A guide to building with masonry — cavities, wall ties, process and more

hands laying brick wall using trowel and blue spirit level
(Image credit: Sol Stock/Getty Images)

Building with masonry requires a fair amount of skill, not to mention the knowledge of the systems needed for tying it all together to form a strong structure.

A masonry wall is formed with an inner leaf of concrete blocks and external cladding (facing bricks in this case) to form a cavity. The two leaves are joined together with wall ties. This inner leaf of block work, forms the engineered structure of the house and provides the support to roofs, windows and doors and external cladding. 

Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson has worked as a construction professional for almost 30 years and following an extensive career in housebuilding became Managing Director of Potton where he now helps self builders build their own homes.

Whilst Mark describes himself as a ‘professional builder’ as a result of his career in housebuilding and timber systems manufacturing, he has specialist knowledge of timber construction and extensive expertise in finding land and appraising building plots.

He regularly shares his knowledge at Homebuilding & Renovating Shows and in Potton’s Self Build Academy where he leads the finding land and how to build seminar programme.

Aside from Mark’s professional career, his skills also extend to practical building knowledge as a skilled joiner, hands-on renovator and serial self-builder of his own development projects.

He is also Vice Chair of industry body, the Structural Timber Association.