Cinder block projects

Updated February 21, 2017

Breeze blocks are grey blocks made from cement and coal cinders with holes in the middle. They have been around since the 1920s. Breeze blocks are used in construction but are also used around the home for different projects because of their affordability and durability.

Barbecue Pit

Breeze blocks can be used to make a barbecue pit in your backyard. They are good for controlling fire and adding a visible perimeter around the pit. For this project you will need breeze blocks, mortar, gravel, metal grill, bricks and a shovel.

To make a barbecue pit measure a an area that is 40 by 56 inches and dig it down at least eight inches. Pour two inches of gravel on the bottom of the pit. Mix some mortar with water and spread it on the gravel around the edge of the pit. Lay the breeze blocks on the mortar making sure they are level. Fill the holes with dirt and add another layer of mortar.

Spread mortar on the outside of the breeze blocks and line the bricks along it. Repeat on the inside. When the mortar is dry add a second layer on both the inside and outside, this time varying the pattern. Lay the metal braces for the grill in the mortar and let dry overnight. Set the grill on top the next day.

Breeze Block Shelves

Breeze block shelves are classic, cheap shelving often associated with college or dormitory life. The shelves are made using breeze blocks and wood planks, preferably two-by-eights or two-by-tens. The blocks are placed on the floor and the boards are placed on top. The height can be varied by adding more breeze blocks and the width can be varied by placing breeze blocks and boards next to each other. The weight of the breeze blocks holds the shelves in place. The boards can be painted or stained to make them more personal.

Raised Garden Bed

Breeze blocks can be used to build a raised garden bed. Raised garden beds are easy to maintain and can be planted earlier in colder climates because they are not in the frozen ground.

Select a flat area of ground map out an area for your garden. Make the width no more than four feet so you can easily tend to the plants in the centre. Spread some gravel along the bottom of the bed, mix some mortar and spread it around the edges. Add the breeze blocks along the perimeter with the holes facing up and down. Fill the holes with dirt and add another layer of mortar and blocks. Fill with dirt again and seal the tops with mortar. Once dry fill the bed with the soil of your choice. It is now ready to plant.

Alternatively you can add hay, newspaper, cardboard, compost or other mulch products instead of gravel. This will kill the grass or weeds that are growing on the surface and provide nutrients to your bed.

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About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.