Saw this video about how to properly lay bricks and dang! It takes more skill and care than I thought. Then I saw a video about how foundations are poured into wooden casts from a big concrete truck and that looked easy. I also recently studied the building material costs around my area and concrete is a good deal cheaper per cubic meter. That raises the question though - why lay bricks if you can just pour concrete? Most buildings around here are made of bricks or cinderblock, while the only building with extensive use of concrete is the new library (and that is basically just a giant box of concrete and glass).


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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.

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    Plus it's often a lot easier to use a flatbed truck to carry the brick or cinder block around around and set the courses in place without the need for extra support as the wall grows in height than it is to effectively pour concrete in a flat wall that needs a lot of support during the setup period. It's why full concrete wall construction is done as "tip up", you cast the wall flat on the ground with all the rebar in place. If you're going the concrete route, it's better to invest in ICF (insulated form concrete) which is yet another form of brick building when you think about it. Aug 26, 2014 at 16:35

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