Block building home construction myths...
 
1. Requires precise mortar skills (not with drystack)
 2. Damp buildings (SBC stucco waterproof coating)
 3. Not modern looking (stucco coating is trendy)
 4. To difficult ( I am 61yrs old and do all my own work)
 5. To expensive (costs about 1/2 wood construction)
 6. Small windows (bdrm 3'x5', greatrm 9'x8')
 7. Box design (my boomerang plan with outcroppings)
 8. Requires special materials (uses standard blocks)
 9. No detailed information (this website changes that)
10. Unproved construction (Empirical block design)

Many websites would have you believe... that block concrete masonry units (CMU) for home construction are a thing of the past. But their new deal may be lacking:

1. Thermal mass - CMU limits night temperature plunge in winter and daily temperature rise in summer, saving you energy.
2. Wall strength - CMU sandwiched on each side by fiber-reinforced concrete cement which dramatically improves wall strength over mortared blocks, without filling all cells with concrete.
3. Wall integrity- no worries about water damage or termites since neither disturbs CMU. Wind resistant roof due to metal truss fasteners embedded into wall bond-beam concrete.

4. Self standing - CMUs self stand seven courses high without incident. I mortar the 7th course to the 6th course (bottom mortar only) to re-establish a level and plumb wall. This also establishes a firm base for the top half of the wall. Above the 7th course, I stair-step-stack the corners all the way to the top and use the corner to brace itself. Pour and rebar the corner cells and then stack and brace between the corners until remaining cells are poured. Then pour headers and bond-beam all around.
5. Local availability - CMUs are available just about everywhere. If you need more, just go get some more. Not so with those custom blocks.
6. Design engineering - Custom blocks always require costly design engineering, whereas CMU construction usually falls under empirical design standards and requires no specific engineering studies. Just obey the empirical design home construction requirements of your local building authority.
7. Special glues - CMU requires no special or expensive bonding agent to stack the blocks. Normal mortar is used to set the first course on the foundation/slab. The cost of the SBC is offset because it costs less than conventional house siding materials.


Building a Home? Reasons to do it right!

Contractor built masonry homes are long last becoming very popular. People are beginning to realize the economic advantages even when contractors do the work. Home energy mechanical equipment upgrades for stick built homes are also applicable to conventional masonry homes. I make the differentiation between conventional masonry homes and thermal mass homes by defining that thermal mass homes expect the majority of heating and cooling to be passive. The conventional masonry home will use mechanical equipment to allow for more varied house plan options. Both types of homes will result in significant utility energy savings. For many owner-builders, the conventional masonry home is an excellent compromise for many site locations.

Contractors prefer to build masonry homes with concrete walls or mortared blocks. They already have the necessary forms and skilled manpower to work with these building mediums. Sometime in the future, these contractors will realize that dry stacked blocks are faster and less labor intensive. Owner-builders, on the other hand, prefer SBC coated dry stacked block walls now. The reasons are many and here are just 15 reasons:

1. No expensive forms required.
2. One person can complete most of the work, just one block at a time. You can also stop any time you feel like it.
3. Very strong and waterproof.
4. A dry stacked block home can keep you comfortable year-round … while reducing your utility bills
5. No drafts to penetrate the home envelope.
6. Concrete blocks are available most anywhere. They can be easily transported to unusual site locations.
7. High winds and fire don't bother these walls.
8. Insects can not penetrate these walls.
9. SBC coated block walls do not promote the growth of molds.
10. Provides excellent sound proofing from outside noise.
11. Easy to design house plans due to empirical design standards.
12. Proven building medium has been around for decades.
13. Dry stacked blocks can create any shape or size home that you can imagine.
14. A dry stacked block home is a solid investment for your family both in terms of safety and value.
15. A dry stacked block home requires far less work to keep it looking like new.

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