Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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Do you know how I might find information on building the walls and roof of a residential home from cement as they do in commercial construction? This seems like it would be an extremely strong and inexpensive building.
Concrete is not really inexpensive. The forming material alone would be the cost of the conventional framing. The roof slabs would require beams and posts to hold them up for 28 days. An engineer would have to be involved since it is not conventional. Forming pockets for plumbing and wiring through the walls and roof would have to be considered. Attachments for windows and doors would have to be allowed. Once built, it would last forever, though.
Most of the industrial buildings that I worked on were structural steel buildings with suspended slabs of concrete for the floors, the roofs were mostly steel as well. The buildings that were made totally of concrete were built that way for the structural strength required to support primary crushers and the like.
Commercial buildings including schools were built of concrete block with steel or timber roofs. I worked on high rise buildings that were mainly concrete construction. These are very expensive structures to build.
All things considered, I wouldn't advise building a residence out of concrete, there are too many better products out there. Concrete is best left to the footings and foundation walls.
Dave(Ask Dave) (About Dave)
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