Working on a cement house

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FRx
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Location: Portland Or

Working on a cement house

Post by FRx » Sun May 05, 2019 5:58 am

I'm comfortable working on a house, doing repairs, etc. I've grown up in wood and drywall and the occasional plaster wall with lath. Here in Spain it seems that most homes are made out of cement .... or maybe brick ... and just a few large steel beams. Though this will be a very broad question, how is working on homes like this different from working on the drywall and wood frame homes?

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Lemur
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Re: Working on a cement house

Post by Lemur » Mon May 06, 2019 7:46 am

Do you mean a concrete house? Cement is an ingredient to concrete and I've never heard of cement homes (maybe I'll learn something new...) but I've built both wooden structures and concrete buildings.

Wood framed houses go up quicker and are cheaper but concrete homes are more durable. I would say concrete homes involve much more labor as you're physically moving heavier things such as concrete blocks...generally dirtier work. Roofing is much more easier with concrete especially if you just build a flat slab as your roof (with a slight slope of course).

Despite living in a concrete home once for 3 years, I never had to make a single repair so no experience in this department but with a stick framed home I've had to make the occasional drywall patch (mainly due to toddler shenanigans though).

chenda
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Re: Working on a cement house

Post by chenda » Mon May 06, 2019 9:13 am

Yes I would imagine extensions and internal reconfigurations are quicker and easier on timber frame, although along with durability thermal mass will usually be higher on masonry construction. General maintenance shouldn't be a problem.

FRx
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Re: Working on a cement house

Post by FRx » Mon May 06, 2019 9:20 am

Don't know the difference, really. I see these air-filled bricks which are stacked on top of each other with concrete and then plastered over. The homes which are dilapidated seem to have giant wood beams going through them which are being renovated with steel frames and some kind of metal grade covering onto which more concrete is placed.
Good to know though that they are potentially less maintenance. If they are harder to work on that might not be all too bad if I do the work myself. I'm guessing when you run a wire you just break into the wall and run a conduit, etc.
Ahh, masonry, that might be the keyword I needed. Gracias.

George the original one
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Re: Working on a cement house

Post by George the original one » Mon May 06, 2019 5:19 pm

In the USA, concrete block walls usually have surface conduit for electrical runs. It's not normal normal practice to break into the wall cavities. Residential buildings might or might not use additional wood framing for wallboard/plaster walls to reduce that cold feeling which masonry has.

Concrete block walls are considered an earthquake hazard if it's not reinforced with external x-bracing. In earthquake-prone locales, the building code will require x-bracing for newly built buildings. In some locales, the code will go so far as to require retrofitting older buildings with x-bracing.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Working on a cement house

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue May 07, 2019 6:59 am

FRx maybe these are similar to what you're talking about. They're LEGO-like stackable blocks. Originally I was thinking of something I saw a while ago (on a since deleted site) about blocks that you put up, and were highly insulated (R-17), that you'd apply stucco to on the outside, and you could dremel out room for pipes and wires on the inside, then cover it with plaster. Those were Autoclaved Aerated Concrete and Insulating Concrete Forms.

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