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Thread: Dry stacked surface bonded concrete block construction site

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Temple, Georgia
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    1,716

    Default Dry stacked surface bonded concrete block construction site

    http://www.drystacked.com/index.html

    This site is by far, one of the best sites for info on surface bonded concrete block construction. The author has actually built some buildings, and has quite a few tips and tricks to make the process better.

    For example, he suggests leaving gaps between blocks at corners, to prevent irregular wall edges and openings.

    Other reference works have the owner / builder use metal shims, and endlessly fuss with filling gaps. He just uses mortar to fill in the gaps before applying surface bond.

    One of the biggest problems with surface bonding is that it has been shunned by the traditional building industry, and few block manufacturers make full dimension blocks. So you have to use regular CMUs that assume a 3/8" mortar joint. Plus the corner blocks have one side that does not have a joint - so the dimension is slightly different. It's enough to throw off careful measurements and modularity.

    Concrete block construction is fairly inexpensive - if you prepare carefully.
    A 32 x 32 x 8 structure (1024 sf) would use roughly 1200 blocks. (less block because of openings for doors and windows)
    Depending on cost of surface bond cement and the blocks, you can certainly get your costs below $10/sf that the masonry industry suggests for standard mortared walls.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    426

    Default

    Familiar with the surface bonded methods ....... hard to get permitted in the north climates ........ Have done smaller non-structure type construction using stacked blocks and building grade adhesives ....... MUCH stronger and durable build than conventional block/mortar ........ surface bonding the exteriors would only strengthen the build .........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Global
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    98

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    TN mainly, on the road alot.
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    3,064

    Default

    I got a book on this type of building method, I will post it when I find where I put it ( currently packing to move ). It had some really good points.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East TN Smokey Mountains
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    3,117

    Default

    i have done a little bit of surface bonded block construction.
    I love it.

  6. #6

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    years ago i built a four cell kenell using dry stack and Surewall. i accidently backed into an end wall with a small backhoe and did no damge to the wall which was coated on both sides.
    i'ts critical to get the first row perfect as you don't get to adjust mortor joints but for something like a kenell it works great for an amature like myself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    86

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    Way back in the old days I used to install inground swimming pools with the walls (42" high) made of SB stacked block. Worked great most of the time, until too much wet clay was backfilled behind them, then they cracked. Getting a bond to the footing is critical (use rod and morter 1st course) and application to a dry wall or drying out too fast was pretty detrimental to the strength acheived. Filling a column every now & then seemed to help a lot, also.
    As Freedom Sunsets into Perpetual Night.... What a long, strange trip it's been......

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sinsinnati,Ohio
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    1,979

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    Log End Cave was my first intro about 30yrs ago.
    When Death looks you in the eye and smiles,smile back with a 45.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
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    722

    Default

    Nice link. This looks like the route I will go for my bug out shelter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    47

    Default

    BTT

    I wrote a long post then at the last min did a search and found this thread. I dont think any other method will cover all the bases that this one will. As one of the more knowledgeable guys said in another thread - go with InsulDeck as a roof or get a structural engineer to sign off on whatever roof you design yourself.

    I figure one guy with some small equipment (skidsteer/cement mixer) could build a top notch shelter for a family for under $5000 (400 sq feet ?) of materials and LOTS of hard work.

    One of these would be nice too :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w83qYmleF-c

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