Doublewall, super insulated, block building?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody here ever built a double wall block building with that vermiculite type insulation they sell for block walls inbetween the walls?

    I am getting to point in my life where I can see my old shack just isnt going to cut it for my "golden years". I can either move or put up a little bigger and better house. I really want a stone house (solid stone, not stone veneer over frame), but dont know if I have what it takes doing work alone anymore at least within a realistic time frame and reliable-affordable help is non-existant. I also want it super insulated so came up with idea of a double wall block house with foot or so gap between the walls to be filled with insulation.
     
  2. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    why not put a stone wall around your existing house with a one foot gap, insulate the way you want, then just extend your eaves?
     

  3. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    WOW neat Idea
    If you leave a large lip on the footing you could rock face the block as you get time and energy it wouldnt be exactly solid stone but it would be pretty solid.
    Remeber for double wall to work you need a insulation gap in the floor between the inside and outsidewalls Id do this by placing foam sheet insulation against the inside of the foundation and pouring the concrete floor or secondary foundation against it.
    You could also just put a 2X4 wall inside and face it both sides with sheet rock that would give you a surface to holde the vermiculite andmake running pipes and electrcity easyer
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Because my present house is not a good design for me as I age and its relatively tiny and cramped and really needs a real foundation under it. It was a temporary house intended for couple years (been here now 15 years) as my now ex and I got real house built. After divorce didnt figure I needed more space. Just better at this point to start from scratch. Plus I'd like to get away from frame construction completely. Strange since I've done more frame construction than anything else in my life and building a frame house would be lot faster and easier (well maybe, frame isnt so great doing it alone either with todays materials). Something in me just wants a stone house, maybe I'll give it a try, I've sure got enough stone on the place. Just dont have slightest notion how long it would take me especially with my present low energy level. Might be worth the effort even if i never finished it rather than compromise on block. Though block wouldnt take any longer than frame and might even be quicker. Hmm, is having house up quicker or making a statement with real solid stone more important.....
     
  5. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    LOL We gotta sart a club!
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    we put up a block building detached bathroom at a friends house and filled the block with that seems to hold the heat well only single wall
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Yea, rock facing eventually kinda the idea, but I never cared for fake. Somebody is putting up new house near some friends place. Its frame construction with those concrete tiles made to look like stone on outside. Looks ok from distance, but really bugs me for some reason up close. They also for some reason are cheaping out on insulation, even using cellulose insulation which I have rarely seen on new construction. That spray foam is way to go on frame. Lot of stuff being built nowdays without much thought to future and rising fuel prices. Anybody that puts up new frame house without super insulating is foolish in my opinion. Course contractors dont like it as its lot more work to do right. Requires painstaking attention to detail to eliminate thermal leaks, then a proper air to air heat exchanger system to get fresh air in.

    As to 2x4 interior wall, no thanks. I have an absolute aversion to sheetrock. Guess I've seen too much of it. If I were building frame house for my use, would want to panel it with real boards, no 4x8 anything. But that would be super expensive anymore, short of having one's own sawmill.
     
  8. joaniebalonie

    joaniebalonie Well-Known Member

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    i posted something about this awhile back (sorry if i'm repeating), but we're building an adobe house with 2' thick walls. we're doing double walls - the adobe are 10" wide - and leaving a 4" space between to add the insulation. stucco inside and out...viola!
     
  9. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's kinda what I was thinking. Fill the blocks with something that provides good insulation and do only one block wall. If you want super insulation, frame up a studded wall inside the block wall and fill it with styrofoam or fiberglass.

    John: If I were building another home, I'd dig into a south facing hill, pour the walls, and face/cover any exposed surfaces, either with real stone or the new man made concrete "fake stone". Earth is a great insulator. Best wishes in whatever you choose to do.
     
  10. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I know next to nothing about adobe, just see it in some old cowboy movies. Curious, what width/depth footing do you need for it and what are you insulating with. I would assume either that vermiculite stuff for concrete block or possibly foam as anything else would probably not hold up. Its interesting though as I had missed your earlier post and not ever heard of a double wall adobe. Did you post some pics on earlier thread. If not, hope you do.
     
