- How to Make a Concrete Arch
- How to Build a Retaining Wall with Broken Concrete
- How to Remove a Concrete Wall
- How to Estimate Concrete Footing Costs
- Resurfacing Concrete Block Walls
- How to Repair a Wooden Seawall
- How to Decorate Concrete Block Walls
- How to Seal the Joints Between a Concrete Basement Floor and Wall
- What Is the Purpose of a Reinforced Concrete Wall
- How to Anchor a Stud Wall to a Slab
- How to Install Drywall on a Concrete Wall
- How to Decorate an Ugly Cement Retaining Wall
- How to Refinish Concrete Walls
- How to Build a Cinderblock Foundation Wall Without Mortar
- How to Prepare a Concrete Wall for Painting
- How to Mix Rendering
- How to Put Up an Above-Ground Swimming Pool Wall
- How to Build a Stone Wall in Your Garden
Whether they span a body of water or grace the overhead of an entry, arches are an architecturally sophisticated element that is pleasing to the eye. If you want a refined addition to your home or yard, consider adding an arched wall or an arched entrance to the yard.
Build the sides of the wall out of cement blocks, to the desired height. Be sure to add metal ties to each wall for strength as you build.
Place a couple pieces of rebar between the rows of block, as you get to the top of the opening. Allow this rebar to stick out into the opening. You will be covering these rods with cement to build the arch.
Place a steel beam across the opening and continue to build the wall across the top of the opening to the desired height, joining the two walls together.
Rough out the arch shape with concrete. Keep adding concrete, until you get the arch spans to the size and shape you like. Cover the rebar and the steel beam completely using concrete. Allow to dry completely.
Cover the entire wall, including the arch, with a layer of chicken wire. Use plaster or stucco to cover the chicken wire and to give your arch a finished, timeless look.
Determine where you want to place the wall and create a good foundation. Make sure the dirt is compact. It is helpful to dig past the top soil to reach solid dirt. Also, dig so that the foundation is level and wide enough to be much wider at the bottom.
Begin with the largest pieces of broken concrete. They will be easier to roll into position, and will be able to provide a better base.
As you complete each row, make sure to keep them as level as possible. Also, it is a good idea to use fresh cement mix as a mortor for each row.
Back fill dirt and compact after each few rows of broken concrete. You don't want to wait until the end to compact.
If your wall is going to be more than 5 feet tall, it is a good idea to tie back the middle into the ground. Chainlink fence is an inexpensive option for this. Simply lay the fence material in between two rows of broken concrete, and let it lay down in the dirt. Stake the end of the fence with rebar to act as an anchor.
Finish the top of the wall with whatever material pleases your eye. You can use landscape blocks, railroad ties or anything else that you want to.
Drill small holes throughout the wall with the impact drill. The holes usually should be about 8 inches apart, but drill the holes in the mortar on the corner of each block of a concrete block wall.
Chisel into the holes with a ball-peen hammer to widen them to about 3 inches in diameter. Begin removing sections of the wall with the sledgehammer. If the wall is over your head, make the first strikes with the hammer at chest level, making sure that you move after each blow to a clear spot. If it is a lower wall, start at the top of the wall and work your way down.
Pick up the rubble and place it the wheelbarrow.
Remove the footing of the wall with the jackhammer. This is the most important part if you plan on planting in the area. After you have removed the majority of the footing, use the shovel to dig up any remaining pieces of rubble.
Measure the length, width and height of the footer that you want to build in feet. Multiply these figures together to get the total cubic feet.
Determine the number of bags of premix cement you will need. If you have a cubic yard, or 27 cubic feet, you will need 40 to 45 80 lb. bags. The amount of water you will need depends on the actual type of cement you are choosing. Bags of premix cement (80 lbs.) range from $4 to $7, as of 2011, depending on where you live and the brand you are purchasing.
Add in the amount of labor that will be needed to complete the project, if you choose not to do the job yourself. Some construction companies can give you an general estimate over the phone.
