Building with concrete block is one of the most time-tested construction methods around, and has many advantages that may not be readily apparent.
Also known in the industry as concrete masonry units, concrete blocks are flexible, allowing the building contractor to make last-minute changes with few disruptions to the job and creating the option for future expansion.
Concrete blocks offer an excellent R-value for insulation, and the block's hollow core helps promote breathability in the product, allowing water to channel downward toward the foundation drain tile.
Block manufacturers create the product in a controlled environment, so you can count on it to perform as you expect. If a concrete block foundation does happen to crack, it cracks in a predictable manner that a mason can easily repair. Finally, concrete block construction is one of the most affordable building options around, with prices staying pretty stable over time.
Whether you're building a foundation for a residential project or a block commercial building, consider:
1. The many different sizes of concrete block available.
2. Decorative concrete block options such as split-face block.
3. Affordability compared to other building methods.
Decide on the size of concrete blockConcrete block is available in several different sizes. Some smaller projects may call for the 8 inch version, which is a less expensive option. Local building codes may require you to use 12 inch block for the added stability of your project. Note that other sizes are available but are less commonly used including 4, 6 and even 16 inch.
Concrete blocks can be a beautiful building optionWhen you think about block, you may find it hard to get excited. But manufacturers have come a long way, offering concrete block products in many stylish options for many different kinds of applications.
Develop a relationship with your concrete block products supplierDon't struggle with the numbers--allow your local concrete blocks suppliers to give you a ballpark estimate of your project. They can supply you with plenty of information on ordering the block and mortar. They can also help to figure the labor costs and connect you with one of the local masons on their trades list.
- Ask your building contractor or building supplier about using seconds, imperfect blocks, in an area that no one will see.
- Make sure that the concrete blocks delivered to the site are kept dry with a secure tarp.
- Find out in advance whether the building yard will accept any leftover concrete block from your project.