Evaluating CMU construction for cost savings?

September 8, 2019

One thing I have read in the past from an architect was if you are going super low budget like me at less than <$100/ sf) you have to consider a cladding that is ALSO structural.

I had written off CMU {concrete masonry units - aka concrete blocks} in the past as they increase the square footage by approx 70sq ftwithout actually increasing living area[ and the city taxes for that extra space}

but I am revisiting it now as I get more information - it may actually be cheaper than conventional framing/sheathing/cladding?

for my house I would need about 1800 8x8x16 blocks, and 100 8x8x8 blocks

6x 64" lintels

4x 160" lintels

I havent figured out the amount of steel or sand or grout needed yet.

here is my thinking :

we can lay the blocks ourselves over several weekends to avoid about $10k in framing labor

and we can just use exposed block or maybe limewash it, at almost no additional cost.

stucco alone would have been about $21000. so that right there saves us $31k total.

Is there anything I am missing in this equation?

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