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Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/18/2022 12:32 PM

I am sketching up ideas for adding a room or two to my house. The existing house is concrete block and I want to use concrete block construction for the new room. When I google this I get a huge variety of results and I have not yet felt confident picking about any of them.

In a climate such as Florida, if a residential home has new construction concrete block walls with new construction stucco and insulation and drywall that both meets code and makes good sense for a middle class home, how thick is the wall? This will probably boil down to what is used to separate the drywall and the concrete block? What is the typical insulation material and thickness?

Thanks,
Bruce

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#1

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/18/2022 2:38 PM

Well, in the old days, there was no insulation in the outside walls, just a vapor barrier...Nowadays though, you might want to use a 2x4 framed wall on the inside just like the interior walls, there are many ways I guess...certainly the ceiling insulation and windows are the most important for heat load reduction....

...or you can glue the insulation on the outside....don't care for this method...

https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/buildingscience/concrete-block-structures-are-still-viable-when-properly-constructed

A good architect is expensive, but can ease a lot of issues about how to do things...I think it's code now that you have to pour concrete down every third hole of the blocks for reinforcement...

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/18/2022 3:11 PM

It seems like 1x2 strips is common. Having 2x4 framing would allow more insulation but with most construction these days being "pinch a penny" I doubt (but don't know) that 2x4 framing is common. It would also seem like there would be so many small gaps between the 2x4's and the block to cause problems with building codes and fire blocks/breaks.

I don't plan to do any permitting or construction without a professional working up plans first. I'm just trying to get all of the preliminary rearrange and resize decisions made up front. The professional would then "fine tune" our goals rather than starting with a blank slate.

I'm also trying to get to a "worthwhile" vs. "not worth it" decision without a huge bill. Paying for the plans of something we are going to build is worthwhile. Paying for plans that we will throw away is painful.

When you are trying to squeeze a 10 pound house into a 5 pound lot a few inches of perimeter wall thickness do make a difference.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/18/2022 3:47 PM

I guess you can always go up ↑↑↑↑...or you can just make it wooden framed, I don't know but steel studs may be cheaper than wood right now....it does bear some contemplation, there are so many new construction methods now, we have certainly looked at a few on here from time to time...

https://loghousecabins.co.uk/the-benefits-of-sips-structural-insulated-panels-construction-for-outdoor-rooms/

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/18/2022 9:16 PM
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#5

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/19/2022 3:10 AM

When dealing with structures, especially foundations, remember, "when in doubt, make it stout".

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#6

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/23/2022 6:56 AM

Don't hesitate to use a local Building Designer to work this up into the desired solution according to locally-approved building codes. Transferring liability is the reason for doing so and it's generally well worth the investment.

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#7

Re: Thickness of a concrete block wall

02/23/2022 12:53 PM

Bruce I have a friend in Central Florida who does building plans suitable for permitting for all sorts of small projects such as this. PM me if you want his info. It would have to be Central Florida.

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