The ideal way to select a contractor is to ask knowledgeable
owners of recently repointed historic buildings for recommendations.
Qualified contractors then can provide lists of other repointing
projects for inspection. More commonly, however, the contractor
for a repointing project is selected through a competitive bidding
process over which the client or consultant has only limited control.
In this situation it is important to ensure that the specifications
stipulate that masons must have a minimum of five years' experience
with repointing historic masonry buildings to be eligible to bid
on the project. Contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible
bidder, and bidders who have performed poorly on other projects
usually can be eliminated from consideration on this basis, even
if they have the lowest prices.
The contract documents should call for unit prices as
well as a base bid. Unit pricing forces the contractor to determine
in advance what the cost addition or reduction will be for work
which varies from the scope of the base bid. If, for example,
the contractor has fifty linear feet less of stone repointing
than indicated on the contract documents but thirty linear feet
more of brick repointing, it will be easy to determine the final
price for the work. Note that each type of work brick repointing,
stone repointing, or similar items will have its own unit
price. The unit price also should reflect quantities; one linear
foot of pointing in five different spots will be more expensive
than five contiguous linear feet.