has taken your most precious commodity – your time. Whether he’s a co-worker, sub-contractor or someone on your payroll, spending time dealing with someone who tries to complicate things by philosophizing, instead of resolving the situation at hand is draining you of something you won’t get back. Time. Time that could be better spent with your loved ones or growing your business. Rachelle and I recently built a new house overlooking two ponds with 13 ducks. While we were building our house, we had some great subcontractors that we worked with. But unfortunately, we also had a ​philosopher on our hands​. This guy was ​so smart​, if I asked him if the 13 ducks on my ponds were all ducks, he’d reply “maybe.” Maybe, because the ducks were different sizes and different colors, so they might not​ all ​be ducks. Therefore, we should probably come up with an elaborate name for each individual duck. What bugged me the most though is that he would never answer his phone when we called to ask simple questions about his end of the job. Then,...

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