What is the most rewarding aspect of Brickmasonry?
Basically, I want to know exactly what makes it feel so enjoyable and worthwhile. Is it the fact of heavy working? Is it the calculating? Is it being able to move heavy things often?
I have had the opportunity over the last 2 years to learn a wealth of knowledge in the masonry field, even more than store owners and most masons themselves. I bought a few older brick buildings and couldn't find anyone to restore, repoint or repair these older buildings, PROPERLY. The mason is a dying breed, with more work coming in as these older houses pre 1920's now need to be renovated.
The typical cement pad, pour footers and sidewalks, and other common projects isn't to bad, but finding someone to repair a building using type O lime based mortar, with a soft fire dried hand made brick, yeaaa...pretty hard. The laborer needs to be very knowledgeable, and skilled at these very delicate, but very strong structures. I have been all around central NY , and finding a mason knowledgeable about these types of mortars and buildings is almost non-existent. I called around for weeks to get a type O based mortar for repointing, and most "masonry" places didn't even know how to find it or order it. I find that amazing. The mason who quoted me for repointing told me he always uses type N for repointing which is completely wrong in these older applications.
So my advice, learn the trade. Learn the tips. Learn the proper way to build things. Your finished product is very rewarding. A happy customer is very rewarding. I old 1850 building standing for another 150 years is very rewarding. and quality mason are VERY hard to find.
I worked in construction for most of my college career and I have some experience with brick masonry, concrete, and heavy equipment. First of all it is very hard work and that in itself can be rewarding when you put in a good day of work. Also its rewarding to see a flat piece of dirt turn into a building when a whole crew of people work together to achieve a common goal. People are competitive and there are skill levels that people achieve doing this job. The people that are fast and good at this job are proud of their work and the achievements that out shine others in the profession.
For me personally, when I worked in my friends backyard doing landscaping we build brick walls and then attached stones to the front of the walls it was great to see how nice it looked when we were done. Also, one of the men I worked with on that job was rewarded in strength. He looked like a football player and he could throw 50lb bags of cement around like they were nothing.
Good luck in whatever you pursue!