In the past, cinder block homes were unusual. But as lumber prices rise, their appeal is growing. But what are they exactly, and are there any advantages? See our guide below to learn everything you need to know. Due to their affordability, cinder block houses are increasingly common and in demand. Many people prefer to construct them.
In addition to being a superior building material to wood, cinder block house also serve as a sturdy foundation for homes. This article will cover various topics, including cinder block homes’ characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
What are Cinder Blocks?
Concrete masonry units (CMUs), such as cinder block house, are frequently utilized in residential and commercial construction. They are generally made from a blend of cement, sand, coal cinders, and concrete. They are simple to assemble and have a variety of forms. The rectangular-shaped concrete blocks made of cinder have one to five cutout cavities in the center. Additionally, the builder can cut or shape them to fit the design of the structure he is creating.
This building material’s inability to support heavy weights due to its reduced density and lightness is one of its essential qualities. Most commonly, non-bearing walls such as retaining walls, fences, outdoor buildings, separation walls, etc., contain this CMU. It is never employed to construct basement walls, bearing walls, or foundations. However, this does imply that the outcome lacks structural integrity. It does. But to ensure safety and adherence to all regulatory requirements, professional experts must carry out this concrete block building.
Benefits of Cinder Block
Concrete is the binding element, while other materials and technologies are used to create blocks. Environmentally friendly materials like clay, slag, and other comparable components can be used as fillings. Unlike other building materials like wood, cinder block house can last for many years and don’t need to be maintained frequently. In other words, homes constructed of cinder blocks last a very long time.
Additionally, since you won’t need to engage many seasoned professionals, building a house out of cinder blocks is less expensive. Undoubtedly, you’ll need to work with construction professionals to build a house with a sturdy frame. Additionally, you won’t have to pay exorbitant lumber prices. Additionally, you can create your own cinder block house at home or get them for a reasonable price from a nearby building supply store. However, we do not advise creating your own home blocks from scratch.
Building a house out of flimsy, low-grade blocks will compromise the building’s structural integrity, so you don’t want to do that. The versatility of cinder blocks is another advantage. They can be used to construct a fireplace, flower bed, fence, gazebo, etc. Aside from the advantages of the blocks, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of cinder block homes.
Pros and Cons of Cinder Block Houses
Cinder block homes are gaining popularity in many residential areas, and their distinctive design makes them simple to identify. However, knowing the benefits and drawbacks of using cinder blocks is crucial if you are thinking about doing so.
Durable and Low Maintenance
Cinder blocks are durable building materials, so if a house is constructed expertly, it will last very long. The fact that they can resist hurricanes and powerful winds is a plus. Of course, if you live in such weather conditions, you should build using high-quality reinforcement materials like steel rods. They also don’t require much maintenance, and repairs are simple to complete. For instance, fixing cracks is straightforward and inexpensive.
A concrete wall system and insulation produce a tight thermal building envelope, which saves energy. According to research, concrete walls are less draughty and keep a more consistent temperature throughout the house, which also found that homes with concrete walls save five to nine percent more energy than homes with wood frames. Concrete homes can be built with smaller-capacity HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, allowing homeowners to save even more money.
Cheaper to Build
Construction of cinder block house is quicker than that of homes made of wood or concrete blocks. Reduced time equals lower labor costs. Additionally, most labor does not require skill, unlike framing. The cost of building cinder block house is also decreased because the blocks don’t require a lot of cement to interlock. This is crucial since building traditional homes has become prohibitively expensive due to rising lumber prices.
- They don’t draw bugs or rodents.
- You may not need to treat them with protective solutions because they are less likely to develop mold.
- Cinder block house are quite good at isolating noise. Not to mention that they are heat-absorbing substances, keeping your home cool in the summer.
There are some disadvantages to cinder block homes, such as:
- First not visually pleasing. Before using cinder blocks to construct a house, keep in mind that while they won’t look appealing at first, the finished structure will be lovely and distinctive.
- It can be challenging to put cables and pipes on cinder blocks. Lines must be discreetly installed into blocks using specialized equipment by artisans.
- If you use hollow cinder blocks, you’ll need to fill them with slag to increase their capacity for thermal insulation, which is a labor-intensive process.
- It won’t be viable to construct a high-rising building using hollow blocks that require backfilling since the construction might be too heavy.
- Because cinder block house don’t have accurate geometry, you’ll need to file and grind their surfaces to make them smooth.
