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Old 09-22-2011, 09:59 AM   #1
discbrks
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Default Average cost to lay concrete block

I got a quote yesterday to lay blocks on my new slab. It seemes a little high - but just wanted a few opinions... Here's what I have:

32x36 finished slab that I only want one course of blocks layed around the perimeter. There will be 3 openings in the "wall", 2-10' garage door openings and one 38" opening for the walk-in door rough-in. It comes out to about 90 blocks and of which only 5 need to be cut. I have the blocks already and I have the door rough-ins marked and all the level strings pulled. My quote was $200.00 and I supply the mortar & sand. Does this sound right? That's about $2.25 per block, and I was thinking it sould be more like $1.00-$1.50 per block. What's the concensus?
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

...
With only one row to install I wondering if you are falling into " Its to small of a job to bother with class", thus the high estimate?

I would be asking around at the local professional block supply store for some recommendation referrals for installers, maybe you can find a simi-retired layer that would be a perfect fit. Check into a local apprentice program that you could use and save big $$?

Last edited by volvo; 09-22-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

I'm wondering if only one row of block would be worth trying to do yourself. I've layed some brick before with no previous experience and it went pretty well. In fact my wife helped with it. That wasn't structural though so it would be more critical in your case. I like the idea of taking a class at a tech school or something.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

The mason has some fixed costs just to get the job going. That doesn't change for 90 blocks or 900 blocks. Those costs have to factor into the job.

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Old 09-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

Well, I did lay about 250 blocks for the foundation. But it's not real pretty and that wat before my daughter was born. I could do it, but if would cost around $100.00 it would be well worth me not doing it. It would probably take me about 3 weekends to lay them all.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

$2.25 a block for labor only is pretty good, shopping around I got quotes from $2 to $3.50 each.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

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Originally Posted by thisoldcrackhouse View Post
$2.25 a block for labor only is pretty good, shopping around I got quotes from $2 to $3.50 each.
Well, maybe the price isn't so bad then. Anybody else have experience with this?
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

You are definitively falling into the job is too small category. I'll give you an example.

I call a mason for my neighbor to fix a 5x5 section of sidewalk. $400. That is 25sq ft. $16 per square foot.

Section of sidewalk by my house. 20 x 10, 200 sq ft, $1250. $6.25 per square foot.

This is demo, permit (NYC), removal, gravel, compacting, and cleaning included in price.

I ask him why its so expensive for the neighbor, he said it is just too little of a job. Property is too far away, getting a permit costs nothing, but it kills a day for him, again (NYC). He said that section will be $150 when doing my sidewalk. Your job is just too small.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

Quote:
Originally Posted by discbrks View Post
I got a quote yesterday to lay blocks on my new slab. It seemes a little high - but just wanted a few opinions... Here's what I have:

32x36 finished slab that I only want one course of blocks layed around the perimeter. There will be 3 openings in the "wall", 2-10' garage door openings and one 38" opening for the walk-in door rough-in. It comes out to about 90 blocks and of which only 5 need to be cut. I have the blocks already and I have the door rough-ins marked and all the level strings pulled. My quote was $200.00 and I supply the mortar & sand. Does this sound right? That's about $2.25 per block, and I was thinking it sould be more like $1.00-$1.50 per block. What's the concensus?
I was doing masonry work about 12 years ago before I got into computers. I was charging $1.25 then. For a job that small you have to factor it costs to bring your equipment to the site. Don't be suprised either when its done in about an hour or two. I used to get some comments that they wished they could make $100/hr which I would respond "I wish i did to" I still have to pay for fuel, insurance, employees, sometimes equipment rental and supplies out of all this money. The $200 is not a steal by any means but is is a fair price. Back in the day I would have asked $125-$150 for that depending on the size of the block and the cutting required. Some of these small jobs are more of a being nice thing and trying to win a customer. They can quickly start costing you if something starts slowing you down. I remember a job with a small foundation. Only three courses of 8" block. Something was wrong with the footing and required sawing the blocks. There was some compensation but not nearly enough to offset the extra labor and putting me behind elsewhere.

Last edited by ctgoodman; 09-22-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

Your not going to get a decent mason for any less. (my opinion)!

