With the current state of the economy, many individuals are seeking alternatives to building or purchasing an extensive, modern home. There are economically feasible home-building solutions for consumers who want to plan and construct their own home in order to save money. One technique for low-cost house building is dry stacking concrete blocks, also known as breeze blocks. The process of planning and building a concrete-block home allows the individual to be creative while building an inexpensive, customised home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- concrete breeze blocks
- home-construction or design plan
- half breeze blocks
- waterproofing treatment
- bonding cement
- rasps and smoothing tools
Develop a plan and an illustration of the desired layout of the concrete-block home you want to build. The Dry Stacked website explains that measuring out and then laying the concrete floor is the first step towards building the home. You must allow the concrete to set completely before beginning construction of the walls.
Mortar the first layer of concrete blocks to the concrete floor. Once the first layer is in place, the dry stacking process can begin. Use #5 rebar inside blocks at four-foot intervals and concrete it into the blocks to add strength to the structure of the walls at the lowest level. After you reach the height you want, coat both sides of the wall with bonding cement that is 1/8 inch thick.
Apply a waterproofing treatment to the outside of the wall in order to protect the structure from moisture and potential water damage. Apply several layers of waterproofing.
Leave space within the wall construction for doors and windows. Use half concrete blocks to fill in any gaps or throughout the construction of the exterior and interior of the house in order to add an artistic and individualised appearance to the final structure.
Fill all of the cavities within the concrete block walls with concrete in order to complete the construction of the outer walls of the home. The Natural Home website states that dry stacked walls are actually stronger than conventionally laid brick walls. You save money because the materials for building a concrete block home are reasonably cheap and you can design and build the home yourself.
Tips and warnings
- The Dry Stacked website suggests that as each layer of blocks is added to the wall, it is best to start at the corners in order to ensure that the walls will be flush and straight once all of the blocks are added. A straight and tight wall will add to the strength of the entire structure.
- Concrete blocks are very heavy, so safety precautions should be taken when they are being moved and stacked. Injuries to the limbs as well as the back are possible if sufficient care is not taken.
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