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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Concerete blocks

    I have just got an old concrete house. The house has concrete blocks interior and exterior walls.
    I am thinking of joining two rooms into one by removing the wall in between. Our codes prohibit the use of load bearing blocks; so if its a block then it can be removed.

    How can I tell if the wall is made of concrete blocks only or has a reinforced concrete column ?




    Note: I know that the board says molding & CARPENTRY but I could not find a more suitable board

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Concerete blocks

    You need an architect, engineer or a knowledgable builder to inspect your house to determine what it load bearing and what can be removed. Even if it is load bearing an opening can usually be made if it properly linteled.
    Just because a code says concrete block can't be load bearing (never heard that one before) doesn't mean it isn't.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Concerete blocks

    Just curious where it is that block isn't allowed to be load bearing, since it is one of the most commonly used load-bearing elements in home construction. And do check before removing any structural parts anywhere in a house- you can't otherwise know if it is safe to remove it without other changes being made to do the job it was doing.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Concerete blocks

    It is against Saudi Arabia's Code to use concrete blocks, bricks, or wood/lumber as a load bearing in any domestic houses; Steel structures can only be used for commercial structures.

    Here is how its being done:
    1- Concrete Pad ( depth/thickness depends on soil test results )
    2- "skeleton" out of poured in place reinforced concrete ( columns >>> ground floor roof >>> columns >>> first floor roof ... etc)
    3- inner/outer walls are made of concrete blocks; outer walls MUST be insulated (CODE); inner walls are perforable to be too but not code.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Concerete blocks

    BTW, I have seen a couple of bosch "Scanners" that suppose to tell what is behind a wall ( steel, wiring, wood ) will those scanners be strong enough to sniff what is in the middle of blocks/concrete or they are only made for something thin like drywalls ?

    if it can then in "steel" mode, it should be able to point out the steel in columns, if any

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Concerete blocks

    I keep up with a few international forums, and based on what others in the mid-east say, I'd recommend that you talk to a popular local contractor and then whoever the building officials are in the area, then making sure all the legalities are being handled properly yourself (permits inspections etc). Bags of trouble will happen with any incompetent contractors or those who aren't fairly well 'connected' with the officials. Over there, it's more who you know than in most places, and lacking 'connections' will get you countless delays.

    Now I understand why concrete block is disallowed- it's actually a fairly strong seismic area you're in, and in earthquakes un-reinfoirced masonry is the most likely building method to fail catastrophically.

    Phil

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