Breeze blocks, also known as concrete blocks, have been widely used in construction projects for years. In most cases, they are used to build utilitarian commercial buildings, such as warehouses or factories. However, breeze blocks may also be used in home construction. There are many advantages to building your home with concrete blocks, but there are significant drawbacks as well. If you are considering building or purchasing a breeze block home, consider the pros and cons to decide if concrete home construction is right for you.
Pro: Fire Resistant
Breeze block homes are less likely to experience extensive damage if a fire occurs than wood construction homes. Breeze blocks are usually able to withstand fire damage, so these homes typically do not collapse after a fire. In addition, if damage does occur, breeze block homes are easier to repair after a fire than a wood-frame home.
Pro: Better Able to Withstand Natural Disasters
In areas that are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes, breeze block homes are an especially good option. Because they use steel rods and a mixture of cement, pebble and sand in the space between the breeze blocks, they are better able to endure strong winds and fissures in the foundation.
Pro: Better Sound Proofing and Insulation
Because of the heavy concrete blocked used in construction, breeze block homes are essentially soundproof. The concrete absorbs the sounds from within so they are not audible outside. In addition, breeze block homes are well-insulated from the heat and the cold as well. Many homeowners are able to use less energy to cool and heat their houses as a result.
Pro: Insect Resistant
Breeze block homes are resistant to a wide variety of insects. In particular, they typically do not have the problems with termites as many wooden homes do.
In some cases, because of the blocks' drab look, breeze block homes can have an almost warehouse-like appearance. Ultimately, the look of the home depends on the creativity of your builder and whether he uses regular concrete blocks or those with decorative textures and shapes. There are ways to design a breeze block home in an aesthetically pleasing way, but it may be difficult to find a builder who has the experience necessary to do so.
Building a home out of breeze blocks is often more expensive than wooden construction. Prices vary, but according to Do It Yourself, a home improvement project website, breeze blocks may cost as much as three times more than components for a wooden frame home. Creating a breeze block home with the desired design elements can be even more costly.
Con: Difficulty with Wiring and Plumbing
Because of the heavy breeze block walls, it is often difficult to rout these homes for electrical and plumbing fixtures. Special parts are often required, and builders must use specific techniques to fix pipes and other fixtures to breeze block walls.
Con: Water Damage
In areas that are prone to floods, water may seep into breeze block basements and damage the walls. If this occurs, costly waterproofing materials must be used to repair the issue. A drainage system may also be installed around the home, but that may be expensive as well.