Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Poured Concrete Walls Vs. Masonry Blocks

By Tuesday Fuller

Homeowners looking to build a home or add an addition often face the question of poured concrete walls vs. masonry block. While both have their benefits, there are several considerations to look at before choosing one method over the other.

Construction Process

Concrete is poured into a prebuilt frame, creating the entire basement at once, while masonry blocks are installed individually and secured in place with mortar. While poured concrete requires special training, any homeowner with general masonry knowledge can build block walls.

Time Frame

Poured concrete walls can take up to a week to complete, while block walls can take up two weeks or longer depending on the size of the project.

Durability and Strength

Strength for each material varies on the weight gravity load atop it, the use of steel reinforcement, and the environment in which the masonry was laid. Harsh weather conditions can deteriorate both products.


Both poured concrete and block walls are prone to cracks and leaks. To repair block walls, simply remove the defective section and install a new block or joint. Poured concrete, however, requires extensive and costly repairs.


Poured concrete is not always plumb or level, making later construction processes difficult. Block walls often have a ledge left at the top, making adding brick or stone fronts an easier process.