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Hiring Masonry Contractors

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Masonry contractors specialize in two areas: brick laying and concrete work. Therefore, you will need a mason to complete a landscaping project, add a fieldstone fireplace, build a new brick home, etc.

Since masonry contractors aren't usually licensed, it is important to determine the mason's education and work experience in order to decide whether he or she is qualified to take on your project.

Many masonry contractors attended vocational schools offering courses in masonry work. Others have learned through on-the-job training and/or an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are generally for four years during which time masonry contractors learn to comprehend blueprints and gain a working knowledge of measurements, fractions, and metrics.

It is also advisable to learn whether a mason is registered in the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC). Also, masonry contractors should be healthy and strong, since they must heft heavy concrete powder bags and mix the powder by hand and/or machine.

Before calling masonry contractors, determine the brick or stone options you need for your project along with their advantages, disadvantages, and costs. You can also search for nearby homes that have been recently stoned or bricked and talk to the owners to determine the cost and how satisfactory the masonry contractors they used were.

Compare the brick rates of several masonry contractors. Masons often charge per brick. Stone masons do the same if the stones are uniformly sized, but they also charge by the job or hour if stones differ. If charging by the square foot, ensure the area of the windows and doors are subtracted.

Ask prospective masonry contractors if they have done projects similar to yours and if they can provide references of past clients with examples of their work. It would be advisable to consider skill and experience over a cheaper pay rate. Using an inexpensive and/or unskilled mason who doesn't work as directed, disrupts your yard, takes too long, etc. will call for another mason to repair the damage. Hire a quality mason to avoid needless mistakes that will add to your project's overall cost.

Once you have settled on a suitable mason, draw up a contract detailing the work to be done, total cost, payment schedule, start date and estimated completion date. Make sure the contract includes a guarantee or warranty and a provision that the contractor will perform cleanup.

Whether you're building a limestone home or laying the foundation for a new family room, hiring good masonry contractors is the key to getting the job done right.

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