Concrete Blocks.

Installing concrete blocks...

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How to install a concrete blocks.

Step by step instructions on installing concrete blocks.

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Installing Concrete Block

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  7. Check level and plump

Place a level along the length of the first three concrete blocks. If they are not perfectly level or if

their tops do not form a straight line, press or tap down on the high points until they are level. Check

for plumb by holding the level against the side of each block. If any concrete block is not plumb,

press with the heel of your hand or tap with the handle of your trowel to adjust it. Every three or

four blocks, check for level and plumb and make adjustments. Periodically use your level or a long

straightedge to make sure the face of the blocks align.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                 

 Concrete block wall installation

                                                                                                                    

  8. Check for square and build leads.

Check corners for square first by holding a framing square against the outside edges of each side.

Then use the 3-4-5 method as a double check. Apply a 1 inch deep layer of mortar along the top edges

of the blocks of the first course. As you place the second corner block, align its outside corner with

the corner below it. Press the block into the mortar just enough so its weight compresses the mortar

to a 3/8 inch joint. Continue laying concrete blocks until you have build up a corner lead.

 

 

 9. Installing concrete block spacers if necessary.

Spacers made of cut blocks can be used to extend leads if you cannot make the number of blocks

come out even by slightly enlarging the mortar lines. Cut and install spacer blocks early, rather than

trying to cut the closure block in the middle to fit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Cut concrete blocks by hand.

If you need to cut blocks to fit, be sure to take into account the 3/8 inch mortar lines when

measuring. To cut by hand, place the block on sand or loose soil and use a brick set and hammer to

make a line about 1/8 inch deep on both sides of the block. Then work along the line again,

hammering harder and moving the brick set each time you rap it. Continue until the concrete block

breaks along the cut line.

 

 

 11. Fill in between the block leads.

Once you have two corners leads in place, hook line blocks around the corners and stretch a mason’s

line between them. Align the mason’s line with the top of the blocks in the course being worked on

and hold them about 1/16 inch away from the blocks’ outer edges. With the mason’s line stretched in

place, begin setting the concrete blocks between the leads. Check the line often to make sure no

blocks or mortar are touching it because they might otherwise push the line out of alignment.

 

 

  12.  Filling in the closer block.

Butter both ends of the closure, or final, block and lay it to complete the course. If some of the

mortar falls off the flanges, lay the block anyway. Fill gaps in the joints by tucking mortar in place

from the sides with your trowel.

 

 

 

 

 

13.  Cleaning the joints on the block.

Use a jointer or a sled jointer to finish each joint after you have laid two courses above it. Tool the

head joints first, then the bed joints. Brush off loose mortar. For concrete blocks below grade, strike

off excess mortar with your trowel.

 

 

Installing door and window header.

Plain doors and window openings to minimize cutting blocks to fit around them. It’s best to use metal

frames design for use in masonry walls, but you can build wood frames as well. You can make your

own header with two angle irons and u-blocks. Cut or purchase angle irons 16 inches longer than the

opening is wide, allowing for an 8 inch overlap on either side of the opening. Set them back to back

and place u blocks on top.

 

 

  Apply stucco to the concrete block.

To apply a stucco finish on concrete blocks, first paint the blocks with latex concrete bonding agent.

Apply the scratch coat with a finishing trowel and scratch it with a plaster’s rake or a scratching tool

made of a piece of 2+2 and 4 penny nails. Keep the scratch coat moist for two days, then apply a

finish coat.

 

 

  Why build corner leads.

Whenever you build a concrete block wall it is best to start by building leads at each corner. Then

you can fill in concrete blocks between the leads. You may be tempted to skip this step and build a

wall one course at a time. But leads are essential to achieve a plumb and straight wall. Without leads

you have to check blocks continually for level and plumb, and there would be no easy way to make

sure your wall is straight. With the leads in place, laying the concrete blocks in the middle is simple,

Stretch a mason’s line from corner to corner and follow it.

 

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Installing a retaining wall

Laying out your floor joists

 

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