Concrete Block

JLC Field Guide: Concrete Block

Foundations built with concrete block may cost less than poured concrete, depending on local material and labor costs. Block may also be more practical than poured concrete for small jobs, crawlspace foundations, or jobs where access by concrete trucks is limited.  Block foundation performance depends on proper design and detailing. Effective perimeter drainage is a necessity to reduce lateral soil pressures, especially for full basements. Block is also very porous, so waterproofing or dampproofing is usually required to control moisture intrusion.

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Concrete Block Featured Articles

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Building A Block Foundation

Instead of subcontracting the work, invest in a few masonry tools and put your own... More

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Building a Reinforced Concrete Block Wall

A mason describes how he detailed a pair of large block walls to carry severe... More

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Block Foundations for Small Additions

If your crew has the skill and you own the right equipment, it may make sense to lay your own masonry foundations. More

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Small Garage Foundation Repair

A mobile concrete mixer solved both budgetary and logistical problems More

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Concrete Houses for the Coast

Hurricane Katrina taught a valuable lesson: the only houses likely to survive the... More

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High and Dry

In the flood-prone Gulf region, an elevated home is a no-brainer. The classic... More

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Concrete Block Instruction

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Concrete Block

For block foundations, effective perimeter drainage is critical to reduce lateral soil pressures, especially for full basements (see Perimeter Foundation Drains). And block is also very porous, so waterproofing or dampproofing is important to control moisture intrusion (see Waterproofing and Dampproofing). More

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Framing Fix for a Faulty Foundation

A foundation that is out-of-level and out-of-square can be fixed by shimming the... More

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Block Walls, Vapor Barriers, and Solar Vapor Drive

Q: With a cavity wall assembly consisting of load-bearing 8-inch CMUs (concrete masonry units), 2 inches of rigid foam, a 2-inch air space, and 4-inch concrete bricks covered with cementitious stucco and an acrylic color coat, how important is dampproofin More

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Retrofitting a Window Into a Block Foundation

Q: I need to install a basement egress window in a concrete-block foundation wall.... More

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Q&A: Tying Into Concrete Block

Q: What is the best way to tie a new block addition into an existing block building? More

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