  11. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    There was a fellow on the old lucenet site who built a stone house all by himself using the slipform method but removing the forms before it had completely dryed and then removed the unsightly cement that normal gets left in the forms and nicely facing out the rocks. I had his website bookmarked and will see if I can find it and post the link. Seems to me he did quite a bit in a relatively short time. It was always my dream to build one when we retired as we have so much stone here.

    edited to add: The Amish around here do the double block wall with the insulation in between for their ICE houses so I imagine it would take next to nothing to heat or cool a home built like that.

    found the link........this is drool material!!! http://www.geocities.com/PicketFence/Garden/8784/Rock2.html
     
  12. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well thats an interesting website. Shame they didnt show footings and slipform they used and it would have to be slip form what with little round rocks they had. I have flat sided sandstone rocks here, so can do the freehand jigsaw puzzle type building. Its just time consuming, especially to go collect, then sort the rocks in first place. I've read about it but never slipformed rock, no idea if it would speed things up with my type rock or not.

    Interesting the Amish use the double wall block, wonder how they do the footing (solid or with thermal break)- and if they use the vermiculite or some other insulation and how much space they insulate between the block walls. I think it would be a good and fireproof/rodentproof way to build.
     
  13. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need to take a road trip and see one under construction.
     
  14. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    The original house on my property (now the shop/milk house) is single wall block filled with sand. It stays incredibly warm with just a woodstove (1600 sq ft) and nice and cool in the summer. It has a poured concrete floor. Winter temps range from daytime avg about 38 to lows below freezing. I wouldn't bother with double wall unless you have some building restriction.
     
  15. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    "Interesting the Amish use the double wall block, wonder how they do the footing (solid or with thermal break)- and if they use the vermiculite or some other insulation and how much space they insulate between the block walls. I think it would be a good and fireproof/rodentproof way to build.
    __________________


    I am not sure what they do. I can ask David the next time I am up there. I have seen them use a variety of things......they tend to be really resourseful. One guy used huge slabs of packing type foam and another used that stuff you spray on.

    I wish I had some of the stone you have. I have a variety of rocks to work with and have laid up quite a few over the years but my back is about worn out so I think my dream will just remain a dream.

    edited to add: I haven't looked at that site for quite awhile. At one point he had detailed photos of the forms etc. Not there now??
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I didnt look at all the pics but didnt see any of the forms. I have a neat book on slipforming, will have to look at it again sometime.
     
  17. Batt

    Batt In Remembrance Supporter

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    Are you referring to Insulated Concrete Foam (ICF)? 2" foam, 8" concrete, 2 "
    foam. If so I heartily recommend it.

    http://oikos.com/esb/33/icf.html

    Just finished major add-on including 400+ s/f basement. Basement and attached safe-room are all ICF. Slick building method. Stack the blocks directly on the footing. Horizontal re-bar clicks into place in special seperators in the blocks. Add the verticle re-bar, place temporary supports to prevent a "blow-out", pour and leave the ICF in place. Super insulation, hot knife will allow you to add wiring grooves, electrical boxes. Plastic nailers imbedded every 6" makes finishing it a snap.
     
  18. silverbackMP

    silverbackMP Well-Known Member

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    Hermit,

    I am wanting build the same kind of house you are considering--double wall stone w/ insulation in the middle. Probably 12" stone 4" foam 12" stone. The stone would be tied together with rebar running between the two walls.

    Unfortunately, I am wanting to build this in North Central Missouri and we don't have that much surface stone (think Iowa w/ more trees). I am hoping to get stationed at Fort Leonard Wood at some point so I can pack stone from S. Missouri to N. Missouri a trip at a time (probably in a cheap converted grain truck).

    I don't like the look of most slipform stuff myself. Stone looks so much better when individually place w/ narrow motar joints and deeply struck, IMHO. Of course my grandfather was a brick layer, so I may have an inherited nitpickness over masonry constuction

    Edited to add:

    I've also considered using aerated (spelling?) block as w/ six inch stone veneer (self gathered) and metal ties. I think that would hold for sometime as the motar buttered behind the block would be able to bond to the block as well as being held with the ties. I defintely wouldn't go for that 1" veneer stuff.

    I like the idea of something I constructed being around for sometime after I'm gone--or at the very least somebody cussing me because it was such a pain in the rear to tear down to replace with a McMansion.

    Other than that, I don't have anything pertient to add to your thread and I'm hoping someone has done this.
     
  19. Terri in WV

    Terri in WV Well-Known Member Supporter

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  20. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    You're on the right track. This study shopws that by far the best solution comes from having the thermal mass of the stone INSIDE the insulation.

    Oak Ridge National Laboratories study

    So forget a stone sandwich with inuslation in the middle. Put the insulation on the outside, and under the slab, and hold the heat in all that thermal mass. I have big plans for just such a house and am more than happy to share my ideas. Construction starts next month insh'allah!