What is a Cinder Block House?
If it is your first time building a home, you may find it challenging to choose the primary material for your home. Should you choose a wood frame construction house or a concrete block home? While wood-frame houses are a popular choice for many homeowners, a wood-frame home may not be the correct type of home for you. So why not take a look at concrete houses? You may realize that a concrete house will have more benefits than a house with wood framing.
A cinder block house is a type of concrete construction in which the walls are made from cinder blocks which are also called concrete blocks. Cinder blocks are hollow concrete blocks typically used in the concrete construction of walls and foundations. They are made from cement from the Portland cement association, sand, water, and aggregate materials such as gravel or crushed stone.
Cinder block houses have a long history dating back to the early 20th century. These cinder block homes were first introduced in the United States in 1916 and became popular during the post-World War II housing boom. Cinder block construction became increasingly popular due to its affordability and durability compared to homes with wood framing. This concrete block house construction is still widely used in residential and commercial applications.
Advantages of Using Concrete Blocks for Home Construction
Concrete blocks are popular materials used for building houses. These concrete blocks are the primary building materials to create a new home’s exterior or interior walls. Likewise, concrete blocks can be used as part of the panel systems for the house’s interior walls. For example, a contractor can use a concrete block base from the floor to the room’s midlevel, then use other materials such as wood or drywall to complete the wall up to the ceiling.
Most general contractors prefer the concrete block as their primary building material for the following reasons:
Concrete block materials are affordable
Concrete blocks are affordable. Cinder blocks' cost is cheaper than other construction materials such as bricks. On average, a cinder block with dimensions of 8x8x16 inches costs $0.30 each, while a brick with 4x2x8 inches costs $0.55 each. This price difference is significant, especially if you plan to build a big house.
Cinder blocks are durable.
Cinder blocks are also durable, meaning they can last for a long time. Cinder blocks do not rot like wood, so you do not have to worry about your house’s foundation or walls deteriorating over time. Likewise, cinder blocks are not susceptible to insect infestation compared to wood-framed houses. It is estimated that cinder block houses can last for as long as 100 years with proper maintenance. You can expect that the first concrete house built during concrete block construction of the early 1900s would still be standing today.
Cinder blocks provide good insulation.
Cinder blocks also provide good insulation for your concrete home to create an energy-efficient home. These concrete blocks are dense, so they can help regulate the temperature inside your house. An energy-efficient home will ensure that your HVAC system is not working overtime to keep your house cool during the summer months. The insulating property of ICF walls also allows them to reduce heat transfer to and from the exterior and interior spaces to keep your cinder block house warm.
Cinder block walls provide soundproofing.
The dense nature of cinder blocks also makes the concrete walls soundproof, so you do not have to worry about noise pollution from outside your concrete home. The exterior wall of your concrete home will block unwanted noise to maintain a serene interior living space. If your concrete home has a basement laundry area, basement walls made of concrete or with a concrete fill will lessen the noise your washing machine and other machines make.
Cinder blocks are fire-resistant.
Another advantage of cinder blocks is that they are fire-resistant. A home with fire resistance property is an important consideration, especially if you live in an area prone to wildfires. Cinder block houses can withstand high temperatures and not catch fire easily compared to wood-framed houses. A concrete wall system has a fire rating of four hours, which means it has fire resistance for four hours before the house’s structural integrity is compromised.
Cinder blocks are eco-friendly.
Cinder blocks are also eco-friendly as they are made from natural materials such as sand, water, and cement. Once the cinder block house is no longer needed, the cinder blocks can be reused or recycled. Because a cinder block is considered a lower volatile organic compound, it does less harm to the environment when discarded.
Cinder blocks are easy to find
Cinder blocks are widely available in most hardware stores. Likewise, concrete block manufacturers can quickly produce new blocks if stocks get depleted. Most manufacturers can make cinder blocks at 4,000 blocks per hour.
Cinder blocks are easy to work with.
One of the advantages of cinder blocks is that they are easy to work with. A contractor or a do-it-yourself enthusiast can easily cut, drill, and shape the blocks according to their needs. Cinder blocks are also easy to install using mortar.
Modern Methods of Constructing Concrete Block Homes
The advancement of the construction industry has led to the development of insulated concrete forms, which are used to create cement walls of any shape and size for a new concrete house. These ICFs are made up of two layers of rigid foam insulation that sandwich a layer of concrete. The foam insulation helps keep the concrete from cracking and crumbling, while the concrete provides strength and stability to the wall of the concrete house. The use of ICFs is growing in popularity due to the many benefits.
Easy to Use and Cut
Insulated concrete forms are easy to use and can be cut to fit any size opening. They can be stacked on top of each other or placed side by side to create a solid concrete wall for a concrete house. Once the concrete is poured, the forms can be removed and reused for future projects. Likewise, you will need less workforce for concrete masonry when creating ICF walls.
Reduces Amount of Time to Complete Construction Projects
The use of ICFs reduces the time and money required to complete the construction process for a concrete wall or a concrete home. In addition, ICFs provide a higher R-value than traditional concrete walls, which means that they are better at insulating concrete block houses.
While building homes using the concrete block construction method used to be a time-consuming and expensive process, insulated concrete forms have made it much easier and more affordable. Concrete home construction has advanced significantly, and now there are very few reasons not to choose this sturdy, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient building method. Most construction crews prefer to use ICF walls when constructing industrial buildings.
If you are thinking about a new home construction project, consider using insulating concrete forms to create a solid, high structural integrity, energy-efficient, low maintenance home that will last for years.