Designed smart, built tough - Cladding and Roofing NZ
Designed smart, built tough

Designed smart, built tough

In New Zealand we have a long and proud history of ‘knuckling down and getting stuff done’. Masons is a company founded on that very approach with an objective to raise the quality of New Zealand building products through innovation and clever thinking.

Words by Justin Foote

Since being established in 1999, Masons has become a key supplier in the New Zealand building industry, offering a variety of quality products and tools for a whole range of building requirements.

“When I set up the company, it was because I recognised a gap in the market in terms of access to bricklayers’ tools and products,” says Trent Mason. “As a bricklayer myself, it was an issue I could relate to and do something about.”

Trent set about importing tools and gear from Australia especially for brickies and revolutionised the trade with one very simple innovation.

“BrickTies—one of my proudest accomplishments. The big problem with brick ties is that you’re holding screws in one hand, the brick ties in the other and inevitably you drop more screws than you use so at the end of the project you have more brick ties than screws. The solution was to package the brick ties with extra screws all together in a reusable bucket—simple. At the time I had the goal of being the biggest supplier of brick ties in the country within two years, we achieved that in 18 months.

Masons is now one of the largest suppliers of brick ties and has become the ‘go to’ name for bricklaying tools and consumables.

BrickTies the first innovation from Masons, which helped establish the company as the 'go to' provider for bricklaying tools and consumables.

Masons: continuing to innovate

Through the years, Trent kept strengthening the brand product by product, innovation by innovation and Masons now offers an extensive range of exterior building products from the frame out, including building wraps, damp proof course, concrete admixtures, bituminous sealers, exterior plaster cladding systems—and of course, brick ties.

“I’m proud to say that we have had many successes with the products we’ve developed or innovated for the Kiwi market. We were one of the first to bring in autoclaved aerated concrete panels—Enviropanel—which remain one of our biggest sellers. We formulated a more powerful plasticiser additive for mortar, Air-Flex, which results in less product needing to be used, making it a more cost-effective solution—our products are all about making life more efficient for the tradie.

“We’ve also developed an industry first—UNI FR, a New Zealand-designed flexible air barrier that allows you to get to close-in stage without the need for cladding to be completed. It’s created a lot of buzz and is performing really well.

“It sounds like I’m boasting and that it’s been success following success, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a tonne of things that have been tried and have failed—because there has—but the secret to success is not being afraid to have a go: ’nothing ventured, nothing gained’.”

What it does mean, says Trent, is that Masons is established enough now and has built a good reputation within the industry to allow it to innovate products. The latest innovation is a return to simple solutions at their best.

“We’ve developed a patented ‘two sizes fit all’ pipe penetration seal that is compatible with all vertical underlays. By employing a ‘witches hat’ design, we’ve effectively reduced the number of seals from seven to two—just cut to size.

“We’ve priced the smaller of the two seals, which has been designed for use with penetrations from 1mm to 75mm, in line with market prices but by the time you get to the larger size—penetrations from 80mm to 170mm—it works out to be extremely more competitive than compatible products.”

UNI FR is a flexible air barrier with unique reinforcing and water-resistant features that allows work to continue on the inside of the building for up to 90-days, without waiting for the cladding to be complete.

Masons: taking the industry from strength to strength

“It feels like I started the business ‘many grey hairs ago’ and it’s been challenging to say the least but the key has been perseverance and being open to what the industry is asking for. Over the years I travelled a lot to trade fairs, made valuable international connections and have always looked for opportunities that could work in, or be adapted to, New Zealand conditions.

“I’m excited for the next 6–12 months—we have some more CodeMarks in the making and a whole suite of products to be released—and growing the business further, as well as continuing to have a positive impact on the industry in many different ways. Which is one of the reasons why we set up a plastics recycling scheme for the plastic wrap that secures palettes. People can bring their clean, soft wrap to us and we’ll have it turned into a New Zealand-made damp proof coursing material.

“Ultimately, the goal is to look back on my career within the building industry in New Zealand and be able to say that I made a difference; that I left my mark on the industry. At the same time, I want to achieve that goal in a manner that also acknowledges and celebrates the contributions of everyone who is a part of the Masons team—my ethos is honesty; have each other’s back; principle above personality; be trustworthy and reliable.”

Learn more about Masons and the innovative products it supplies to the Kiwi building trade.

Masons plastic recycling scheme sees clean, soft wrap materials pelletised and made into a range of plastic goods, including Masons Damp Proof Coursing, helping to divert plastic waste from our landfills.
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