Start a New Career | Heritage Masonry Repair Programme

Heritage Brick & Stone Repair Programme 2023


“We are now taking applications for a few seats left for the 2023 session of the Heritage Brick & Stone Repair Programme.”

“There is a critical shortage of heritage masonry repair professionals who perform small lime masonry repair and repointing jobs on the vast stock of older houses and commercial buildings across Canada and the United States.”


Maintaining and developing traditional skills such as Heritage Masonry is crucially important for the upkeep of historic buildings. Traditional buildings account for around 42% of North Americas housing stock. It was recently estimated that 75% of these need repair, and yet there are currently only a handful of craftspeople practicing small repair jobs utilizing lime in Canada and the United States. Heritage Masonry repair is just one of the many traditional crafts that are vital to the preservation of our irreplaceable heritage buildings. Our twelve-week programme is now available, offering detailed instruction and a potentially rewarding career.

The appearance of brick and stone masonry owes as much to the character of the mortar joints as to the brick and stones themselves. Unsuitable poorly executed repointing can affect not only the look but also the durability of masonry and is amongst the most frequent causes of damage to the character and fabric of a historic building.

Module One:

Structural conditions and remedies.

  • Pyramidal Cracks
  • Spalling
  • Inappropriate Materials
  • Organic material affecting the masonry
  • Failing Jack, Segmental and Roman Arches
  • Inappropriate or inadequate support
  • Environmental damage
  • Mechanical services
  • Staining and cleaning

Module Two:

Water Management and Rising Damp

  • What causes masonry to deteriorate
  • Field Testing
  • Mortar samples
  • Mortar testing and reporting
  • Water and damp issues cause and effect
  • Identifying materials, clay, stone, mortar

Module Three:

The Inspection Process and Client Relations.

  • The inspection
  • Measured drawings
  • Health and Safety
  • Creating a log
  • Client relations
  • Agreements
  • Do I need a permit?
  • Heritage requirements

Module Four:

Mortar Mixes

  • Lime mortar mixes
  • Historic mortars
  • Aggregate
  • Sourcing traditional products
  • Compressive strengths
  • Specific mortars for special conditions
  • Pozzolans, and their uses
  • Tinting and colour match

Module Five:

Test Panels and Masonry Identification

  • Building a test panel
  • On-site test panels
  • Brick and Stone identification
  • Compressive strengths of heritage masonry
  • Sill replacement procedures wood and masonry
  • Burnt sand mastic

Module Six:

Tools of the Trade

  • Various tools and their uses
  • Building arch forms
  • Scaffolding
  • Masonry structural support systems
  • Best tools for small repair jobs
  • Current tool costs

Module Seven:

Mortar Removal and Repair

  • Portland cement removal and remediation
  • Mortar removal process stone and unit brick masonry
  • Spalled brick repair and remediation
  • Acceptable new materials

Module Eight:

Final Finish:

  • Pointing using lime mortar brick and stone
  • Lamination and bagging techniques, scarifying
  • Tooling techniques and styles brick and stone
  • Protecting green mortar
  • Weather conditions
  • After care

Bonus Module:

In Person Retreat:

Heritage Masonry Repair at the Edifice Atelier, Oxford Campus, twenty minutes west of Cambridge, Ontario. Or at the Beau Pré Campus, Nova Scotia, twenty minutes east of Digby, Nova Scotia.

Spend time live and hands-on practicing what you have learned with Dr. Christopher Cooper, after your course is completed! (some materials costs)

Start Date:

Orientation: One-on-one


Approximately 112 hours

What we are looking for…

  • You must have an enthusiasm for heritage buildings, with a good understanding of the character and quality they exude.
  • Do you have some masonry skills?
  • Do you have knowledge and experience using hand and power tools?
  • Are you currently a small contractor, and want to learn new skills and earn a much higher income?
  • Do you have the motivation to run your own successful small business?
  • Do you want more work, or better higher paying work?
  • Are you a homeowner that wants to repair and restore your own heritage masonry?

If you can answer these questions with a resounding YES, then the Heritage Masonry Repair Programme is a right fit for you!

This career is open to all adult applicants (18 + with no age limit). However, a good sense of business and the restoration/renovation industry would be ideal. We would like to encourage more women (our current ratio is higher than 50%+) to enter this field as well as people who have recently retired, it is never too late to forge a new and creative future in Heritage Masonry.

International students are welcome.

Module tools:

Students will have access to all study materials, dedicated academic mentorship, and learning activities via an online learning platform.

The Module Content Syllabus is broken down into structured study weeks to help students plan their time, with each week containing a mixture of reading, case studies, videos/recordings, and interactive activities to go through.

Online live Zoom instruction/Q&A seminars once a week, usually on a weeknight, to accommodate students busy schedules. This live one-hour session is the core of this intensive led by Dr. Christopher Cooper, and must be attended in real time to provide opportunities to consolidate knowledge, ask questions, discuss topics and work through learning activities together.

Heritage Masonry Programme Learning Outcomes:

Once the final examination essay is reviewed with a passing grade, you will receive a one-year membership to the Edifice Guild with all the benefits of a full member to open your consultancy in Heritage Masonry Repair and Restoration.

Start your journey today on a brand-new career as a Heritage Masonry Repair Specialist

Request your Zoom interview with Dr. Christopher Cooper. Please fill out the form below.

There will only be 4-6 placements available for the 2023 sessions

You will be sent an interview request once we evaluate your email submission. You will receive Zoom credentials for a one-on-one interview with Dr. Christopher Cooper.

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