The guy has to pay his helper to man the mixer and has set up and trasportation costs. in the end he will burn a whole day and take home 50-75 bucks at that price. Remember he pays insurance, gas, workers comp and taxes and ss ...etc. too...
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

I wouldn't do it for any less.
Oh, wait, I have done it for less.
I did my own around my patio for a stucco wall.
How do you intend to tie it to your slab? Do you have rebar sticking up from the slab?
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

Last I priced was $1.75/block and that was several years ago. Maybe ask the guy to cut you a deal if you mix and move the blocks. BTW, if you do this, don't set a block in the dirt on an end that gets morter. Dont ask how I know.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

200 for 90 blocks would be a fair price here in SW VA. The usual price is around what the block costs to lay it, but in your situtation the project is so small, by the time all the set-up/ squaring is done, it will be time to clean the mixer, tools and go home. If you can't do it yourself have the guy lay them.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
How do you intend to tie it to your slab? Do you have rebar sticking up from the slab?
Yep. I have #4 rebar sticking up about 6" every 4 feet. After the blocks are layed, I'll set my anchor bolts and fill all the cores with concrete.

I had a second guy come by this afternoon and quote me $185.00 Not much less, but judging from all the opinions here, I think it's a fair price. Plus, he's gonna start late Saturday and if not finished, come back Sunday and finish. And this guy is a professional, licensed mason that's looking for some small, fill-in type jobs. We'll see how it looks after the weekend.

Thanks for all your replies.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

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Yep. I have #4 rebar sticking up about 6" every 4 feet. After the blocks are layed, I'll set my anchor bolts and fill all the cores with concrete.

I had a second guy come by this afternoon and quote me $185.00 Not much less, but judging from all the opinions here, I think it's a fair price. Plus, he's gonna start late Saturday and if not finished, come back Sunday and finish. And this guy is a professional, licensed mason that's looking for some small, fill-in type jobs. We'll see how it looks after the weekend.

Thanks for all your replies.
This second guy, trying to make a few extra bucks on the side is the one I'd take. He's a mason but making a few extra bucks like most of us would.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

That only one block high wall is not going to have much lateral strength, I would after its layed go back and about every other block drill and install an anchor bolt before you fill the cores with concrete. Either that or notch out the top of block and lay a piece or two of rebar in to give it some strength. I would hate for you to run a mower into it and kick the whole wall out.... A lot of the strength of a block wall comes from weight of the block on top of each other and the weight of the wall above. This one row would be easy to move.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

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That only one block high wall is not going to have much lateral strength, I would after its layed go back and about every other block drill and install an anchor bolt before you fill the cores with concrete. Either that or notch out the top of block and lay a piece or two of rebar in to give it some strength. I would hate for you to run a mower into it and kick the whole wall out.... A lot of the strength of a block wall comes from weight of the block on top of each other and the weight of the wall above. This one row would be easy to move.
Interesting you should mention that... Here's the plan right now: every 4 feet there is a piece of #4 rebar that is sticking up from the slab by 6". These pieces of rebar will fall into the block cores when layed. After all the blocks are layed, I'm going to set all my anchor bolts (for the sill plate) and put concrete in all the block cores - filling all the blocks. Do you think that I still need to drill an anchor bolt every other hole? Or notch & add horzontal rebar?
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

If you didn't already have the blocks then you could have laid open bottom lintel blocks and easily banded the top with rebar before pouring.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

I've found many people willing to lay blocks for $1 to 1.50 each, being that I provide the block/cement etc. They come with tools to mix and apply. Although I'm in the landscaping business (15yrs), it helps offset their mentality to overcharge me. Yet, I "contract" them to work for my "project". Goodluck.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Average cost to lay concrete block

At least notch and lay rebar. WarDamnEagle is right that those lintel blocks would let you make a structural wall. Once the block that you have are laid and set up good, take a skill saw with diamond blade and notch the cores out and you can then tap with hammer break out the centers and have a place to lay rebar. You really want that first level to be heavy and attached to the slab and the sill plate anchors tied to the rebar before you concrete everything. You can get heavy winds in Columbus from storms so you want those walls tied to the slab. On metal buildings(not pole barns) the big footers for the posts are to provide weight to keep the wind from lifting the roof off, not to support the building but to be an anchor to keep the roof from being a wing.
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