Masonry Contractor vs. DIY: Which is Right for You in Nashville?

Are you planning to build a beautiful brick wall for your home or business in Nashville? The first question that pops up is whether to hire a professional masonry contractor or do it yourself (DIY). Understanding the role of a masonry contractor, the intricacies of DIY masonry, cost comparison, time investment, quality of work, legal and safety considerations, and financing options are crucial before making this decision. In this blog post, we will discuss all these factors in detail so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget. We will also provide scenarios where combining both professional and DIY efforts could be a viable option.

Understanding the Role of a Masonry Contractor


Professional masonry contractors offer specialized skills, ensuring quality workmanship and code compliance. With access to specialized tools and equipment, they provide expert advice on design and material selection. Hiring a contractor saves time and reduces costly mistakes.

Services Provided by Masonry Contractors

Masonry contractors offer a range of services including bricklaying, stonework, and concrete work. They are skilled in handling new construction projects, as well as repairs and renovations. These professionals can also create custom designs and patterns to enhance the aesthetic appeal of residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Additionally, masonry contractors have expertise in landscaping features like retaining walls and outdoor fireplaces.

Types of Masonry Contractors: Brick, Stone, and Concrete

When considering masonry projects, it’s important to understand the different types of contractors available. Brick masonry contractors specialize in working with bricks for construction and repair, while stone masonry contractors have expertise in natural or manufactured stones. Concrete masonry contractors focus on concrete structures and finishes. Hiring the right type of contractor ensures the best results for your project.

The Intricacies of DIY Masonry

Taking on construction or repair projects without professional assistance, DIY masonry requires skill and knowledge of techniques. It can be cost-effective, satisfying, and rewarding for homeowners with the necessary skills. However, DIY masonry comes with challenges and potential risks.

Necessary Skills for DIY Masonry

To successfully tackle DIY masonry projects, it is necessary to have basic skills in measuring, mixing mortar, and laying bricks or stones. Understanding proper safety procedures, tools, and attention to detail are crucial.

Common DIY Masonry Projects

DIY enthusiasts often take on projects like building a brick patio or walkway. Repairing or repointing brick or stone walls is a common DIY masonry task. Building a small stone or brick retaining wall is another popular DIY project. DIYers may also tackle projects like constructing a fireplace or outdoor kitchen. Smaller-scale concrete projects such as creating a concrete countertop or stepping stones are common DIY masonry endeavors.

Challenges Associated with DIY Masonry

Undertaking DIY masonry can be physically demanding, requiring considerable strength and endurance. Inexperienced individuals may make mistakes that compromise the structural integrity of their projects. Sourcing quality materials and ensuring compatibility can also pose challenges.

Cost Comparisons between a Masonry Contractor and DIY

Hiring a masonry contractor includes labor costs but guarantees professional and efficient work. DIY masonry projects can save money on labor but require factoring in materials and tools. Professional contractors have access to bulk material discounts not available to DIYers. Mistakes in DIY masonry can lead to additional repair expenses. DIY may require investing in specialized tools, adding to the overall cost.

Average Cost of Hiring a Masonry Contractor in Nashville

The average cost of hiring a masonry contractor in Nashville varies from \$1,000 to \$10,000. The overall cost is influenced by factors such as project size, complexity, and materials used. Additional expenses may be incurred for design consultations or landscape preparation. Comparing multiple quotes from different contractors helps evaluate cost options. It is crucial to consider the selected contractor’s long-term value and quality provided.

Estimated Cost of DIY Masonry Projects

Before starting a DIY masonry project, it’s essential to be aware of the estimated costs. The cost depends on the project’s size and materials used. Simple projects like a small brick wall or patio range from $500 to $2,000. More complex projects like an outdoor fireplace can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Budgeting for tools, materials, and unforeseen expenses is crucial. Mistakes during the DIY process may require professional assistance and increase costs.

Time Investment: Masonry Contractor vs. DIY

Hiring a masonry contractor saves you time and effort, as they have the necessary skills to complete the project efficiently. DIY masonry projects can be time-consuming and require research, often leading to trial and error. Contractors can provide a reliable timeline for project completion, saving you from additional learning time.

Project Duration When Hiring a Masonry Contractor

When hiring a masonry contractor, you can ensure timely completion of your project. Contractors have the expertise and resources to work efficiently and manage multiple projects simultaneously. The duration of the project depends on its complexity and size, and contractors can provide estimates based on their experience.

