When doing quantity takeoffs for masonry bricks, please make sure that you not only look at the plan and the exterior elevations, but also the flashing details as well, in the case of a building exterior brick. Those details will most probably show you the detail of where the brick is extending below the slab level – if any. This will not be visible from the exterior elevations and can lead to mistakes of a few percent in calculation.
Another important factor to remember when doing brick takeoffs is that it is always necessary to include your waste factor. Brick is one of those trades that requires a 10% waste factor when doing takeoffs due to high levels of possible waste.
The openings, if they are small enough, should never be omitted from calculation. The definition of small depends on you, when considering the size of bricks and the ability of your installer and the waste that is expected to happen when cutting material to fit to that opening size.
Calculating brick quantity accurately is important because in some cases architect may specify a certain brick material that may be coming from a far location and mistakes in quantity lead to extra shipping, scheduling and expediting costs.
One note to mention here is that, as we indicated in our previous post, if you are a general contractor, it is not worth it to order bricks yourself, and hire a separate installer, unless you really know what you are doing.