Building a cinder block house is hard work, but it’s also an achievable DIY project if you’re willing to invest the time and effort. Every part of the process, including building a foundation, matters and deserves your full attention. To help you along with that, here are some practical tips for getting this first step right:
Dig the foundation trenches.
Using a posthole digger, dig the foundation trenches. The trench should be deep enough to anchor the cinder blocks in place and wide enough to accommodate their width. It is also important that you make sure the trenches are straight and level with one another.
Put in the rebar.
Now that you have the forms in place, it’s time to put in the rebar. Rebar is a steel reinforcing bar used to reinforce concrete and cinder block. You’ll want to run it where walls meet floors and floors meet walls, as well as in any other areas where loads will be carried by the foundation.
Before you start installing your rebar, make sure that you’ve used a level on all of your forms so that they’re straight and plumb (level). It may also be helpful if you have an assistant hold up one end of each form while placing the other end on top of its post—or if there’s only one person available for assistance (you), take turns placing each end down.
You should now have something resembling this:
Lay the cinder blocks.
Now it’s time to start laying the blocks. This can be done in two ways, but it’s best to use both techniques so that you don’t miss anything.
First, make sure that each cinder block is level by placing a 4 ft level across the top of each one and adjusting as necessary. If necessary, use shims or small pieces of wood under any blocks that need to be raised up higher than their neighbors. Once they’re all placed correctly, you can go ahead and set them into place with mortar.
Next, string out a straight line along the edge of your footer using string or twine on either side using stakes for reference points if necessary – this will ensure that all subsequent courses are straight and uniform.
Pour the footings.
Pour the footings. The footings are the foundation of your house and should be poured with concrete. Footings are the lowest part of a house’s foundation, so they need to be strong enough to support your home for decades to come. They’re also called footers, foundation blocks or simply “blocks” in some places (not us though).
If you’re building a basement on an existing slab or basement floor, then you can skip this step because it will already have one layer of concrete at least 1/2 inch thick covering it. However if you’re building up from ground level like we are here then you’ll need two layers: one above ground level and another below ground level (for drainage purposes).
Fill up the footer.
The next step is to fill up the footer. Use a trowel to do this, and don’t overfill it—you just want it filled enough so that water won’t wick through. You’ll also need to make sure that the footing is level, either by using a laser level or by leveling off one end of a straight 2×4 across several cinder blocks with another 2×4 on top of it. It’s better if you can do this before laying down the rest of your cinder blocks, but if not then definitely do it after you’ve laid down all your other blocks and have finished pouring the concrete floor in place.
Let it cure for a few days, then pour the floor.
Once you’ve laid your foundation, it will take a few days for the concrete to cure. During this time, you’ll want to make sure that no one is walking on it (that includes pets) and that there are no animals nearby. The last thing you want is to have an animal burrow underneath your foundation and ruin all of your hard work.
Once the concrete has cured, it’s time to pour the floor. If you live in an area with lots of wind or humidity, we recommend using rebar rods inside each cinder block before you fill them with gravel or sand as this will help keep them in place and prevent them from blowing away during bad weather conditions.
A cinder block foundation is strong and easy to build with.
Cinder blocks are easy to work with because they require little or no mortar, which is the glue that holds bricks together. This means you can lay bricks faster than you could if you were using mortar. Cinder blocks are also strong and durable. They don’t crack under pressure, so they make an excellent foundation for a house. They’re also easy to transport because they’re light and stackable, unlike concrete blocks which weigh more than twice as much per cubic foot (they’re also not hollow).
Cinder blocks can be stored outside or inside your home; this makes them perfect for climates like ours here in Oregon where it rains most of the year! If a chunk gets broken off during construction or after years of use just toss it into any old dumpster—no need for special disposal methods here! When repairs need doing all you have to do is head down your local hardware store where there’ll be plenty lying around waiting for someone like yourself who needs them.
That’s all there is to building a cinder block foundation for your home! It may seem like a lot of steps, but it’s actually quite simple and straightforward. With a little patience and practice, you can build your own foundation on the cheap.