I love recycling old materials into something new. A big collection of cement blocks got a new lease on life today. If you love succulents as much as I do, be sure to check out my guide for how to care for succulents.
We love a good backyard hack —especially one that's simple and affordable. First, there were these super-cool stock tank ideas. And now, people are building innovative and inexpensive outdoor furniture benches, shelves, tables, and more out of another unexpected material from your home improvement store: cinder blocks.
This Queen Anne porch is more appealing with the help of concrete blocks. The porch—from the foundation piers to column capitals and even the apron in between—was constructed of cast ornamental concrete block, a material that was quite popular at the turn of the 20th century but went out of production by the s. Unfortunately, the porch was falling apart, and needed an additional column to correct a sagging roofline.
Cinder blocks may bring to mind grad-student shelving, but we like them as ad hoc table bases. Here are a dozen good examples of low-cost, industrial-chic tables made from nothing more than hardware-store wood planks and simple cinder or concrete blocks. Above: A night table made from salvaged cinder blocks in a square-foot Upper East Side apartment.
Since I'm always on the lookout for inexpensive building supplies, I was to say the least intrigued by the idea of turning soil into concrete-like blocks. I confess I was skeptical, however, that plain old garden-variety dirt --for gosh sakes—could be used as a construction medium here in the cold, damp eastern edge of Washington State. After reading more about compacted earth, however, I learned that its main limitation --vulnerability to attack by moisture --could be overcome through the addition of cement to the raw soil as a "stabilizing agent".
Raw materials are mixed with water, formed into a mold and left to cure for a period of time. The basic process is simple, but with advancements in the industry over the years, CMU manufacturing has become a science of chemical engineering and architectural integrity. Our CMU process uses the best of technology and equipment, managed and monitored by a dedicated team that takes pride in every block we produce.
My partner wanted something for edging the flower beds and footpaths in our garden. Last summer she edged some of the paths with red bricks. Unfortunately, some of the bricks started to disintegrate over the winter.
By Austin Bailey October 17, Mud is among the most popular building materials in many countries where Heifer works. It makes sense. The only costs are in labor and time.
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