“In this world, you get what you pay for” – Kurt Vonnegut
When most individuals picture ‘blocks’ they generally picture the typical grey cinder blocks that we typically see in garages, basements and commercial block walls. What they may not realise however is that not all masonry products including blocks are created equal.
Even an item as simple as a masonry unit can have varying product quality levels. A concrete block, like all masonry units is produced by firing natural ingredients. This can result in colour variance. Minor chips and cracking are also generally expected. If the block work is going to be exposed for viewing (“fair face”), it is important when selecting a masonry unit such as a concrete block that you discuss with your blocklayer and product supplier what the intended use for the block is and what sort of quality of finish you are expecting. Generally speaking, the cheaper the unit, the lower the quality with some products being designed to be rendered (covered up).
All building products in New Zealand are required under the Building Act 2004 to, when installed correctly, comply with the performance requirements of the Building Code. This may mean that while lesser grade products may not have the same aesthetic quality it should at least meet these standards.