10

To make a clean, precise hole in concrete, use a diamond core bit. Your small, cheap drill probably does not have sufficient torque and runs too fast for a core bit this large. But you can rent a heavy duty drill and core bit. Wikimedia Image


7

These don't come out easily, sometimes they can be pushed back into the wall and dissappear, this is often the case if the person installing it was thinking ahead and drilled the hole deeper than needed as an end-of-life plan. Else you need to drive the shaft back in a bit to release the wedge and then pull on the sleeve part, locking pliers are useful ...


6

You purchase corner blocks. Those are stretcher blocks for the middle of the wall, not corner blocks. A masonry supplier will have a variety of different shapes for particular purposes, one of which is corners (both full and half-blocks) There are also special shapes for door/window openings (sash blocks and lintels), bond beam blocks for horizontal rebar ...


5

MTA gave the right answer about the bit. Make sure you get diamond (see his answer for what it looks like) and not tungsten carbide (pictured below). Also make sure the bit fits on the drill, and check you have the correct adapter before leaving the shop! Professional diamond core bits use a special screw mount to the special huge and powerful drill that ...


4

They make them. Not concrete blocks per se but other precast concrete units. You'll need to find out if you're local suppliers carry them or you have a precast stone manufacturer near you. The family of products you're talking about, which includes not only the half round but other shapes, are called concrete coping stones. That should help you ask around ...


4

Just get replacement windows instead of new construction and use tapcons to fasten the windows through the sides. Caulk outside good to keep out water. Foundation should also be graded away from the window to keep out water.


4

Concrete and plaster are porous materials; water can penetrate them, and in fact cinder block is more or less a sponge for water. In addition, the mortar used to build the wall will have only just cured completely after three weeks, and while it's curing it will actively accept water. To avoid this dampness, you should apply a sealant. There are sealants ...


4

If you'd like to minimize use of concrete, don't use any. I have 4 sheds that have been sitting for 14 years on sections of pressure treated wood, set on top of the ground - and a 5th that's on 4 pressure treated wood posts set into the ground. No concrete at all. Wooden floors (not pressure treated - only the ground-contact wood is PT.) Nice and dry.


4

Does the fence need to be solid for privacy? If not, consider a chain-link fence. You set the poles, unroll the fencing along and attach it to the poles with wire clips, then if you want to avoid having it sag, you run a pipe or just a thick wire along the top through eyes on the tops of the poles. When you get to the end, you rent a come-along fence puller ...


4

This site prefers not to provide 'call a professional' answers and I might receive some less positive reception for this answer, but this is a case where I think that it is appropriate. My suggestion is to hire a local structural engineer to do a site visit and provide you with their opinion of the situation and additionally, if you prefer, a DIY fix ...


4

As with most building materials, there is a balance between strength, weight, cost and other attributes. Solid concrete blocks would weigh roughly twice as much as these blocks and cost twice as much too. But they wouldn't add that much strength. In addition, the hollow sections make it easy to grip, move and place the blocks, whether by man or machine. With ...


4

Here are a couple of pictures from the garage I had built, showing the blocks Ecneral referenced.


3

This is about load bearing and claims. The pressure associated with 2 ft of dirt is probably well within the load bearing specification of the blocks in question. 3 feet may not cause any issue, but you cannot hold the manufacturer liable if it collapses and/or if someone gets hurt. If you exceed the manufacturers specifications an inspector might have a ...


3

Is the wall dry? is the paint in good condition? If it is dry you could use joint compound. If the paint is pealing it would need to be scraped first. I like using mortar on block walls because it holds up to moisture better than joint compound but have not used on painted block. Some don't like mortar because the sand is very rough even after painting.


3

When concrete is mixed it has air trapped in the mix. When pouring walls we use vibrators to get the air out. With smaller pours hitting the forms with a hammer helps.


3

Brick Walls are usually load bearing or non-load bearing. Generally you can identify them by their width. While not "best practice", in some cases a connecting non-load bearing wall may act as a lateral brace to a long load bearing wall. This may be an issue in an earth-quake prone area where bracing walls are very important. Check with your local building ...


3

Yes that is the way to do it without a cutoff blade, it is old school. But you must chisel in deep enough, completely around the block that is accessible, before you strike with hard blows to break it on the score line you made. I have done this with as little as an 1/8" deep score, although deeper is better for a more sure result. Go around the block in ...


3

In the installation instructions for water heaters that I could find, they all say that this "parking block" is required. Installation, Operation, AND service Manual for Residential Storage Type Gas Water Heaters THIS WATER HEATER MUST BE LOCATED OR PROTECTED TO AVOID PHYSICAL DAMAGE BY VEHICLES OR FLOODING. Installation Instructions and Use &...


3

There are concrete block anchors that can hold substantial loads, but only if located within a specific area of solid grouted cells. Anchors into hollow cells cannot hold much weight. Assuming you have a mix of hollow and solid cells, you can't reliably anchor each tread where it occurs, but you could anchor a continuous stringer plate to the wall, anchored ...


3

The lard will work fine. The laminated wood would give you smoother sides and bottom.


3

Starting at the highest corner or spot, and level from there. It can be done a few ways, first you could set the first 2" block far enough from the high side so that it is level with a thin setting bed under it, and fill the rest of the area that is too thin, with masonry cement. Or you could set the 2" block at the highest side, using enough mud to run it ...


3

A mason's chisel is the traditional hand-tool approach. You might be able to find a "grit-edge" (tungsten carbide abrasive) blade for your sabre saw. You might get away with a tungsten carbide toothed blade for it, but that's more prone to get ruined than the grit-edge version.


3

OK, so you don't want to spend a lot of money. Get a 1/8" or 3/16" masonry bit and drill a series of holes along your cut line. Drill as deep and straight as possible. Have some water near by to keep the bit cool. It will take a while to do this and do is slow to not overheat the drill. Flip the stone over and drill more holes if the first side ...


3

MTA's answer is the best plan if you care what it looks like. If the hole will be covered, a series of 1/4" or 3/8" holes drilled with a common masonry bit in a ring will allow you to punch out the center. All the holes in the ring should be outside a 2" circle to minimize the amount of cleanup you have to do after knocking the center out. You ...


3

Concrete block garages (and homes!) are quite common in the Southwest. You can go smooth, or get a facing to provide any look you desire. Your foundation is absolute key here. If you haven't done any masonry work at all, I would suggest that you find a contractor to do the work, and get yourself a discount by working as a journeyman/laborer alongside him/...


2

You may be able to secure the boxes with something like these supports This image shows two supports that need to be separated in the middle. The support is grasped by one of the short, perpendicular legs. The longer end of the long leg is slid on an angle into the cavity vertically between the box and the vertical edge of the opening. Then the bottom end ...


2

When it comes to cutting block, you don't need to cut it (but cutting a score can be helpful). Using a rock hammer (and perhaps a chisel) to break the rock is the way it's done. The method for shaping rocks is kind of simple, but a video is a better way to describe it... so here's a few youtube videos about shaping rocks. Flagstone (good info) Rock hammer ...


2

With stucco the wall is two thin for tapcon screws, Since you already have a hole I think your best bet is a molly bolt or toggle that expands once inside the wall fill the hole with calking so no moisture or bugs can find thier way in.


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

I think the better approach is to build a thicker gravel base, and use less concrete for the pad. Backfill with gravel, in layers, compacting between each 4"-6" layer. I'm not sure you're aware of how much concrete you'll need for your proposed 12" thick pad. See this: http://www.calculator.net/concrete-calculator.html. Your 4'x4'x12" pad will use 27 bags ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible