6

Plant climbing vines at the wall, let them climb and cover. Take note of the "sound walls" around the interstates or beltways around the cities. Many have vines growing over them to aid in the sound deadening. Find what the specie is and go from there.


5

The metal on a wood rasp would be way to soft to make any type of dent in the concrete. The only thing you will do is destroy the rasp. You should use a roto hammer with the proper sized bit to widen the hole.


5

Here in Southern California when tract homes are constructed along freeways a block wall is constructed the length of the lots. Similar to yours I'm guessing. Rather than having a smooth and flat surface the face of the blocks are irregular and textured. Some project several inches past plumb while others look to have an angled face. It would appear that the ...


5

Water infiltration can come from 1) subsurface water, and 2) surface water. Subsurface water can come from a rising water table or from hydrostatic water rising up through the soil. Rising Water Table: You indicate the building is located above the water table. That may be true under normal conditions. When an extreme rain event occurs, the water table ...


4

You can buy sound deadening panels or sheeting - You would construct a fence-like structure inside your block wall, then hang the sound absorbing panels or sheeting from that. The material can be part-covered with regular wooden fencing, or plants, or painted, or a combination. You may be able to get away with only performing this treatment on a couple of ...


4

Can I convince you to not do this ? Honestly not trying to be an ass. Please, please - Get a quote from a company that builds retaining walls. The quote will cost very little or nothing. You will be shocked at the cost, and not in a good way. The quantity of material needed to build the wall, will amaze you. Please get a quote or two first. I promise ...


4

Instead of tile, consider 9/16"-ish thin brick veneer, which looks good in combination with concrete block. Something like this: You could put a wire lath over the blocks, and then just use mortar to adhere the brick to the lath/blocks. Another option would to be run a 1x8 cedar "trim" board to cover the horizontal concrete blocks. This would look really ...


3

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 ...


3

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.


3

There should be a steel plate over that notched stud /joist to prevent the wire from being damaged when sheet rock is installed as it is less than 1-1/4" from the nailing surface. The single gang box can be moved forward on the stud to make it a flush mount. The 4x4 box is easier, a 1/2" single device mud ring can be put on the face of the 4x4 box that ...


3

The problem is obvious from the picture. The water sheds down that hill right where the house is. There is a house near me that is at the base of a hill and it floods regularly even though mine does not. It is because he is at the base of the hill. To solve the problem, you need to dig a trench between the house and the hill that is deeper than your ...


3

6'' 11 Gauge HEAVY-DUTY U-Shaped Garden Staples


3

Would this be in an area that snows or could get cold. It's not a coal chute as most of those were not under the front door. My thinking is this - Warmer air from the cellar escapes and keeps the area in front of the door free from ice and snow -hence the gravel which probably extends down the outside wall. Its a simple convection heat source and very energy ...


3

Wild guess (without photos): 6" concrete block structure (common for residential foundations--4" is mostly used for a shorty garage wall base and cases where actual brick ledges are present) ~1" thin brick veneer outside You may also have a 6" foundation that transitions to a 4" block behind a full brick veneer. You should be able to determine brick ...


3

In my humble opinion, you've got two choices using those brackets in cinder block. You can use 1/4" toggle bolts if you drill in the hollow section of the block or 1/4 or 5/16" lag bolts with lead shields for the solid area of the block. These are common items at your home store. Lag shields need a 1/2" hole drilled in the block and the toggle bolts need a 5/...


3

You need to make sure that you can have access to the space in case you need to address any issues with the plumbing in the future. ( especially since you have a fernco type rubber fitting installed. ) You should install an outdoor rated access panel that either has a hinged door or a removable panel. Either option will need to have hole for the clean ...


2

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 ...


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 ...


2

To make a retaining wall the stone (or other immutable material) must be make a 45-degree angle into the hillside. The footing must be as broad as the plinth and must go as deep as the frost line. In New England where I live the frost line is 4 feet deep, so I have used that depth in the diagram. Any other form of wall will eventually collapse. If the wall ...


2

There are two very important dimensions left out of the "Obstruction Details". See picture below. Overall height of overhead clearance. (Directly related to number of courses of cinder blocks in the wall). Width of the opening. (This is of lesser importance than the overall height). The dimensions I show are just pure guesses based on what one may expect ...


2

This doesn't look like foundation damage. This is a settling of the pathway around your house. Good news is that it doesn't look like serious problem, at least from what I can see from the picture. This issue should be fixed because it will only get worse, and then rain water will go under you foundation and that could be a problem. You should demolish ...


2

I agree with the textured blocks mentioned by ojait. The idea is to scatter the sound waves. In fact you could also use wooden slats at, say, 45 degrees. These would reflect the sound skywards (or indeed into the ground). If you use the right timber that won't rot, then the slats can also form a frame for climbing plants.


2

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


2

That is odd. If that's how the mice got in then you want to fill the blocks with gravel & then smooth that over with concrete or cement. If the mice didn't enter there then "Big Gap" spray can foam would be the insulation choice & best treatment. If you'd like to use the block voids to secure the sill of the stud wall(s) then you can screw cleats to ...


2

Are you sure it was mold? It may have been mildew. In my experience, mildew can grow on nearly any surface as long as it stays moist...be it bare concrete or painted concrete. In this case, the moisture on this interior wall likely is not coming from outside the basement, but rather is moist air condensing on the cool concrete. Painting it won't stop that ...


2

Brick laying is an art form. It takes a lot of time to get the technique down. Professional masons make the process look much easier than it really is. One thing that can help is to buy a pre-mixed mortar instead of trying to make your own. It should have a better consistency than what you are using. There are also many different kinds of mortars. A type M ...


2

You will need to either replace the wall or build another new wall behind the original, thus rendering the old wall obsolete. Also there is a lot more to it than that, but this is the simplest way to answer it.


2

The fact is that your deck's weight load must be carried underneath it and not using the cinder blocks supporting your garage. That does not limit you from attaching it to the garage to provide horizontal stability and to keep movements in unison. You would simply need to bolt in a faux ledger to the cinder blocks. Make sure that you have at least two ...


2

For the exact reason you touched upon you don't want to bring those two components together. The drywall will leach water from the concrete, breaking it down and creating stains. Instead, finish each separately with appropriate paint and use a plastic T-molding or other transition to cover the seam. I'd consider using the epoxy that I see on your slab to ...


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