How to Choose the Right Bricklayer?
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Published by TOP4 Team
It is not everyday that we require the services of a bricklayer. Most of us don’t have a clue on what exactly is a bricklayer and how to go about hiring one. First of all, a bricklayer is a professional who build walls, houses and other structures made of bricks. Arming yourself with the basic knowledge on professional bricklayers will guide you on how to hire one when the time comes that you need their services.
Here are some tips and advice on how to properly assess bricklayers (also known as brick masons or block masons) before hiring them to avoid common pitfalls.
STEP 1: Check qualifications
Check if the contractor has undertaken all the necessary training to become a qualified bricklayer. He should have done an apprenticeship in bricklaying of 36 months and have completed an accredited Construction Safety Awareness Training Course. Also find out if they have worked with local homebuilders or well-known local companies and ask how long they have been in business for.
STEP 2: Check insurances
Make sure that the contractors have insurance. They must have a Public Liability Insurance to protect your personal property and your family from any damages caused by the bricklayer. They must also have an Income Protection Insurance to protect you from being liable if they injure themself while repairing your home. Insist on getting a copy of their certificates of insurance. Bricklayers working in the best interest of customers will be more than happy to provide the requested information.
STEP 3: Check references
Ask for a list of references that you can call on your own. If possible, visit completed jobs so that you can see the quality of the work for yourself. Make sure that the job was completed within the time and budget, that the customer was satisfied with the result, that there was no disruption to the household, that the contractor and employees treated them professionally and with respect. As the contractor will only give you good references, you can also ask previous clients if they know of any other work the contractor has performed.
STEP 4: Arrange a meeting and have them visit your property
Ensure that the bricklayers are professionals. Meet them face-to-face and discuss your project requirements. Do they look clean, neat and tidy? Do they have good communication skills? Are they punctual? You need to be able to trust them and make sure they won’t damage the items in your house. Also arrange a visit in your property.
STEP 5: Get quotes
If it’s a big job, get at least 3 quotes of your project with estimations including the price, estimated job duration, progress payments, materials to be used and terms and conditions. Make sure the contractors are quoting on the same specifications. Ask for details about the material used for bonding such as mortar, and the level of finishing they will do. The standard charge for average bricklayer is $35 per hour.
STEP 6: Execute a written contract
The contract should clearly specify the scope of the work to be performed, time schedules and payment procedures. Make sure that the contract includes a warranty, in case there are problems with the finished work.
Hiring bricklayers is not as easy as finding their names in the yellow pages. You have to at least arm yourself with the basic knowledge on bricklayers’ services. Use the above tips to serve as your guide in finding the right professional bricklayer for your building needs.