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masonry wall cost guide - cost of brick - cost of block - cost of stone

2009-2010 Masonry Cost Guide

4" Wisconsin weather edge stone



Installed Cost 6/1/09 - 5/31/10




fire rating (hours)

STC Rating (db)

Wall Weight (psf)

production rate  (per day)






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Economy Measures for Masonry Construction


  • Use an appropriate bond (one-half or one-third running bond) allowing the wall to "course-out" at corners, openings, and movement joints.  Individual unit dimensions should determine the type of bond. 
  • Spacing of piers should be multiples of half nominal length, minus one head joint.
  • Keep piers and panels as large as possible.
  • Work lintel and bearing heights to full courses.
  • All these considerations reduce "In-the-wall costs"

Plans and Specifications

  • If prisms are needed to assure higher than normal f'm's, secure actual capability tests from the local brick or block manufacturers 30 days prior to the start of the job.
  • On Industrial and commercial masonry walls, investigate the possibility of using these exterior walls as load bearing elements. 
  • A sizable credit for the owner of the building can be obtained with the deletion of all perimeter steel columns and beams at little or no increase in the exterior masonry wall cost.
  • Leave no doubt as to what material is being used or how and where it is used.  Wall thickness, height, and length are a "must" for estimating.  Drop ceilings - does the wall stop or continue to the bottom of the floor above? Can concrete masonry be used in the wall above the ceiling?
  • Four inch walls - KEEP PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL to a minimum; otherwise cost could be double due to excessive sawing. Consider a double wall or a wider chase wall for vertical plumbing chases.
  • Allow "high-lift grouting" of reinforced walls when masonry contractor prefers to use this method.


  • Consider using portland cement/lime mortar, mortar cement, or prepackaged bulk mortar for masonry work.   
  • Colored mortar joints increase wall costs 2-10% in direct costs.
  • Allow retempering of mortar.  (up to 2 hours)


  • Use concave or vee struck mortar joints for economical cost and high resistance to moisture penetration.
  • Any jointing method that recesses the mortar joint and exposes the bed of the unit below, increases the possibility of moisture penetration, accentuates variations of the units used, and adds 4-7% in direct costs.


Notes / Disclaimer

Union Mason Contractors in 32 counties of North and Central Illinois and Northwest Indiana were surveyed to obtain the cost information that follows.  More than 69  commonly used masonry wall types, plus masonry paving applications, are shown.  There is literally an infinite possibility of combinations of materials for most wall thicknesses.  Cost figures as shown on the following pages are based on:

  1. Labor and materials costs as of  June. 1, 2007 - May 31, 2008
  2. Composite walls are wire tied.
  3. All masonry units laid in running bond.
  4. Wall sections estimated are 10' by 10' without openings, piers,   off-sets or corners.  (walls with numerous
  5. openings, piers and  off-sets will increase square foot costs)
  6. All flashing, weep holes, movement joints, wall ties, cleaning and striking are all included

The cost figures shown in this booklet should be used for informational and educational purposes only, not for estimating masonry work.  These figures are not to be viewed as actual prices for masonry construction in the Midwest area.  Specific masonry wall costs are determined by a mason contractor and must, of course, be based upon actual plans, specifications, site conditions and season of construction.