Concrete Block House

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dreams30, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    A few people mentioned this on Sancraft's thread. I would like more information about it. I have found these links:

    http://www.quikrete.com/diy/QUIKWALLSurface-BondingCement.html
    http://www.quikrete.com/diy/ConcreteBlockConstruction.html

    I do like that they also sell a stucco material to put over the blocks. I think this could be very nice looking.

    But, I am having a hard time finding any further info including sources to buy the blocks from.

    Also, I have questions about it retaining moisture, how to insulate and what the R-values would be, how thick the blocks should be and how much the blocks should cost.

    Also, I can't find any floor plans for a small house. I can only find mini-castles made with concrete block.

    Can anyone help with this?
     
  2. Kathy in MD

    Kathy in MD Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey Dreamer, My mom's house was built in '46. It is cinder block (precursor to concrete) and finished over with stucco. My basement is block. The one link looks like a really good one. My BIL is a blocklayer will ask about R-factor.
    Pooh!!!!just saw the time....G2G I'm late....will check back later
     

  3. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine out of Round Rock. Bet you can find them in the yellow pages or on the internet.

    The block is 8" x 16" x 8".

    Don't know what you mean by house plans. Most houses invlove right angles. Usually they are squares or rectangles. You don't need a house plan for a rectangle. Your interior walls are stud walls.

    Don't know what the R value is but anything north of San Antonio is probably going to need interior stud wall insulation. The advantage is that you can live with just block until you can afford to do interior insulation.

    On the block, there are two ways to go, cheap ole concrete or textured in different colors. The textured exterior block is a better deal but it costs more and you used to have to get on a several month waiting list. The plain ole concrete is going to require a water lock and either stucco or paint or a rock or brick exterior.

    Four years ago you could have got enough plain ole concrete block delivered for a 1,500 sq ft home for about $3,000. Four years ago you could have got blocks laid for $3.00 a piece. If you have any Mexican worker connections you might beat that price. You also have to by cement and sand. You need portland cement and rebar over the doors and windows.
     
  4. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Primrose,

    Thanks for the info but, let me clarify this one point....are you saying that the exterior walls will not need insulating?

    Here is another thought that is giving me a hard time....the blocks that I saw do not link together so, if mortar is not used between them how do they stick together? Is is just the bonding stuff that you spray over them that holds them together?
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dreams,
    There is a guy near San Antonio who is close to finishing a concrete block house. He has about 90 pages of pictures annotating the whole process. It should answer your questions. R-value is poor, less than straw, and the walls are not as thick. I believe you can cover the surfaces in exactly the same way you would the straw bale. Here is the link to his story/web site:
    http://www.texasmusicforge.com/gimmeshelter.html
     
  6. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you rocked them you might be able to insulate them, but if you need to insulate it seems to me the better approach is an interior stud wall.

    Most of your big box stores use concrete blocks and have no interior or exterior insulation. They also have terrific heating/cooling costs. Spend $50 to $100 a month more to heat and cool and you won't need any interior insulation.
    (Of course you need a radiant barrier and insulation in your ceiling).

    Why would you think that blocks are not mortared? That's the only way I know of too.
     
  7. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Gobug,

    Thanks for the link. Lots of good ideas based on how they are doing it and also lots of ideas that didn't work and I won't be using.


    Primrose,

    One of the links that I posted was mortarless construction. In the link that Gobug posted they are doing it that way. They used a nylon mesh over the concrete block wall and are applying a mortar-type mix over the whole wall that way but, did not mortar between the blocks.



    This is very interesting and I have to admit that it may be more suitable for I want than the strawbale stuff was.
     
  8. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Also, it looks like they are building it close to Austin not San Antonio.
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................gobug....I looked at alot of the pics of his construction. I, don't thimk he put enough thought into his "roofline" . I ,would love to build a house like that and channel the roof water into a cistern for future consumption . Really , that type of construction could be adapted to colder climes with extra insulation and almost of the Block construction would\could be a one man operation . Thanks so much for posting this website . I didn't see any pics of the finished house???, fordy... :eek: :)
     
  10. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    Live and learn a new way to do things every day. I think the total work for both would be similar. Don't know about cost. Think I would still want mortared walls for the house.

