How to Build a Cinder Block House

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Things You'll Need

  • 8- or 12-inch cinder blocks

  • Type N or Type S mortar

  • Brick sand

  • Round shovel

  • Flat shovel

  • Wheelbarrow

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • Block trowel

  • Thumb jointer

  • Mixing hoe

  • Line blocks

  • Nylon twine

  • 4-foot level

  • Brick hammer

  • Tape measure

Cinder Block Walls

Cinder block can be a cost-effective material for building your next house. Not only are cinder block houses relatively simple and basic, they are also considered structurally sound and solid. In the following article, you will learn about the necessary steps in building a cinder block house.

Step 1

Stocked Block Job

When the block companies deliver, they bring cubes of cinder block. These cubes consist of 80 to 90 blocks that must be broken down into piles of 10 to 12 blocks and stacked about 2 feet away from the concrete footer on which the house will be built.

Step 2

Mix the mortar according to instructions on the bag, usually 16 shovels of sand per one half bag of mortar. Place two to three shovels of sand and then the half bag of mortar in the wheelbarrow. Mix the dry parts together with the mixing hoe and then add the rest of the sand. Once all the dry parts are mixed, slowly add water and mix until you have the consistency of cake mix.

Step 3

Corners

When the mortar is mixed and ready, place a few shovels onto a corner board. Make sure that there are four corners of reference to work from and that the walls are square relative to each other. You will build at least four corners up about five blocks high. As shown in the picture, use the block trowel to spread the mortar mix in two thick lines about as wide as the cinder block and far enough out to lay three or four blocks long. Make a 90-degree corner. After the first row is down, stagger the next block to lay it halfway over the bottom block. Level and plumb your corner walls so that they are perfectly straight, square and plumb. Use the thumb jointer to smooth the mud from between the block joints.

Step 4

Line Block Placement

Once the corner walls are up about five blocks, run the courses between. Using the line blocks, stretch the nylon twine and tie around the block. Place the blocks on the corners of the first row of blocks and begin filling in the first course.

Step 5

Filling In

Continue until you have run the walls up to the desired height, usually 8 to 10 feet.

Tip

If possible, have a helper. It's always quicker to have someone who can keep the block stocked and the mortar mixed.

Warning

Safety first. Never lay the walls higher than the day permits. They could become unstable and fall over.


Billy McCarley

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.