Brick a fireplace

Hi guys. I'm not 100% sure this is in the right group, but here goes.
I am remodeling my house (before getting married this fall) and want to install brick around my fireplace and install gas logs. I got a quote from a local mason and he wants $500 to brick the fireplace (I already have the bricks, and it's a rather small fireplace I might add). Does this sound like a fair price (I live in the southeast), but more importantly. How difficult is it to lay (or install... I dont know the terminology) brick. I'm a DIY guy, and would love to give it a try, but I don't want to bite off more than I can handle. Any input would be great!
-Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@columbiacomputers.com wrote:

The price sounds reasonable.
I would not try DIY if it is inside and something people will see often and up close. I did a few brick columns for my fence a few years ago. Those are outside and aren't subject to close-up scrutiny (good thing!). Actually each one got better but it was embarrassing that I was taking over a day to make three little posts (about one cube of bricks total) and across the street some "real" masons were laying a whole wall of a house in less time!
-Richard
P.S. Are you remodeling before you get married to make for a better place for your spouse, or because you may not be in control after marriage? ;-)
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Richard Thoms
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Price sound fair.
As for DIY, it is not so much difficult, but a skill that can take time to muster. Just like a Rembrandt painting is just a collection of brush strokes that anyone can do. I know "how" to lay brick, but getting the hands to do what the brains knows to be done does not always work. When you look at a multi-story brick building that is perfectly plumb and level, you have to admire the skill involved.
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