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Tips on How to Build a Cinder Block House from a Fortress Home Expert

Before we get into the process of building a cinder block house, it is helpful to clarify some of the related terms you might hear while asking yourself a question "How to build a cinder block house?".

A concrete block used in concrete masonry is called a concrete masonry unit (CMU) and these typically come in standard shapes and sizes. A cinder block is a particular and common type of low density CMU made from cinders such as fly ash or bottom ash. In cinder block construction, the cinder blocks are laid in courses (layers) on top of each other, joined together by mortar.

Advantages of cinder block construction

Cinder block masonry has become one of the most popular methods of construction around the world. This is because, compared to different materials, building a block house from a medium such as cinder blocks offers the following advantages:

  • Concrete blocks are relatively low cost and versatile
  • Concrete blocks are durable and strong enough to maintain structural integrity
  • Houses constructed of concrete blocks are relatively fire-resistant and soundproof
  • Concrete blocks are readily available in most places
  • A concrete block wall can be insulated relatively easily — such as using rigid foam board insulation to reduce heat transfer and keep your cinder block house warm in winter or keep the house cool in summer.

Given all these advantages and the fact that concrete blocks are easier and faster to lay than brick, it is no wonder that cinder block houses and other types of concrete block homes are so popular.


So, with all these benefits in mind, let's move on to the basics of how to build a house with concrete blocks.

How to build a concrete block house step by step

In this article, we give a simplified description of how to build a concrete house step by step to give you a better idea of what is involved in a project to build a block house.

Naturally, the exact process might differ a bit depending on the specifics of the house to be built, but reading these steps will give you an overall picture of the construction process for cinder block houses.


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Step 1: The foundations of success

Any house needs a solid foundation and the process to build a concrete block house is no exception. Usually, this will mean prepping the site and pouring wet concrete into a wood framing to give a solid base before you start to put down the cinder blocks.

Step 2: Mix up the right mortar recipe

Mortar joints are what bind the cinder blocks together so it is important to mix up the right consistency and mix of mortar, consisting of mortar, sand, and water. the right amount of water must be added so the mortar will stick the cinder blocks together.

Step 3: First blocks in place

Start by placing blocks that will serve as a reference for the rest of the blocks to be laid - typically this will mean beginning with the corner blocks. Build up the corners several layers high using the mortar mix from step 2, which is spread with a trowel to join the blocks in the right places. Take care to make sure the corner walls are perfectly straight and aligned and remove excess mortar from the cinder blocks.

Step 4: Fill in the gaps

Once you have your corners in place and build up several concrete blocks high, you can start to fill in the rows of blocks (called a "course") in between the corners to build up the exterior walls and interior walls. Again, take care to ensure everything is neat and the cinder blocks are well aligned.

Step 5: Onwards and upwards!

Once you've got the first few layers of cinder blocks down, you basically just continue the process of building up the corners and filling the layers (course) in between until the walls reach the desired height. From this point, you now have the basic cinder block structure in place, on which you can start to install ceilings, stairs, build up to the roof, and complete all other elements of the house.

How much does it cost to build a cinder block home?

A bit like the question "how many cinder blocks do i need to build a house," there isn't really an exact answer to the question of how much it costs to build a house with blocks.


To estimate the cost to build a concrete block home, you will need to factor in a range of variables. These include the floor area and height of the building, whether there are basement walls and how many floors the building has, other factors that may impact how many cinder blocks to build a house, the building material to be used, and any other specific issues about the site or design that require special work.


General contractor pricing guides will allow you to understand all of the peculiarities of construction services budgets.

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Why build with Fortress Home

If you are considering building a house with cinder blocks, our advisors will be happy to run you through the relevant options, the pros, and cons of using cinder blocks or other types of concrete blocks, and provide an estimate for your project.

With over two decades of experience, our team at Fortress Home has become leading experts in residential concrete block construction in the Chicago area and one of the most trusted outfits for those building a house out of concrete blocks.

We can run you through all the ins and outs of how to build a concrete block home, whether you plan on building a house with besser blocks or any other type of concrete blocks.

When it comes to constructing cinder block homes, our broad expertise and extensive experience in the industry, as well as our network of ties with local tradesmen and suppliers in the region, meaning we are superbly positioned to guarantee the very best quality and competitive rates for your next dream project to build a home from concrete blocks.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build a small cinder block house?

$200 is the average price of a square foot of a cinder house. So if we are talking of a small house of 1500 sq. ft, the total construction price is $300,000.

Is a cinder block house good?

Yes. This is an affordable option that is safe for your health and provides a solid structure and proper insulation. Cinder block houses stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

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