Remove any paints or sealers from the surface of the concrete. Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub and scrape away any loose pieces of concrete. Spray the surface with water to remove any excess dirt. Let it dry.
Use concrete repair caulk and a concrete patching compound to repair any cracks, holes or pits in the surface of the concrete. Use a putty knife or finishing trowel to level off larger patch jobs, so the patch is level and flush with the rest of the concrete surface.
Mix the concrete resurfacer per the manufacturer's instructions. Spray the wall with just enough water to dampen the surface. This will help the resurfacer adhere to the wall.
Put some of the concrete resurfacing mixture on your finishing trowel. Spread the mixture on the wall approximately 1/8-inch thick, moving from the bottom of the wall up and pushing the concrete up. Repeat the process until you've covered the entire wall.
Let the concrete dry and cure completely per the manufacturer's instructions.
Remove old, broken or rotten boards, preferably in the fall when the water level is at its lowest. Mark the shoreline at eight foot increments for posts.
Dig holes for the posts. Plan for the posts to descend two feet into the soil. Fill each hole with six inches of concrete mix, then place the steel post, making sure it is level and straight. Fill to just beneath ground level with concrete mix. Allow the concrete to dry.
Measure and cut boards that run from post to post. Due to fluctuations in the terrain, each measurement may be slightly different. Measure and cut the boards one at a time.
Drill holes in each end of the board where the rebar is located. Slide the board into place, and fasten with washers and nuts. Trim off excess rebar with a metal saw.
Backfill the wall with gravel or crushed rock. Cover the lower front of the wall with stones or chunks of concrete.
Apply a layer of cement plaster over the concrete wall. Mix the plaster as directed by the manufacturer, and use a masonry trowel to smooth it over clean cement block. The plaster covers the block lines and even provides some moisture resistance. Allow for adequate drying time, and paint the cement plaster to enhance the appearance of the walls even more.
Decorate the cement block walls with paint. Use a rubber-based paint such as cinder block paint to ensure even coverage. This paint is available at specialty stores. Paint the walls a solid color and add a pattern such as a decorative border. Or create a colorful mural that takes up the entire wall.
Apply cement plaster, and instead of letting it dry, apply decorative glass tiles or stones. Stick random objects such as old toys, found objects or mementos into the plaster to create a form of art known as assemblage. Either of these techniques can be done on part of the wall or the entire wall.
Hang curtain panels over an entire interior wall. Use eye hooks to mount a wire that runs from one end of the wall to the other. Use clips to attach the curtain panels to the wire.
Use a faux finish on the wall. Apply panels of faux brick or stone. Alternative, apply a layer of plaster, and run an item such as a wire brush or a grooved trowel through the wet plaster to create the look you want.
Hang framed prints or family photos on an interior cement wall. Use it as a place to display your paintings or photographs. Cover the entire wall from floor to ceiling, or hang them at even intervals along the wall.
Attach a diamond-tipped grinding wheel to an angle grinder.
Soak the connecting point between the concrete basement floor and wall with a water sprayer. Allow the water to seep into the concrete for 15 minutes and repeat the process.
Hold the angle grinder at a 45-degree angle to the water soaked seam. Press the angle grinder trigger. Move the grinder along the connection until a 1/2-inch deep groove runs along the entire wall. Turn off the angle grinder. Soak the groove with water from the sprayer. Run the hose of a wet/dry vacuum over the groove to remove excess water from the area. Allow the concrete to dry for 12 to 14 hours.
Place an open tube of urethane sealant in the body of a caulk gun. Set the tip of the caulk tube in the 1/2-inch groove. Squeeze the gun handle to dispense caulk as you move the gun along the groove. Ensure the bead of sealant extends beyond the front of the wall.
Drag a spoon along the bead of sealant to blend it into the surface of the wall and floor. Wipe the spoon on a rag to remove excess sealant as you blend the sealant.
