iMCaan

Average number of trench concrete blocks per day

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Hi

 

I have three experienced lads working on a substructure of a new detached house  on a day rate. They have been working for three days now but it appears to me that they're slow, very slow, laying trench blocks 300x250x140mm. Three days now and they have only manage to lay just one course. Does this seem right? 

 

What is the average number of trench concrete blocks 300x250x140mm that one (experienced) bricklayer can lay? Ready-mix substructure mortar is supplied.

 

Thanks

3433434.JPG

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As to number of blocks, I couldn't tell you.

But I can attest to the value of a timelapse camera installed on site. Incontrovertable evidence is worth a lot of money.

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Well I would say the first course takes longer than the subsequent courses as they will be trying to get them square and level, see how they get on with the next courses.

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When you say one course do you mean on just one length or a complete course round the whole building???

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1 hour ago, iMCaan said:

Hi

 

I have three experienced lads working on a substructure of a new detached house  on a day rate. They have been working for three days now but it appears to me that they're slow, very slow, laying trench blocks 300x250x140mm. Three days now and they have only manage to lay just one course. Does this seem right? 

 

What is the average number of trench concrete blocks 300x250x140mm that one (experienced) bricklayer can lay? Ready-mix substructure mortar is supplied.

 

Thanks

3433434.JPG

 

 

Where did you get the "three experienced lads" statement from?  How are you paying them, day rate or fixed price?  And yes a camera is as good a a whip!

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Adrian Walker said:

How are you paying them, day rate or fixed price? 

 

He said on day rate.  Really needs to be price.  I would think 100 blocks in a day would be OK.  Would they be about £2 a block to lay?  That looks like a fairly big house.

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Can we see a photo for context? Sometimes the first course is a pain if the concrete isn't very level.

 

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Our brickie charged by the block laid, so I could not give two hoots how long he took.

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52 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

 

He said on day rate.  Really needs to be price.  I would think 100 blocks in a day would be OK.  Would they be about £2 a block to lay?  That looks like a fairly big house.

I’d second that. 100 blocks per day per block layer. Mind you I have seen footing block work laid with a navy’s shovel in the past so bet they laid a lot more than 100 a day lol I’d say a course or two a day seems near the mark. Day rates are a bit of an open chequebook you have to crack the whip & supervise quality & output

Edited by Gordo

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Getting started/out of the ground always seems to take too long. As mentioned above, the first course is the worst and the most important to get right.

some trades, timber frame etc. Show big leaps forward quickly but then slow down.

slabs seem to take ages to do the prep and then all of a sudden you have a slab.

 

Edited by markc

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‘Experienced lads’-but are they experienced at doing footings? 99% of site work (& the people doing it) are either Footings bricklayers or Superstructure (‘Tops’) bricklayers. 
I’ve been doing footings for around 18 months after always being on tops & refurb since ‘96 & I’m far more efficient with the way I approach footings now than I was at the start. 
How level is their working area? Did you have the islands scraped out before starting? 
This time of year,the ground workers taking a bit more time to prep the working area makes a world of difference. 

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Firstly, I REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYBODIES REPLIES. Had a lot of grey hair since I purchased the land back in 2011. So THANK YOU.

 

I apologise for late reply, family members including myself are unwell.

 

> ToughButterCup - I get what you're saying and camera is on order. However, the purpose of the camera was to record video for YouTube. I've learnt a lot from YouTube and Internet. Hopefully, some of the videos will help someone out there.

 

> Chanmenie, markc - yes, I did consider that. As well as all that they also have mud to contend. It's a traditional build, block and Yorkshire stone.

 

>Declan52 - complete course round the whole building.

 

>Adrian Walker :) probably from "three blind mice" :) The bricklayer that I vetted is busy with another job. He recommended these guys for the substructure. I've not seen their previous work. I easily trust people and took their word that they have worked for big developers. Paying them day rate.

 

>Mr Punter,  Gordo 👍 100 blocks x £2 = £200 per day (Leeds) is the rate I'm paying them each. Any suggestions how to supervise quality and output if I'm not on site (I have a day job)? I'm not experienced in building trade so I won't be able to supervise quality even if I'm onsite. 

 

> saveasteading - sorry only have yesterday's photo, attached. Hopefully, it shows the conditions. I know I'm novice but I reckon the concrete is very level. The site does slope but there are no concrete steps. 

 

>ProDave - I had a few quotes including turnkey. The turnkey builder made a £100k mistake 🤑 and kept quite for 2 months.  Other quotes were for a shell with and without material but the builders let me down, took on other jobs. 