Building a house out of cinder blocks has more benefits than drawbacks overall. These issues can be quickly resolved and avoided by building cinder block houses using the suitable materials, equipment, and technology. Let’s now discuss the many cinder block varieties used to construct a house.
Types of Cinder Block
The most popular block is hollow ones, which are frequently used to build foundations, columns, and other buildings. Additionally, due to their exceptional strength qualities, they are excellent for creating basements. Hollow blocks are mainly used to build walls and fences. Compared to other building materials, they are relatively lightweight.
On one or both sides, these blocks have a distinctive ornamental finish. The decorative layer can have a variety of textures, including stone or plaster. If you don’t use a waterproof sealer, decorative blocks won’t work for a building’s external walls because they tend to absorb moisture.
You must utilize partitioning blocks while dividing a blockhouse. One can more easily smooth interior walls with these blocks, so they seem friendly. They are lightweight, and the installation process is simpler and faster.
To keep the foundation blocks from crumbling, they are firmly compacted. They are employed to lay a building’s foundation.
Ragged and Chipped Blocks
These are somewhat more recent varieties of blocks. They have ornamental surfaces that resemble broken bricks. These blocks are frequently used to complete fences or create wall decorations.
Different Materials for Cinder Block House
Depending on the substance utilized, cinder blocks can vary. Depending on the substance utilized, cinder blocks can vary.
Similar to bricks, slag concrete blocks offer good thermal insulation qualities and long service life.
These are some of the most environmentally friendly units because they are made from expanded clay. They are renowned for their outstanding thermal insulation capabilities and lengthy service life. Because these eco-friendly blocks are light, they can be used to construct tall skyscrapers.
Arbolit blocks are in high demand today because builders favor them since they are excellent thermal insulators. Arbolit-based blocks have a short service life, which is a drawback. However, by including specific materials, they can be made more robust.
What Are Concrete House Plans?
Plans for concrete homes are designed to endure severe weather conditions and provide excellent insulation. Plans for concrete block homes are available in every size, shape, and design. Their outer wall architecture, which substitutes concrete for conventional stick framing, sets them apart from other houses.
While some may consider concrete walls unneeded, they might be crucial in areas like Florida and coastal Texas, where hurricane-force winds are frequent. Additionally, concrete walls provide a tighter envelope and aid in building a more energy-efficient house. Concrete home plans have you covered whether you’re looking to invest in durability or sustainability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cinder Block House More Affordable to Build Than Homes with Wood Framing?
No! Building cinder block homes is more expensive than using wood. The expense of concrete fill, labor, specialized equipment/tools, and the blocks themselves drive up the price of cinder blocks above natural wood frames.
How Long Does a Cinder Block House Usually Last?
A cinder block house’s durability is affected by various factors. The durability of a home is mainly influenced by the quality of the blocks. The house’s longevity will also depend on the builder’s skill and craftsmanship. Other factors at play in this situation include the house’s location, drainage, and soil type. It is critical to note that cinder blocks, despite being sturdy, require weather protection. A waterproofing coating and damp-proof membrane must be applied at least once every ten years.
In general, concrete blocks, which have a lifespan of more than 75 years, outlive cinder block homes. As a result, you should anticipate a cinder block house to age more quickly.
How Can a Cinder Block House Stay Warm?
Answer: Cinder blocks may keep your home cool in the summer because they have solid thermal insulation, but they cannot keep it warm in the winter. When the outside temperature is frigid, it is difficult to heat the interior because the hollow component conducts heat to both sides of the walls.
Homes made of cinder blocks can be insulated appropriately using various techniques, such as closing the perforations. To seal the interior surface of the walls, you can use caulking or a tried-and-true sealant. Watch for any perforations near the house’s outlets, windows, and pipes.
The inner walls can also be insulated using stiff foam. Available in various sizes, insulation foams for cinder block house can lessen heat transfer between the interior walls and exterior surfaces. Additionally, vinyl siding can be used to insulate both the interior and exterior walls. For the best results, it would be better to let specialists handle the installation of insulation systems.
Are Cinder Block Homes Something to Think About?
So, should you give a cinder block house some thought? Really, it depends. Because of its structural integrity, block home is a good option if you reside in the Midwest. And given the current economic situation, lumber prices are sky-high. Historically, the block was more expensive than wood, but this might change in the near future. Consequently, it merits consideration as a substitute for a conventional wooden dwelling.
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