Did you ever wonder about the profile of the typical mason contractor in the United States?

In the fall of 2005, many MASONRY CONSTRUCTION readers participated in a survey gathering this type of information. Thanks, because we use the results to help define our editorial coverage. We want to focus our efforts on the topics that most interest you. To keep current with your rapidly changing needs, we plan to conduct another survey in the next few months.

We thought you'd be interested to learn some of the details our survey discovered about mason contractors in general. While it's hard to report generally about this complex industry, the trends discovered by the survey are interesting.

Mason contractors are probably the last of the true subcontractors in the construction marketplace. They are rarely involved in the engineering portion of a project, with only 36% doing design/build work.

  • Mason contracting firms are rather young. While the average reader has been in business for 24.2 years, a large percentage (almost 20%) has been around less than 10 years.
  • Mason contractors are lean operations, with an average of only nine full-time employees.
  • Mason contractors are large financial operations, with an average sales volume of $3.4 million.
  • Mason contractors use lots of paper and pencils to do their accounting. Computers and automation have not yet become a standard operating practice. Only 62% of the respondents said they use accounting software. The percentage was even lower when asked about bidding and estimating.
  • Mason contractors bid on diverse types of construction.
  • Mason contractors place more brick than block, but also install a wide range of other cladding materials.
  • Mason contractors are more likely to own frame scaffold than mast climbers (77% to 29% of the respondents).

The survey results are based on 183 MASONRY CONSTRUCTION magazine contractors representing 15,500 establishments.