© Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant
Below are several examples of distinctive designs using a variety of block moulds.
This house shows several different variations on the concrete block construction. Two different colours of concrete were used – both white and grey. Different moulds were used to good effect, and different coloured mortar joints were used for added variety. Black mortar joins in the main floor walls, and a red coloured mortar was used between the blocks of the basement level under the window.
The horizontal massing of the house is emphasized by the different bands of pressed blocks that encircle the house. At least seven different mould designs were used in the construction of this house, and others in the garden wall.
Chimneys were often built using special “U” shaped concrete blocks which left space for an internal smoke flue.
Other special concrete blocks could be made to provide lintels for windows, or sills to finish off a window opening. Alternating bands of ashlar (smooth) blocks and rusticated (stone-like) blocks add texture and visual interest to this house.
This concrete-block house has a Doric porch column, and ashlar blocks in the walls with paneled blocks forming quoining at the corners. Matching ball finials flank the front steps as well as finishing the garden wall. The blocks on this house have been painted, which is not a recommended finish for concrete blocks, unless there may be a moisture penetration problem. Painting concrete blocks starts an expensive maintenance cycle of repainting.