Cost is always a concern when it comes to any construction or renovation project, so when homeowners come to us for estimates they often ask the obvious question: why is masonry work more expensive than other work? There are many factors that affect pricing, but the three main reasons masonry work is more expensive than other home repair work are materials, labor, and expertise.

Masonry materials are expensive.
Masonry materials are heavy, durable, high-quality, and not cheap.

Materials

The cost of your masonry materials is a huge part of why pricing is higher than wood or basic concrete. Of course, we’re talking about brick, flagstone, and pavers. Each of these materials is heavy and difficult to source. Alternatively, all three last longer than siding, concrete or wood.

Flagstone is natural stone, and each piece has different colors, textures and shapes. Since they’re quarried and cut into varying sizes, it takes a skilled mason to install them in an artistic and attractive way. Flagstone is so beautiful because each piece is so unique!

Alternatively, pavers are manufactured into buildable slabs. Since pavers are pre-cut, the amount of work required to install the pavers is minimal compared to flagstone. Still, pavers offer the beauty of uniformity that flagstone can’t achieve.

Brick is typically cheaper than stone, but still more expensive than concrete or wood. Like pavers, bricks provide a uniform design. Though stone is more durable than brick, brick will still withstand the elements better than concrete.

Though more expensive, stone homes and patios require less upkeep and hold up to termites and fires much better than wood. Stone is also (arguably) more pleasing to the eye than concrete or siding.

Masons are highly skilled artisans.
Masons are highly skilled artisans of their craft.

Labor

Masonry requires artistry, skill, and a good bit of strength to install. Unlike other less bullish materials, stonework demands grit and intelligence. It’s heavy, and masons must submit to backbreaking work day in and day out while also applying their attention to every detail of their work.

It’s difficult to find a mason with the experience necessary to deliver a true work of art, and we’re proud to say that our head mason has years of work under his belt. Of course, masons are paid according to their skill set and experience, and that means they’re paid better than other laborers.

Another factor relative to labor is time. Masonry by its very nature requires time. It’s not a quick process, and masons need to be attentive to every detail of their work. Since the work is labor intensive, the price reflects it.

Paver patios are beautifully crafted.
Patios are difficult to build and require experience.

Expertise

Pricing can be a little confusing when it comes to masonry jobs. The price a masonry contractor with minimal experience charges is usually much less than an expert craftsman crafting high-quality masonry designs. Masonry is an artform to those who do it best; they charge accordingly.

Expertise is extraordinarily difficult to find these days. Masons able to produce luxury outdoor living spaces built to last are few and far between. If you’re hoping to really invest in your home with a jaw-dropping masonry project, be sure to hire a professional who knows how to deliver your dream vision. You don’t know how many times we get calls from homeowners hoping to repair a cheaper contractor’s mistakes! Hiring an expert is usually more cost-effective in the long run.

In conclusion, the three main reasons masonry work is more expensive are the cost of materials, labor, and expertise. All of these factors added together equal a beautiful result, but not without an investment. Luckily, masonry is more durable (and sustainable!) than most other building materials.

Want more specific pricing details? Check out our blog posts dedicated to explaining how much each of our most popular jobs cost.

Here are a few helpful links:

Let us know if you have any questions about pricing your next masonry project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.