Time Required for DIY Masonry Projects

When undertaking DIY masonry projects, it’s essential to allocate sufficient time for research, planning, and execution. These projects may take longer than anticipated due to trial and error and the need to learn new techniques. The time required depends on your skill level and familiarity with masonry techniques. Consider the time commitment before starting a DIY project.

Quality of Work: Professional vs. Amateur


Hiring a professional masonry contractor ensures high-quality work with extensive knowledge and experience in masonry techniques. DIY projects may lack precision and expertise, using lower-quality materials and not meeting industry standards. Professionals can deliver a finished product that exceeds your expectations.

The Expertise of a Masonry Contractor

Masonry contractors have specialized knowledge and skills with the latest techniques. They can offer valuable suggestions and recommendations, handle complex projects, and utilize their expertise in home construction.

Limitations of DIY Masonry Quality

When it comes to DIY masonry projects, there are limitations to consider. Lack of experience and training can result in subpar workmanship, leading to inconsistencies in craftsmanship and potentially impacting the structural integrity of the project.

Legal and Safety Considerations

Hiring a licensed masonry contractor ensures compliance with local regulations and building codes. Contractors prioritize safety and understand permit requirements. DIY projects may also require permits and adherence to safety standards, or else penalties and accidents can occur. It’s crucial to consider legal and safety considerations when choosing between a contractor and DIY.

Licenses and Permits for Masonry Contractors in Nashville

Licensed masonry contractors in Nashville know the permit application process and local building codes. Hiring a licensed contractor ensures compliance with legal requirements. They can also handle paperwork and obtain permits on behalf of their clients.

Safety Precautions for DIY Masonry

When undertaking DIY masonry projects, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Protect yourself by wearing gloves and goggles while handling tools and materials. Follow industry experts’ safety guidelines to avoid accidents and injuries. Safely completing your project will ensure a successful outcome.

Is it Possible to Combine Both Professional and DIY Efforts?

Combining professional and DIY efforts is possible for certain projects. One option is hiring a contractor for initial stages and completing smaller tasks yourself. Communication and coordination with the contractor are crucial. DIY work can complement professional work, reducing overall costs. Assess your skills and project requirements to determine feasibility.

Scenarios for Combining Efforts

Consider combining efforts when you have the necessary time and skills but need professional guidance. This approach can save you money while ensuring quality work. Assess your abilities and limitations before deciding to combine efforts, allowing you to be hands-on while benefiting from expert advice. Look for collaboration opportunities with a masonry contractor for specific project aspects.

Financing Options for Your Masonry Project

When it comes to financing your masonry project, there are several options to consider. You can explore loans and financing options to cover the cost of hiring a masonry contractor. Personal loans or home improvement loans can be potential options.

Loans and Financing for Hiring a Masonry Contractor

When hiring a masonry contractor, it’s important to consider the financial aspect of the project. Look into local banks or credit unions for loans specifically designed for masonry projects. Explore options like home equity loans or government-backed loan programs that offer favorable terms. Research and compare different loan options to find the best fit for your financing needs.

Budgeting for a DIY Masonry Project

When planning a DIY masonry project, budget carefully by estimating material and equipment costs. Consider your time value and potential savings. Also, account for permits, rental equipment, and unexpected expenses. Research cost-saving tips to stretch your budget.

Making the Decision: Masonry Contractor or DIY?

Considering your level of experience and expertise, the complexity and scale of the project, available time and resources, and potential cost savings, choosing between a masonry contractor or DIY comes down to aligning your skills, budget, and desired outcome.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Masonry Contractor and DIY

When deciding whether to choose a masonry contractor or tackle the project yourself, there are several factors to consider. First, evaluate your skill level and experience in masonry work. Next, consider the availability of tools and equipment needed for the project. Assess the time and effort required, along with any potential risks and challenges.


When considering masonry projects in Nashville, weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional contractor versus doing it yourself. Professionals offer expertise, quality work, and adherence to legal and safety considerations. DIY projects can save money and provide a sense of accomplishment. Consider factors like budget, time investment, skills, and desired quality. For a combined approach, research reliable contractors in Nashville who offer the services you need at a reasonable cost.