The most important step in planning a masonry construction project is estimating cost and determining a price. An accurate estimate gives you a guideline for keeping your project within budget once it starts and saves you money by giving you an accurate material and labour cost to base your price on. You will find the process of accurately pricing a masonry job is difficult and time consuming, but the extra work during the planning phase will pay off in the long-run.

Calculate the total surface area of your masonry project. For example, each wall of a 10 foot by 10 foot storage building 8 foot tall is 80 square feet, and the total surface area of the building is 320 square feet.

Determine the multiplier of the model brick you are using. Your masonry supplier will give you this information.

Calculate the number of bricks you need by multiplying the total surface area of your project by the multiplier for your brick model. For example, a total surface area of 320 square feet requires 2,192 bricks when using a modular brick with a multiplier of 6.85.

Calculate the amount of mortar and sand required. You need 7 standard bags of mortar and 1 ton of sand for every 1,000 bricks.

Make a project material list using your calculations.

Determine the cost of the materials by obtaining quotes from at least three suppliers and choosing the quote you feel is reasonable.

Calculate the cost of labour for your project. Figure £211.2 to £308.7 per thousand bricks for labour.

Add the total cost of materials and labour together to find the total cost of your project.

Determine the price of the masonry work by adding your overhead cost and profit margin to the total cost.

#### Tip

Don't forget to subtract for windows and door openings when calculating your project surface area. Be sure to add 5 per cent to your material calculations for waste. Check to see if delivery fees are included when asking for quotes on materials.