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I'm hoping to buy a place of my own soon. The house has walls made of concrete blocks, finished with plaster and paint. It looks great and doesn't need any changes.

However, I've been thinking that I'd like to avoid drilling too many holes in the concrete blocks to hang stuff; shelves, Tv, hanging cabinets, anything else that I want to put on the wall. Mainly to not damage the concrete blocks because as I understand they would be impossible to replace if damaged, and once a hole is drilled I can't fix it to be "like new" again.

Is that a valid concern?

If so, I was thinking of putting up framed walls. Would that be a good solution for this or am I overthinking it and should just drill into the walls when I want to hang something?

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    The size of holes in concrete blocks to hang/anchor stuff are not that big and do not damage(unless you use a sledge hammer to make them). Depending on your location, might want to add more insulation, then drywall with studs might might handy.
    – crip659
    Feb 2, 2023 at 17:21
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    I suspect that what you're proposing is much more complex a task than you imagine. It would involve nearly every aspect of your room, from flooring to electrical. It's just not viable beyond isolated cases. Where did you get the idea?
    – isherwood
    Feb 2, 2023 at 19:14
  • @isherwood Thanks for editing the question. As for the idea, I was just thinking about how to keep the walls free of screw holes, but I guess it's not a big deal from the comments here. I've also thought of using hooks with adhesive tape for most light stuff like clocks and paintings instead of using nails which would help with my goal as well.
    – Jibran
    Feb 3, 2023 at 16:46

2 Answers 2

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Don't worry about the holes. It is more of a pain, particularly for lighter things where with drywall you can use a picture hanger or a very small anchor but with brick/block/concrete everything is a big deal. But the holes won't hurt the wall.

There are, however, a few advantages to building a wall (wood or metal studs + drywall) inside the existing brick/block/concrete walls:

  • Insulation. Most places either have a significant heating or cooling season that will really benefit from well-insulated walls. Many places have both seasons to consider.
  • Electrical, plumbing and other upgrades. Adding additional electrical wiring, telephone or internet wiring, plumbing upgrades, alarm systems and many other things are much easier with a hollow wall than with a solid wall. Many of these things end up being external (e.g., surface mounted conduit and junction boxes) with brick/block/concrete walls. And if you plan these upgrades in advance then you can do them after framing the wall but before adding insulation and drywall - the same way they are done when building a new house.

There are some disadvantages too:

  • Cost. This is significant, but would be offset somewhat by energy savings and possibly lower cost to install electrical and other upgrades.
  • Doors and windows all need to be framed around, which is extra work and the resulting thicker walls will be noticeable around windows and doors.
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Patching holes in concrete blocks is entirely possible, and if that is the only reason you are considering adding a framed wall over it, that is not a good one. Hanging-sized holes are immaterial to the structure of a concrete block wall at any usual spacing.

More insulation might be a good reason to add a framed and insulated wall over the exterior walls (only.) On the other hand, if you are in a termite-prone area, you should probably avoid wood framing and use steel if doing that, and it involves complexities with window and door openings.

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