I've worked as a mason for 31 years and have kept things interesting by taking on the most unconventional and technically challenging projects I can find, whether in repair, remodeling, or new construction. Recently I did a massive high-end residential job that fit that description well.

The project called for two gable-end reinforced masonry walls that would perform an unusual structural function: provide the support necessary to offset the centerlines of two large masonry chimney flues that traveled as far as 8 feet horizontally from the fireplaces they served. This unique arrangement allowed the chimneys to pass through the...

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