A Comparative Cost Analysis Between FlexLock and Standard CMU Masonry

The following descriptive estimate is based on:

Interviews with three journeymen masons

Consultation with the International Masonry Institute

Consultation with the National Concrete Masonry Association

Consultation with the Masonry Contractors Association of America

Discussion with an estimator from J.D. Long Masonry

Discussion with an estimator from D&H Masonry

Instructional material from: A Mason's Guide to the FlexLock Wall System

II. Comparison

A. Relevant Factors in Standard CMU Construction

The structure requires 2,564 eight inch masonry units. This equates to an actual combined wall area (minus window and door openings) of 2,282 square feet. According to Ryan Knight, estimator for D&H Masonry, the average square foot installed cost for eight inch gray block residential construction in the Houston area is $7.00. In order to conduct an "apple to apple" comparison this analysis of both FlexLock and standard masonry only considers costs to the contractor without regard to subsequent margins. This would place the total masonry cost for the structure at $15,974. Since this $7.00 per square foot installed is well established and is a composite of all the relevant factors (materials, labor, and miscellaneous) in masonry construction, it will be used as a benchmark upon which the FlexLock system will be compared.

B. Relevant Factors in FlexLock Technology

Running the same number of courses and assuming, the same openings. The cost reductions came from the reduced need for mortar material and labor (mixing, application, etc.). Additional savings come as a result of the reduced expertise required to build the structure, as well as the more rapid construction speed. While block size is virtually the same for both systems, FlexLock units retail for $1.50 (due to its unique features requiring special molds and manufacturing processes) for a total cost of $3846.

The FlexLock Wall System

The FlexLock Wall System

Cost Analysis

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