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7

Depending on your location, build a planter. This included the base and the wall surrounding it. You could do a traditional rectangle or something modern like these...


5

The easiest way to insulate concrete block is to glue foam insulation board directly to the block. These boards come in 4 ft X 8 ft sheets and different R values. The other method is to build a wood or steel stud wall along the block to hold blanket style insulation along with electrical wiring etc. This method is a lot more work, but gives you a base to ...


4

You could build an outdoor fire pit. Be sure to check with your local fire regulations first; depending on your location, the fire pit might not be allowed, or there might be restrictions on when you are allowed to use it.


4

There is no need to give the panels 100% coverage. Just get some on the edges and a few good daps here and there. As long as it sticks to the wall, you should be OK. Once you backfill the bottom, the panels shouldn't go anywhere.


4

This website has a good explanation of hydrostatic forces on a dam surface. You could build your wall with a submerged lip to help counteract the moment applied by the water pressure on the vertical face of the wall. Image from TheConstructor.org I did some quick calculations and got the following: So to sum up my incoherent scribblings, assuming a 30 ...


3

Unbelievable good math for a block wall, but I think Jim is only going to have one block on the ground at the top of the pond. The liner itself is very strong, and once laid up and over the block, that block is not going anywhere. Not only would 6 inches of water have to move the block, but stretch the liner the same distance as moving the block. The most ...


3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderblock - easy way to describe this one. They're just concrete blocks that stack together (much like legos). They're held together with mortar like bricks. They're very common for foundation work in the US.


2

Another term for these is breeze block in the UK or besser block in Australia. As the are larger than bricks a wall can be built more quickly than with bricks. They are usually used for the interior skin of a cavity wall and any interior load bearing walls.


2

Since concrete blocks are fairly thick, I'd drill several holes along the line you want to cut with a masonry bit, then use a use a mini jack hammer such as a small DeWalt with a 1/2" chisel bit. The hole will not be perfect shape etc, so you will need to fill around the vent after installed with some mortar. The pilot holes will help keep the hole in a ...


2

Yes you can set drywall directly to the block wall. If it intersects with an exterior wall that is exposed to the weather, I would place a layer of poly of out of the intersecting corner, if accessible, out no more than 2', 18" would probably be better, vertically to prevent any moisture coming through the block and getting into the sheetrock. Use drywall ...


2

Chalk a circle the size that you want. Drill holes every quarter of an inch or so. Drill bit only need be thick enough to not break as it passes through. Do this all the way around till you can gently hammer out the hole.


2

Those "big wooden casts" are called "forms", by the way. Very often brick is chosen over concrete for its aesthetic value. It's also relatively easy to double-wall brick for insulation purposes, but it's extremely difficult to pour two good-quality 4"-thick concrete walls immediately adjacent to each other.


2

Ceiling joists don't necessarily hold up the walls. What they do is prevent the outward force of the roof pushing the walls out. The joists 'pull' the outward forces together canceling them out so that the only force on the walls is then downwards. Whether your walls are stick frames or masonry, they're strength is in compression from downward forces ...


1

As mentioned in the comment above, the post which is all you should need on the corner, needs to be mounted on a concrete pier that goes to the frost line for your area. If there are other areas of your deck that are supported soley by a post or block on the slab that will rise or fall as ice forms and melts under the slab, needs to be resupported by ...


1

If you live in a cold climate I would sacrifice a couple square feet of living space and add 2x4 studded walls in front of block wall. This way you can get proper insulation and use electrical boxes. If you are getting permits you may be required to do this to insulate the walls up to R21 depending on climate zone


1

If the cinder blocks are empty, a standard masonry drill bit in the 3/4 inch (19 mm) range plus a sawzall (which can be inexpensively rented, but you'll have to buy a blade). Trace a duct end onto the blocks where you want the hole: it is best that the edges of the hole be at least an inch (3 cm) away from cinder block edges and mortar but can go through ...


1

If you go to an HVAC supply warehouse, you can find pre-made ducts the size of a standard cinder block that include structural support to replace the support lost by removing a block. The HVAC supply guys can also advise on the proper spacing/placement for putting in more than one duct, which it sounds like you need.


1

Berkeley, CA has a tool library for just this kind of rental. Major home stores have rentals, and there are chains of rental shops like Hertz Rentals. You'll need a drill, a masonry bit, and a concrete anchor. Your local hardware store can supply the last two. Each anchor will have a specified hole size. The ceiling is almost certainly not cinderblock. ...


1

You could make a small seating area with benches made from cinder blocks and blocks for side tables; it'll be nicer if you top the cinder block structures with something comfortable to sit on. A quick web search turned up: cinder block furniture projects, hand make outdoor furniture A smoker might work, but the blocks are very porous; you're going to ...


1

You could use an epoxy coating (similar to what you use on a garage floor) - they are thick enough to give a smooth coat on cinder block. You would need to first morter/plaster the seams to get them smooth. There are also concrete compounds intended for use on vertical structures (see concretenetwork.com for examples) - that can give a very nice appearance. ...


1

To get a smooth surface you'll need to either use plasterboard (or sheetrock) or plaster (mud? in the US). Both are DIY jobs, but you need a lot of practice to get a good finish with plaster.



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