Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>is anybody familiar with concrete wall construction? 1900's - 1920's
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KenP
is anybody familiar with concrete wall construction? 1900's - 1920's

My wife and I are looking to by a house in Newport RI, and we had the inspection done this weekend. The house was built between 1900 & 1920 and I expected to find plaster walls. Instead I found what appears to be concrete walls with a plaster-like smooth finish on all the exterior walls of the house on the 1st floor only, up to the 9' plaster ceilings. The second floor appears to be all the conventional stick-built construction with plaster walls. There is an exterior aluminum siding on the house that is not original, but covers the entire structure, so currently I do not know what the exterior of the concrete walls look like. Would these wall be solid concrete, about 8" thick? when I bang on the interior walls it sure feels like solid concrete walls.
Does this concrete construction (first floor exterior walls) have any insulating value? How difficult is it to open up to a larger window if wanted? how common was this construction method? thanks in advance to anybody that can shed some light on this for me.

ed21
Re: is anybody familiar with concrete wall construction? 1900's - 1920's

Real plaster can feel pretty solid. I wouldn't expect concrete all the way to the second floor.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: is anybody familiar with concrete wall construction? 1900's - 1920's

It could be some kind of concrete block or structural terra cotta that was plastered on the interior. And 3 coat plaster over wire lath or rocklath feels just like cement, because basically it is.
Casey

dgrantdoherty
Re: is anybody familiar with concrete wall construction? 1900's - 1920's

I have run into this a few times in homes in cape cod. But it is rare. The lack of codes back then do not guarantee 8 or 10 inch thick walls. If it is what i have seen it is usually one side pour in basment or crawl, so 8 to 30 inches thick. They essentially dug a hole and formed the inside. But the first floor is usually 6 inches thick.

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