1. Average out the estimates. Chances are that you will have contacted multiple vendors for job quotes. Chances also are that each of these vendors will come back with a different price range and quote for the same job. Don't let the variations in quotes confuse or fluster you. Divide the quotes into categories, based on materials and labor estimates, and average out each category. At the very least, you should have two quotes—one for low-end materials and cheap labor and another for high-end materials and expensive labor. The averaged quotes will give you a ballpark figure to work from for each of these categories.
2. Use estimation software. Yes, there is such a thing as masonry estimation software. The software enables you to estimate the time and materials required for jobs. Some software uses architect maps as a base for masonry estimation tasks. Other types of software enable you to import these cost estimates into another module to prepare a final bid for the job.
About the Author
Ernest Grotsky is a member of the Professional Estimating Association Masonry Contractors of America.