Blog series part 3 – House construction – Walls

So, you have completed the skeleton of your new building, and now you can go up to the floors and dream about your new home. You will need to be patient because you are still at the beginning. In this article, we will talk about internal and external walls.

The next stage is to hire the crew that will build the external and internal walls. Here you will have to choose the material with which the walls will be constructed, so we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each one to help you make the right decision. We will also review what you need to pay attention to at this stage.

1. What material should i use for the external/internal walls? 

You have 4 options here: 

  • Bricks
  • Orthoblock bricks
  • Aerated concrete (known as Alfablok or Ytong)
  • Drywall for internal walls or cement board – fiberboard for external walls.

Image1: From left (1) Bricks (2) Orthoblock bricks (3) Aerated concrete (4) Cement boards


2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of bricks?

Bricks are among the most common materials for wall construction. Some of their advantages include low cost, the abundance of installation crews, the sturdiness of the walls, and the reliability of supporting any kind of construction (kitchen cabinets, air conditioners, etc.) on brick walls.

Some of their disadvantages are minimal insulation, increased weight on the building, slow construction process, and difficulty in making future changes as it is hard to demolish and rebuild a brick wall.


3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of orthoblock bricks?

Orthoblocks are essentially the classic bricks with added insulation. Therefore, the insulation disadvantage is no longer present, but there is an increased cost. All other disadvantages and advantages remain the same as those of regular bricks. However, it should be noted that orthoblocks are larger in size than classic bricks, leading to more waste and thus higher material costs.


4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of aerated concrete?

Aerated concrete is blocks (in various thicknesses) made from a mix of cement, water, and quartz sand. Their positives include fast construction, very good thermal and sound insulation properties, and relatively low weight. Additionally, their final surface is smooth, which will later aid in plastering. Their negatives include higher construction costs and relative sensitivity to moisture issues.


5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of drywall – cement boards?

As mentioned, drywall is used for internal walls, and cement boards for external walls. When combined with internal insulation, they offer the highest speed in construction, very low weight and thus anti-seismicity, great precision in dimensions, a perfect final surface (no plastering needed), and ease of plumbing and electrical installations since all these pass between the drywall sheets. The negatives include sensitivity to moisture and difficulty in supporting heavy objects on drywall walls. This issue can be solved if you plan in advance the points where increased support is needed. Another negative is the relatively high cost.


6. How is the crew paid?

In all cases, the price is usually per square meter of wall, with or without materials. Depending on the wall material, you should pay special attention to the following:

  • Walls with bricks or orthoblock: You should clarify prices for single and double walls, as well as for “plate” construction, which means a single wall with the larger side of the brick down. You also need to discuss the price for the necessary lintels.
  • Walls with aerated concrete: Here too, you should clarify the thickness of the walls to be constructed.
  • Walls with drywall – cement board: In this case, you need to clarify prices for simple partition 1+1, double drywall 2+2, internal insulation, ceilings, and the use of other types of drywall (e.g., moisture-resistant or fire-resistant). Internal walls of houses are usually constructed with 2 drywall sheets on each side and internal insulation. This way, we achieve both sound insulation and relative sturdiness.

Image 2: Internal partitions and ceilings with drywall


7. What are lintels (sénages)? Do I need them?

Lintels are reinforced concrete zones placed in between brick walls that enhance the stability of the construction. The height of lintels is usually at the sills and lintels of windows or generally openings. There are, of course, lintels for single and double walls with the corresponding price. We certainly need lintels both for greater wall stability and to continue building above the openings. For aerated concrete, there are corresponding lintels.


Image 3: Lintels in brick walls


8. What is wedging?

Wedging makes sense in walls with bricks, orthoblock, and is the placement of the last row of bricks before the wall is completed. Wedging is best done a few days after the rest of the wall is built, as the entire wall may settle a few millimeters while drying. This way, you will avoid potential cracks. In aerated concrete, the filling of the upper gap is usually done with polyurethane foam.

Image 4: Wedging in brick walls


The next stage is leveling and false frames. Read the next blog here.


The above are not technical texts and aim to simply inform the reader. The MECHA Engineering team has experienced engineers who will guide you confidently and scientifically in the needs of your technical projects.

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