tips

estimating

Masonry Wall Block-outs
When estimating quantities for masonry walls, do not deduct areas less than two square feet in area. They will more than likely use cut whole block and should be configured as such.

Unit Masonry - Many varieties of texture and appearance can exist for brick and concrete masonry, and the estimator would be wise to check local custom and availability within the project area. When a project calls for special brick such as utility size or glazed, remember that these more than likely will be special order. Split face block will take longer than common brick to set due to the fact that they have a somewhat irregular depth dimension and adjustments must be made to have them line up properly. read more

Masonry Accessories - Remember to include miscellaneous items in your masonry estimate; they tend to get overlooked. These items include but are not limited to flashing, reinforcing, anchors, wall ties, inserts, bearing plates, lintels, support angles and channels, allowances for joist pockets, waterproofing, cleanup, final cleaning and pointing, steam cleaning, acid or power wash, color for mortar, and control joints. For a more detailed list, see the checklist that precedes these tips.

Mortar and Grout - Mortar and grout are different components of masonry construction and are placed by entirely different methods. An estimator should be aware of their unique uses and costs. read more

Bracing - One commonly overlooked item in masonry estimating is an allowance for bracing walls. Until the structural system is tied into the masonry wall systems, the walls can be blown over relatively easily.

Site Cleanup - If the plan at the time of the estimate is to erect masonry walls after concrete slabs have been poured, keep in mind that the masonry contractor will be responsible for cleaning the dropped mortar off of the concrete slab. Allow for this cleanup.

Panelization - Plan ahead. Could your next project, which is not scheduled to start until later, be built with pre-assembled panels? If you have the manpower available today, it might be economical to have the contractor pre-build the walls in panelized sections in their yard, then deliver and quickly erect them at the site. This could save quite a bit of time on the project.

Anti-Graffiti Products - If not specified, consider adding as an option the application of one of the various anti-graffiti or vandalism products. These coatings are roller, brush, or spray-applied to close the pores of the brick, thereby preventing permanent damage. Remember that graffiti and vandalism are present in all cities and towns, not just the major metropolitan areas. Cleaning of masonry is best accomplished by specialized proprietary masonry cleaners, used per the manufacturer’s directions.

Waste - Waste, specifically the loss/droppings of mortar and the breakage of brick and block, is included in RSMeans cost data for all masonry assemblies in this division. A factor of 25% is added for mortar and 3% for brick and concrete masonry units.

Scaffolding - Scaffolding or staging is not included in any of the Division 4 costs. Refer to estimaring costs for Temporary Facilities & Controls instead

Looking for a competitive edge to your estimates? Try the new RSMeans Online -- a faster, sleeker, and more versatile way to find the cost data you need and create estimates on‐the‐fly.