Bricklaying is a specialist job, and bricks aren’t cheap, which makes laying large sections of brick for driveways and walls an expensive ordeal.
In fact, one brick can cost as much as £2 or even more for high-end reclaimed or pre-weathered bricks.
Every 1m2 of paving requires around 60 bricks, and a two-layer wall requires around £120, so you can see how costs add up. Of course, the costs do decrease for bulk jobs.
This article will review what you can expect to pay for bricklaying in the UK and the factors that affect its cost.
Average Costs of Bricklaying
Naturally, the costs of bricklaying vary massively from project to project. Building a small single-skin might cost just £300 to £500, whereas laying a driveway or building a large two-layer will nearly always cost over £1000.
By analysing quotes from 8 primary sources and 8 secondary sources, we found the following average costs of bricklaying.
|Area/Project||Cost of Bricks and Mortar||Labour and Equipment Costs||Total Estimated Costs|
|Per Metre Squared||£70 to £150||£40 to £80||£150 to £300|
|Small Single-Skin Wall (5m2)||£250 to £700||£300 to £400||£750 to £1,250|
|Large Single-Skin Wall (10m2)||£650 to £1,500||£600 to £800||£1,250 to £2,500|
|Medium Driveway (20m2)||£900 to £2,750||£1,000 to £1,500||£2,000 to £5,000|
|Large Driveway (40m2)||£1,500 to £4,800||£2,250 to £3,000||£4,000 to £7,500|
For larger projects, equipment hire and additional labour costs increases prices. Bricklaying is a specialist job, and bricks aren’t cheap, which is reflected in the price. Costs for bricklaying driveways vary depending on the scope of the job and the groundwork required. The above costs are a guide to the cost of laying the bricks themselves.
It’s worth mentioning that brick prices are heavily affected by supply and demand, so it might be possible to wrangle a cheaper deal outside of peak times (e.g. early winter).
Factors Affecting the Cost of Bricklaying
There are many factors affecting the cost of bricklaying. Here are some factors to keep in mind when searching for quotes:
- Materials: As mentioned, the cost of bricks, mortar, and other materials needed for the job varies hugely depending on the type and quality of materials used. There are two distinct categories of bricks: machine-made and handmade. Handmade bricks are often used for facing walls where aesthetics are a priority. High-end pre-weathered, handmade and reclaimed bricks are among the most expensive.
- Labour: The cost of labour varies depending on the location, experience, and skill level of the bricklayers. Bricklaying costs are fairly consistent throughout the UK, however.
- Project complexity: The complexity of the project, such as the size and design of the structure, can affect the overall cost of the bricklaying. When it comes to driveways
- Site conditions: The condition of the site, such as the amount of preparation needed before bricklaying can begin, can also affect the overall cost. This is especially true for driveways that require groundwork prior to laying bricks.
- Local building codes: The cost of bricklaying may also be affected by local building codes and regulations, which can vary depending on the location. For example, in some areas, councils require buildings and their features to be built from specific types of bricks to keep the area’s heritage continuous.
- Accessibility of the site: The accessibility of the site, such as the distance from the brickyard, can also affect the cost of bricklaying. It’s sometimes necessary to ship bricks from right across the UK if a specific type of brick is required.
- Supply and demand: Brick prices fluctuate, especially in the case of pre-weathered and reclaimed bricks. Some in-demand bricks can attract a pretty penny, e.g. for specialist projects such as the renovations of period properties.
Types of Bricklaying Jobs
There are two main types of bricklaying jobs: laying bricks for walls and laying paving bricks for driveways, pathways, etc.
When building a wall, the rear layer is often built from standard bricks, and the front – or face – is built from more attractive facing bricks.
While laying a wall and laying a path or driveway is similar, requiring both bricks, mortar and professional brickies, the process is still different. For one, walls are often constructed in two layers of bricks, meaning twice as many bricks are required.
When you’re searching for bricklaying quotes, be aware that prices will differ depending on whether you’re building a wall or pathway.
Cost of Laying Bricks
The above costs of different bricks form part of the supply costs. In addition to purchasing the bricks, bricklaying jobs typically require a “3-man gang” consisting of two bricklayers and one labourer.
This is considered the minimum team required to lay bricks efficiently. An experienced 3-man gang can lay up to 1000 bricks on a good day, though 500 to 600 is a realistic estimate in most conditions.
In addition to hiring the 3-man gang, costs must also factor in mortar and machinery hire.
Smaller jobs (e.g. a driveway or garden wall) can be handled without the need for heavy machinery, keeping costs down. But for larger jobs, you might need larger mixers, excavators, skips, etc.
Types of Bricks
There are several types of bricks that are commonly used in construction, each with its own unique characteristics and properties.
Bricks vary widely in price, from cheaper bricks for routine constructions to handmade, high-end styles for high-end properties, walls, driveways and features.
Some of the most common types of bricks include:
Common Machine-Made Bricks
Common machine-made bricks are among the most widely used and also tend to be the cheapest. There are many different types.
Clay bricks cost around £300 to £800 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £18 to £48/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
Clay Machine-Made Bricks
These are the most traditional type of bricks, made from clay and fired in a kiln. They are available in various colours and are known for their durability and resistance to fire. Clay bricks are often used as facing bricks for walls.
Clay bricks cost around £500 to £800 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £30 to £48/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
These bricks are made from a mixture of cement, sand, and aggregate. Concrete bricks are often used for paving.
Concrete bricks cost around £600 to £1000 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £36 to £60/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
Engineering bricks are known for their high strength and low water absorption rate. They are often used in below-ground construction and areas subject to heavy loads.
Engineering bricks cost around £800 to £900 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £48 to £54/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
There are various traditionally made high-end bricks for facing walls and driveways. These are among the most expensive.
Handmade bricks cost around £800 to £1250 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £48 to £75/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
For older homes, pre-weathered bricks match exterior aesthetics. This may even be required to meet local development restrictions to ensure new constructions or extensions match the area’s overall aesthetic.
Specialist pre-weathered bricks are expensive at over £3 per individual brick or £1.50 per brick when purchased in bulk.
Pre-weathered bricks cost around £800 to £1250 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £48 to £75/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
Similar to pre-weathered bricks, reclaimed bricks can match older buildings’ exteriors. They’re often in short supply and are among the most expensive bricks.
Reclaimed bricks cost around £800 to £1500 for 1000 bricks. That works out at around £48 to £90/m2 (assuming 60 bricks per metre). Costs for fewer bricks (e.g. 100 or 500) are around 10% to 20% higher.
How Do Bricklayers Charge?
If you’re looking to complete a specific project, e.g. building a garden wall, builders will estimate costs based on the length of the wall, how many bricks are required, the type of brick, and how long it’ll take.
Pricing is often worked out by the metre squared. In other cases, builders might quote per 1000 bricks.
If you source your own bricks and mortar, you could feasibly hire a team of bricklayers on their day rate. For a 2-man team, this would be around £400 to £600.
Choosing a Bricklaying Contractor
Most bricklayers operate through local building firms. Contracting a bricklayer involves discussion with builders, who will listen to the project requirements and inspect the site if necessary.
They’ll provide an estimation, but be aware that this isn’t the same as a quote. For longer, more complex jobs, obtaining an accurate quote is necessary. There are a few schemes and accreditations to look out for too, such as:
- the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
- Guild of Builders and Contractors.
- Guild of Master Craftsmen.
- National Federation of Builders.
Look for an established portfolio of recent work. This is especially important for larger jobs, such as building a large wall or driveway.
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We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for a bricklayer.
However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.
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