 

>Brickie - Foundations are level, no steps. I sub contracted the groundwork to a company that mostly do work for local council and schools. They had hired a site engineer to mark out the house. They also used laser level throughout the groundwork to level concrete. The site engineer visited the site again once the foundation concrete settled to place the pins for the bricklayers.

I'm not sure what you mean by islands scraped out before starting. They just sweeped the mud off as much as they could before they started laying the blocks.

 

Thank you

 

 

 

IMG-20220112-WA0003.jpg

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The Island is the bit in the middle-if that’s reduced down to top of concrete level then it helps production no end. Too late now-no way you were to know but it’s certainly not helping them. Looking at the photo-I’m 99% sure they’re tops Brickie,not footings. 
Putting one course around everywhere is certainly not how I’d go about it. Are they using a Dumpy level?

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Thanks

 

They are using a laser level.

 

The bricklayer I dealt with, who's not been on site yet due to covid, initially said he was going to do the corners first. When I told him that they have layed first course all around, he said this is common to get out of mud and water.

 

Since, I have seen a YouTube video of a large development where they did blocks all around.  Their site was similar to ours, flooded and muddy. The blocklayer can clearly be heard saying that they have to lay first course all around to get out of water.

 

Is there a way to check the substructure quality? Perhaps an inspection company or to call out the building control officer?

 

Thanks

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You would use a laser and Mark on a peg driven into the reach corner the height you need to built to. Then build each corner to that height. Strike a line between each corner and build that section. Some walls might be 3 courses of blocks and others might be 2 block and one brick for example. It doesn't really matter as all your doing is taking out any variations in the concrete. All that matters is  the top course is level from corner to corner and everything in between.

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I don't see any profiles set out so how do they know they are building the walls in the right place?  The exact centre of the strip foundation is not always the right place.

 

Our brickies set out all the corners first up to DPC level then filled in from there, using rotary laser and measuring staff to get them level, then string lines between to get each course straight and level.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

I don't see any profiles set out so how do they know they are building the walls in the right place?  The exact centre of the strip foundation is not always the right place.

 

 

In the second post the OP told us the site engineer returned after the concrete pour to install reference pins.

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Some seat of my pants arithmetic suggests those extensive footings will require 280 trench blocks. Given the difficult working conditions in those slurry filled trenches and long frosty nights that limit the working day then a complete course in 3 days is not terrible.

 

They will probably build standard corners in the second course.

 

I would be more concerned about the pooling of water in the near lefthand corner and would hire a rotating level for a day to verify the height of the concrete pour at all corners or borrow the brickie's. If they are good they will have already quantified errors in the pour level but might not feel it is their role to complain.

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15 hours ago, iMCaan said:

>Mr Punter,  Gordo 👍 100 blocks x £2 = £200 per day (Leeds) is the rate I'm paying them each. Any suggestions how to supervise quality and output if I'm not on site (I have a day job)? I'm not experienced in building trade so I won't be able to supervise quality even if I'm onsite. 

 

So if there are 3 of them I would expect 300 blocks daily, so 900 blocks in the 3 days.  If one of them is labouring he will get paid less money and you could maybe expect 220 blocks daily and £520 daily wages.

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Aren't these trench blocks technically a 2 man lift per block due to their weight?

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17 hours ago, iMCaan said:

IMG-20220112-WA0003.jpg

Left hand side of image, just me, or does that course look a bit bendy along the line?

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13 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Aren't these trench blocks technically a 2 man lift per block due to their weight?

No, one man lift.

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4 hours ago, Declan52 said:

You would use a laser and Mark on a peg driven into the reach corner the height you need to built to. Then build each corner to that height. Strike a line between each corner and build that section. Some walls might be 3 courses of blocks and others might be 2 block and one brick for example. It doesn't really matter as all your doing is taking out any variations in the concrete. All that matters is  the top course is level from corner to corner and everything in between.

The site engineer did all the markings and placed pins (on top of foundation) at each corner for the bricklayers. He also, placed a metal rod in the ground with finished GF level. The bricklayers are working from these levels.

 

We're going to have even number of courses of blocks. The site slopes from front to back so will backfill to raise ground level.

 

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9 minutes ago, iMCaan said:

The bricklayers are working from these levels.

I too am surprised not to see orange strings to provide line and level. Lo-tech but it works. Have they taken them down?

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42 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Aren't these trench blocks technically a 2 man lift per block due to their weight?

 

They are manufactured to some HSE prescribed one person lift weigh limit. Their composition is similar to a thermolite whisper bar consistency and they also have finger size handhold recesses moulded in, probably about 20kg each.

Edited by epsilonGreedy

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