Reinforced concrete refers to a type of concrete wall with vertical steel support bars running through it. The steel has a necessary amount of deformations to allow it to bond with the cement and water making up the concrete.
Purpose of Reinforcement
Reinforced concrete increases the overall strength of the concrete wall. Concrete, a brittle material weak against tension, benefits from the increased compressive strength and tensile strength of steel reinforcement.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Concrete and steel work together to form a stronger, more effective product. The concrete has a better resistance to fire than steel, and a steel reinforced concrete structure holds up better in a fire than steel does when directly exposed. Steel has a compressive strength around 15 times greater than concrete and a tensile strength approximately 100 times more than concrete alone. Steel reinforced concrete has a compressive strength about 10 times lower than steel alone, however, and cracks can appear in concrete due to shrinkage over time.
Measure and mark the desired location of the stud wall on the floor with chalk. Snap a chalk line between measurement marks to create a guide line.
Erect the stud wall along the guide line. Nail lumber sections to the stud wall to brace it in place. Check the studs with a carpenter's level to make sure the wall is straight.
Drill 3/8-inch holes through the bottom plate (the lumber section that runs along the bottom of the stud wall) between each stud. You will insert the anchors through these holes. Most building codes require anchors every 32 inches, but you can place them every 16 inches for added stability.
Drill through the holes in the bottom plate into the concrete slab with a masonry drill. Thoroughly vacuum concrete dust and debris as you work.
Drive the 3/8-inch anchor bolts through the bottom plate into the concrete with a hammer. Slip a washer over each anchor bolt and tighten it down with a nut.
How to Install Drywall on a Concrete Wall
Cut several 2x4s to 3" shorter than the height you want your wall to be. The typical wall is usually 6-8 feet tall but probably is a lot shorter inside a basement. Leave a few inches above and below your wall to install a ceiling and floor.
Lay the 2x4s flat on the ground 16" apart.
Cut longer 2x4 pieces for the bottom of the wall, and align them with the vertical 2x4s.
Attach the vertical pieces to the horizontal wall pieces, just like you are building a regular wall, however, keep every other vertical 2x4s flush on the ground so the wider flat side will be flush with the wall when you raise it to the concrete.
Using the hammer gun, nail the flush 2x4 pieces to the concrete wall. Then, space smaller sections of 2x4 or any thickness of wood that will make a flush fit when you apply the drywall to these vertical 2x4s. This is so you have something to attach the drywall to.
Hang your drywall using 1" screws and a power screw driver. Then tape and mud your drywall. You've just attached a drywall wall to a concrete wall and halfway done refinishing your basement.
Apply a coat of stucco to the wall. The bare concrete provides a solid foundation for the stucco, while the stucco adds texture and color to the wall.
Hide the wall with plants. Options include planting bushes or trees in front of the wall, or planting ivy that will conceal the wall as it grows.
Paint the wall. There are many ways that paint can be used to decorate the wall, including using the paint to create a faux finish such as brick or marble, a mural that blends into the surroundings or a bright, bold design.
Cover the wall with stone veneer, which is blocks of concrete cast to look like stone and held in place by mortar.
Chip away at any cracks in the cement wall with a chisel or drill and enlarge it to 1/2 inch deep and 3/4 inch wide. Brush off any excess debris.
Spray water into the crack. This will help the cement-bonding agent to absorb into the crack.
Apply bonding agent with a brush while the crack is still wet.
Mix hydraulic cement following the bag's instructions. Wear protective clothing and gloves while mixing. Pour into a plastic tub.
Apply the mixed cement with gloved hands and pack into the crack with a trowel. Smooth over with a damp sponge. Let the hydraulic cement dry.
Mix regular cement following the manufacturer's instructions.
Spread the rest of the cement mix over the wall using a trowel. Press hard onto the wall to ensure even spread into small crevices.
Texture the wall if previously textured, using a medium-bristle push broom and run it along the wall. Let the wall dry for 24 hours with ventilation.
To create a foundation wall out of dry stacked (no mortar) cinderblocks you build the first course of cinderblocks just like a traditional wall. In other words you embed first course in bed of mortar but you don't use mortar in vertical brick joints because you don't leave a space between the blocks. Take care to leave this first course as level as possible- trust me this will make the rest of the job much easier.
After the first course is down,,stack the next course on top without mortar, hence the term dry stack. Level the courses as you go by using a combination of sand and the galvanized brick ties under each individual cinderblock to get it as level as possible. Do this process until your about four or five courses high.
Once your at four or five course, mix the surface bonding concrete according to the directions and trowel it onto the surface of the wall. Using this method you have to trowel it on the inside and the outside of the wall. The surface bonding concrete has fiberglass strands that span across the joints between the blocks and hold the entire wall together.
As you complete the troweling work from bottom to top of the wall section you have stacked. On the last course you stacked, trowel only half way up on the bricks here, because the next courses above this will be troweled from this point up, joining the first five courses to the next courses, holding them both together.
Once you get to this point just keep stacking and troweling until you get to desired height. Remember stack only four or five courses at a time before troweling those courses with the surface bonding concrete-rinse and repeat until desired wall height.
Apply a concrete patch to any holes or cracks. Run a putty knife back and forth over the area to smooth out the patch. Allow the patch to dry thoroughly according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Mix a solution of a 1/4 cup of trisodium phosphate and one gallon of warm water in a bucket. Use a sponge to wash the walls with the trisodium phosphate solution. Work from the bottom of the wall towards the top, and rinse and wring out the sponge often. Allow the walls to dry completely before proceeding.
Apply a coat of concrete latex primer to the wall. Pour the primer into a paint tray with a liner and use a 3/8-inch nap roller to apply the primer. Overlap your roller strokes to ensure no area of the wall is missed. Allow the primer to dry completely before applying paint.
Purchase the ingredients. Most people use about 6 parts sand, one-part cement, and one-part lime to make rendering. You can use either soft sand, or hard sand, which will give the mix a grittier feel. You can use regular cement found at the hardware store and lime that is used in masonry projects to help reduce moisture from seeping into the rendering mix.
Measure ingredients for accuracy. For a more consistent measurement, use a container, such as a small bucket, instead of a shovel. Be sure to level each time.
Add the ingredients in a wheelbarrow or other large container. Add small amounts of water to the valley using your trowel or a small shovel to pull the rendering mix toward the middle. Continue turning the mix and adding small amounts of water until the consistency is solid enough to sit on the trowel without running off. It is now ready to apply to the wall.
Installing an above-ground pool wall can be very difficult if you try to do it alone. This is one project that requires a few extra hands to help. The problem is that the walls are quite flimsy before the water is added to hold them up. But with the extra help it becomes a much easier task. There is a lot of work to do before the walls can be installed, however, so you need at least a weekend to get to this point. Installing the walls only takes a couple of hours when the prep work is done correctly.
Choose rocks and stones that are flat and fit in with the rest of your landscape. Bricks can also be used for this stone planting wall. Stone quarries are good places to look for flatter rocks.
Make the soil that will be used in the wall from compost and good planting soil. Mix in some gravel to allow for proper drainage.
Insert the stakes where you want you wall to begin and end and run a string between them to mark out your wall. Dig a trench, about four inches deep along the string and fill it with sand or gravel. Tamp the base so that it is firm and stable.
Fit the rocks together over the base, leaving about an inch or so between them. Cover each layer of rocks with about an inch of the soil mix. Stagger the rocks as you place them. Leave bigger spaces for larger plants. Finish the top with the rest of your soil, where you will plant more plants.
Tuck plants and herbs in the spaces. Fill in extra spots with more soil and tamp it in. Push with your fingers or the trowel to get them in as far as you can. Water from the top down, letting the water roll down the wall.