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Firstly I have zero building experience. The limited knowledge gained has been from reading forums and talking to people, both locals and expats.

 

As we are going to be building a modest house early next year any in put would be greatly appreciated.

 

What has me puzzled is some recent statements from seemingly knowledgeable people.

 

1.....Its a waste of money to make strong ( 28 blocks from a bag) as they are nothing more than a mold.

 

2.....Contradicting statements claiming its essential to make decent strong blocks.

 

3....In the confusion I have almost decided to use the larger blocks think 6X 8 inches and settle around 50 to a bag.

 

     As living a small city where carpenters are pretty much set in their ways I have no intention of trying to radically change the current system.  Just prefer to spend a little more and have extra strength. 

 

           Hope some feed back.

 

 

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RBM...by no means am I a contractor either, but I will pass on my experience from when we built our house. I made pretty good friend with my Material supplier. I was told that the bricks are all standard size, larger bricks for outside walls the thinner for interior walls.  I was told (and I believe him) that there are 3 major suppliers for the bricks. I remember that Rizal was one. Naturally the higher the price the better the quality. Since they all look alike you will just have to trust your supplier. The strength of the wall really depends on how much cement they fill the gaps with and the thickness of the supporting re-bars. When we tore down our old house which was built in the 50's the bar was the thickness of my little finger. When we built we spent the extra money and got the some about the thumb thick.

 

One thing we learned the hard way. Make sure that they plaster ALL the exterior walls or play flashing on them. They missed one area that was hidden by the next door house and during the next big rain, water soaked through.

 

Hope this helped.

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I have to agree with Scott on this,We chose a small Block maker locally and contracted him to make the Entire 5000 we needed. we called them of regularly at a days notice, He always topped up the Amount we had delivered.  If you use the same maker all the time you can almost Guarantee, the consistency :rolleyes: ?

 

Your Engineer should be able to tell you within a few Hundred what is required. This will help also to keep the Cost Control in Check. When we came to do the Exterior Wall, he was more than Happy to make the 2000 Blocks needed at an even Better price than the House. Sometimes you just have to Trust. He then Introduced us to his nephew ( a Welder) who did us a fantastic Job on the metal work.

 

Pays to stay as Local as you can in these things.

 

 

JP :tiphat:

 

 

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I would think it depends on if you will be building a single story or a 2 story where as you will have load bearing walls.

I know the blocks can be built to reach 700 or slightly higher psi with proper curing. I think the (standard) is 350 psi. 

I would try to find a place where you can have a sample tested to determine the compressive strength.

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I would think it depends on if you will be building a single story or a 2 story where as you will have load bearing walls. I know the blocks can be built to reach 700 or slightly higher psi with proper curing. I think the (standard) is 350 psi.  I would try to find a place where you can have a sample tested to determine the compressive strength.

 

 

Absolutely spot on, That's why I abdicate a Sole maker, buying of the Shelf so to speak will give you a cross selection of Differing sizes and Standards.

JP

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  One thing we learned the hard way. Make sure that they plaster ALL the exterior walls or play flashing on them. They missed one area that was hidden by the next door house and during the next big rain, water soaked through.

 

Thanks Scott, what is play flashing please.

 

I read somewhere mixing lime with the plaster helps......

 

Would you advise the 6 inch blocks for exterior walls

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Thanks guys for the reply's, 

 

I intend building a modest single story house. 

 

What I am trying to ascertain is, have the exterior walls made with 6 inch wide blocks or standard 4 inch.

 

The engineer whom has built for many ex pats in my area says its entirely up to me, hence the difficulty. 

 

he does use 10 mm bars and foundation goes to a meter. 

Edited by RBM
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what is play flashing please

 

Great questions,,,,,,,,,,,sorry,,,,didn't know myself until I gave my bro-in-law a stupid look. Flashing is that metal sheet that you see on the outside walls,,,usually facing the prevailing wind so the rain hits it but doesn't actually touch the brick.

 

Would you advise the 6 inch blocks for exterior walls

 

since our house is two story that's what we used.

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I read somewhere mixing lime with the plaster helps......

 

 

You say Plaster but here they do not use plaster to render, they use cement mix, damn near neat mix when Finishing. ( paintable smooth Finish)

 

Good and I mean Good render masons are very hard to Come by, we looked around various projects to see what we thought was a good Finish, Got a Guys number and asked him to Quote for the Finish.  Not a 100% success but then, a Good painter will sort many things out. RBM, Next to a new baby or moving, building your dream Home is Stressful. Keep calm and have a few beers on hand ( Especially for your men on a Saturday afternoon)

 

 We are into our 3rd year now and still not Finished but........ the costs are half of what a builder will charge you

 

Commonly they will charge you around 40% of the material cost We did all the buying based on the Engineers "Bill of Quantity" we selected and paid the Foreman and the trades he needed.

The one thing to watch out for is the I am an everything man. we said. a carpenter is a carpenter, a Plumber is a Plumber and so on.

 

Sometimes you will get the Odd one that can do it all,but... we call that man the FOREMAN 

Best of luck my friend, Keep asking and I am sure we will support you as best we can here. 

 

 

JP :tiphat:

Edited by Jack Peterson
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I read somewhere mixing lime with the plaster helps......

 

 

You say Plaster but here they do not use plaster to render, they use cement mix, damn near neat mix when Finishing. ( paintable smooth Finish)

 

Good and I mean Good render masons are very hard to Come by, we looked around various projects to see what we thought was a good Finish, Got a Guys number and asked him to Quote for the Finish.  Not a 100% success but then, a Good painter will sort many things out. RBM, Next to a new baby or moving, building your dream Home is Stressful. Keep calm and have a few beers on hand ( Especially for your men on a Saturday afternoon)

 

 We are into our 3rd year now and still not Finished but........ the costs are half of what a builder will charge you

 

Commonly they will charge you around 40% of the material cost We did all the buying based on the Engineers "Bill of Quantity" we selected and paid the Foreman and the trades he needed.

The one thing to watch out for is the I am an everything man. we said. a carpenter is a carpenter, a Plumber is a Plumber and so on.

 

Sometimes you will get the Odd one that can do it all,but... we call that man the FOREMAN 

Best of luck my friend, Keep asking and I am sure we will support you as best we can here. 

 

 

JP :tiphat:

 

 

Great advice and thanks a bunch Jack.

 

I have not the temperament, knowledge or patience to become involved in the construction jack. The detriments to my health would for me out weigh the cost savings. The engineer I am using will also be my neighbour, he has built around 4 houses for expats, all I have spoken to and are satisfied. He said for his construction P12K per square meter, I have no idea how this stacks up. 

 

He does use the heavier re bars is working for the government.  As for the rest of the quality guess will have to have some trust in him.....The comments from the his past ex pat clients is  extremely encouraging. Still could be they as ignorant as myself in this area.

 

Regarding the plastering,(finishing)  what I meant was, people have complained of stains in exterior  walls and others have said to stop this lime should be mixed with the cement....

 

They use river sand which I understand is best, steel roof trusses. Colour steel roof.

 

I just want it done and move in once completed, hopefully all done within 3 months.

 

The kiwi $ is more of a worry than the construction at the moment...........

 

Yes the beers will be as suggested....4pm sat.

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