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Masonry work requires the respect of basic rules.

Masonry work.

Large masonry jobs are often considered difficult because they require the use of materials and tools out of reach of the amateur handyman. In reality, a lot of masonry work can be done by a good handyman, provided you respect basic rules, especially when it comes to the shell of a building.

Know the basic rules of masonry

Horizontal and vertical controls are the basis of all masonry work.

Horizontality control at the spirit level.

Masonry is a very wide discipline, which includes different techniques and involves the implementation of various products. What is common, in appearance, between resealing a crack in a plaster, mount a wall breeze blocks and make a wall plaster? The actions to be performed are certainly different, but they all concern the construction (or renovation of it). The mason must therefore take a number of precautions, especially when it attacks the shell of the house, and even more when it comes to building elements.
Controlling the verticality and horizontality of a construction
Every masonry construction must follow two fundamental rules: verticality and horizontality.
The horizontality of a building is controlled with:

  • a spirit level;
  • a vial level (or water);
  • a laser level
The verticality of a building is controlled with:
  • a plumb-line;
  • a spirit level;
  • a square of mason;
  • a laser level.

Respect the legislation on structural work

Demolition or major alterations to a building impose the demand for a permit (to demolish or build).

Demolition or major transformations.

We are no longer at the time when we could build, demolish, transform a house without authorization. As soon as work leads to substantial modification of the apparent structure of the House or surfaces, an application for authorization from the authorities is necessary.
The permit to demolish has been made mandatory to prevent wild demolitions that could affect the property of others or damage the architectural heritage.
The preliminary declaration of works is required for minor work, between 5 and 20 m2 (threshold increased to 40 m2 for extensions located in urban areas covered by a PLU).
The building permitwhere there is a proposed construction, modification of volumes and areas beyond those requiring only a prior declaration of work and if work has the effect of increasing the influence of the building to more than 150 m2.
Some "sensitive" areas also impose theauthorization of the architect of the buildings of Francefor example, when the building is classified (totally or partially) or when the building is subject to a change in appearance and is within the perimeter of a listed historic building.

Take into account the local urban plan and the land use plan

Any project imposing a Request for a building permit must first take into account the provisions of the Local Urban Plan (PLU) or Land Use Plan (POS), available in town hall. The land use constraints (SOC) have been removed.

When to use an architect?

It should be noted that any construction project of more than 150 m² of footprint or increase in area beyond this threshold must go through an architect. In general, it is prudent to use an architect as soon as the work induces touch the load-bearing structures of a building.

The easements, indicated in your deed, can also be an obstacle to your project or at least impose some constraints. Before any transformation, or any construction project, it is prudent to re-read your act and consult your notary if necessary.

(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)

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