# How many bags of mortar per blocks

• posted on May 22, 2013, 1:04 am
How many bags of mortar do I need per number of 8x8x16 concrete blocks?
I want to build a small basement, know the number of blocks I will need (around 800), but dont know how to determine the amount of mortar. I intend to buy raw mortar and add my own sand. I'll just buy a truckload of sand, which I assume should be more than enough, but how do I determine the number of bags of mortar? This is a rural area and I have to drive 55 miles to get it at a reasonable price, so I want to be sure I have enough. I refuse to buy it locally and pay their outrageous ripoff prices (for example, the blocks at the building center 55 miles away are \$.89 each, locally, they are \$2.40 each).
Thanks
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• posted on May 22, 2013, 1:23 am

I bought 8X10X16 at local supply at about \$1.60 each. I used 60 pound premixed mixed bag for about 12 blocks. First time I ever blocked, a window opening. You can probably find a calculator somewhere.
Greg
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 5:21 am

You don't want to buy it all at once as you will have to store it somewhere dry and it will deteriorate anyway unless used immediately. BTW can you can cement over there in waterproof bags?
Premixed stuff is grossly uneconomic.
The strength of the cement you mix will depend on the strength of the blocks.
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• posted on May 22, 2013, 2:07 am
On May 21, 9:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=mortar+per+concrete+block -----
- gpsman
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 2:48 am
On Tue, 21 May 2013 20:04:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

There are blocks and there are blocks. Be sure you are comparing the same block when comparing prices. Hauling those blocks 55 miles can be costly too.
You should get about 28 to 40 block per bag.
Instead of block, why not pour a concrete foundation with the insulation? Set up the ICF's yourself, get some reddi-mix and you are done. Save a bundle on energy.
In fact, why not build the entire house that way and it is pretty tornado and hurricane resistant too.
www.integraspec.com www.standardicf.net and many others.
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• posted on May 22, 2013, 10:05 am

I already checked into a poured foundation. The cost is 5 to 6 times as much as block. I've built with block, not an entire basement, but I've done the work. It's just one of those things where I'll build a little every day. There is no huge rush. As far as hauling them, I have access to a large heavy duty trailer that should handle about 350 blocks, considering the weight of about 40lbs per block. That's three trips (one with the mortar). I go there every few weeks anyhow, so the cost of gas wont be all that much more.
The blocks sold locally are from the same company as the much cheaper ones. In fact someone told me the local place that charges outrageous prices gets them from the cheaper place 55 miles away. I dont doubt that at all.
No, I wont buy premixed mortar. Why pay the premium price to have the sand included, then have to haul the (sand) all that distance. Not to mention that all premixed concrete products are always weak. Meaning that whenever I've ever bought premixed concrete, it makes a weak sidewalk, because there is not enough portland cement added. I'ver always added more if I'm making a sidewalk or something other than setting fence posts. I own a cement mixer, so adding sand and mortar is no big deal, in face having to rip open all those bags seems tedious compared to just shoveling in sand from a pile and adding a bag of mortar.
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 2:43 pm
On 5/22/2013 6:05 AM, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

Will you have a helper? Estimated time to completion? It's a damn lot of heavy lifting :o)
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 23, 2013, 7:40 pm
compared to just shoveling in sand from a pile and adding a bag of

Probably several helpers. The lifting is no big problem. I'm a farmer, I lift hay bales daily and they are heavier than the blocks. Plus I have a tractor with a loader to help lift stuff.
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 4:11 pm
snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

If you will require multiple trips, then it doesn't matter how many bags of mortar you'll need for 800 blocks.
Go get your first load of blocks, plus about how many bags of cement you wild-ass-guess will be required to set the load of blocks.
Get to work.
At some point, you'll run out of blocks or mortar (or both). When that happens, you'll have an exact equivalence of mortar to blocks and can plan your purchases and hauling accordingly.
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 11:02 am

+1 on that. Be sure you get your math right-- Each block weighs about 40 lbs-- That puts your 800 blocks at about 16 tons. That's a lot of trips with a one ton truck.
I'd gladly pay the premium to have the local guy deliver them on 9-10 pallets, and distribute them around the site to minimize carrying.

That looks expensive at first--- but it is a crap-load less work, and a better job in the long run.
Jim
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 23, 2013, 7:44 pm
wrote:

I'm debating whether to make 800 trips and get one block each trip. That's 88,000 miles.
Or to make 80 trips and get 10 blocks each trip. That would only be 8,800 miles. :)
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• posted on May 22, 2013, 11:18 am
On 5/21/2013 10:48 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Two friends did that. I watched closely, like the result and would definitely use ICFs if building.

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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 11:22 am
On 05/21/2013 10:48 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'm guessing that a lot of people are still more comfortable with block than with forms... and I imagine you could get a lot of the same benefits by applying foam insulation to the block afterwards.
However for a truly strong wall if using block you would probably want to fill all the voids with rebar and concrete rather than just relying on mortar and gravity to hold everything together... yeah I'm that guy that overbuilds everything.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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• posted on May 22, 2013, 1:02 pm

No, you're that guy who imagines he would overbuild, if he ever built anything... and doesn't know the difference. -----
- gpsman
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<%-name%>
• posted on May 22, 2013, 5:18 am
On May 21, 6:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

Better rething "getting it at a reasonable price". Unless you are hauling with a semi, 800 blocks will reqwuite multiple trips with whatever you haul with. The fuel cost will add up in a hurry. I had my blocks used for the same purpose deliverred from 54 miles away all in one trip and dropped right at the excavation. IIRC the delivery charge was \$1.00/mile (one way).
Why make your own mortar? You won't save much buy adding your own sand (be sure it is "mason's sand). The convenience alone is worth something. By the time you have laid a couple hundred block you will kill for any way to save time and work. BTDT.
Harry K