    I'm going to build a shop/storage building and I may do that QUIKWAL. The advantage to QUIKWAL is that it seems to be more of a one person job.
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    With the mortorless block wall you do need morter on the first course only. The bonding material that is rolled on is actually stronger than the conventional mortored wall. The advantages are that one person, unskilled, can stack all the blocks, get the wall plumb and level and then coat with the bonding material. If I were dning this, I would pour sand or gravel inside the block openings after the wall was completed to add to the thermal mass. Then I would use styrofoam bead board on the exterior and stucco with cement stucco. You do want rebar coming up from the foundation every so often to help with wind resistance.

    Any lumber yard/ home improvement center can get the blocks. That is also a good place to order trusses for the roof.

    For house plans, see if the library has any old books on adobe house plans, they were usually smaller houses. Otherwise, you could draw your own. The small houses are usually quite simple in plan.
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fordy, He is still working on it. I have been following it now for more than a year. His is a pioneer of sorts in his use of the nylon mesh, and I think it has a lot of potential. While I wouldn't build the same house, as Dreams said, it has ideas to learn from. Perlite is a common filler in the block voids and has good insulative value. While I am not a great fan of bead board insulation, if you choose to use it, it is best placed on the outside. I'm also a believer in channeling the runoff to a cistern.
     
  13. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Prefer strawbale, myself, but if someone is building with concrete blocks might as well use bead board with it.
     
  14. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    This calls for plain old cement blocks. Cement first coarse to footings and install some treaded rods that will go to top of walls for compression of blocks when you bolt down the top plate. Do not use morter between blocks or you have wasted your time. surface bonding cement is troweled on the front and back of blocks. Keep moist for a few days.Done.
     
  15. vickinell

    vickinell Well-Known Member

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    I have been meaning to ask about this type of construction. If I were to build I always thought this would be something I could do. Thanks for all the info. I have been planning to replace my compost bends, I made with 7 plats, I saw on square foot gardening years ago. My plats have rotted. I figured sinder blocks would last longer.
     
  16. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I made a booboo. The vapor barrier goes inside above grade and outside below grade. This is important, especially with cementitous products. Vapor barriers in the wrong place will promote fungus and mold that cannot be disspelled. Cement walls are very porous. Unless you build completely above ground as Dreams previously indicated in another post(if I understand pier and beam correctly), the moisture can wick into the block and must be allowed to escape.
     
  17. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Gobug,

    For the strawbale I would definately have gone with pier and beam. For a concrete block house, I think I would go with a perimeter foundation.
     
  18. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I owned a concrete block bungalow built on a cement slab in Denver. No inner stud work, and the outside was covered with stucco. It was a great little English cottage looking place.

    Insulation was fantastic - warm in the winter and cool in the summer as long as the cold snap or heat wave did not last more than a week. Once the blocks got cold all the way through or hot all the way through there was no compensating with heating/cooling systems. Fortunately this was a rare occurance.

    I loved that house - no fear of rot or shifting or bugs. It was easy to take care of and very very sound proof which was important in the city. It was built in the 30's so it also had passed the test of time!

    The only disadvantage was the plumbing, but I think it was because it was so old - they just chopped a hole to put the plumbing in and it would be a challenge to remodel much if it involved switching plumbing. The electric went through the attic. It had wall heaters so no duct work.
     
  19. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Thanks for the Update Ed . It's been awhile since I viewed your website but , I think I was referencing the minimal slope of your roof . And , since I went to military school in SA for 9 months I'm aware that that area is subject to tremendous quantities of rainfall in a short amount of time . In hindsight would you increase the slope of your roofline after having been thru the complete process of constructing your home by yourself?? I'll have to visit your website and get caught up . fordy... :)
     
  20. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Welcome Tio!! I really enjoyed your site and had lost the link and now I get to see the rest lol.

    My grandmother found herself in the predicament of becoming a widow at a young age with 6 children. They built her a nice house of tile blocks. The block face has color and a slick glaze to it for lack of a better explanation. It was roughy 1600 sq ft. All of the timber was scrounged from older non used homes. Some of it was over a hundred years old. This was in 1957. There were several snide remarks about her "house of many colors" like Dolly Partons coat lol. I thought of it more of a neater Partridge Family myself. Over the years we all heard the comments. But after several severe storms and a large tornado that took out nearly every house within a mile it still stands with its tin roof proud as can be.