The Self Build Self Help Site Block and Beam Floors

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.


Main Structure Floor Structure Wood or laminate floor Walls Windows Stairs Roof


Reclaiming your VAT Services Before Starting Scaffolding Good Things to Have Tools for DIY & Repairs DIY Projects: 5 Top Tips Site Security

Project Management

Site Safety Hiring Contractors Buying Materials Materials Handling Waste Management

Doing Stuff

Block & Beam Floor Building a Chimney Flue Drains Fixing a Wall Plate Forming a Chimney Stack Insulating the Loft Keeping Water Out Landscaping Painting & Decorating Rendering a Gable End Replacing a Radiator Retaining Walls Roof Truss Installation Roof Windows
Block and Beam Floors

Carrying on with the Build - Stacking Packs of Blocks

It is usual to stack packs of blocks onto a concrete slab. With block and beam this has to be done delicately - a ham fisted Hyab driver can cause the beams to bounce, possibly loosening any blockwork already started.

Photo of block and beam

Photo of block and beam

The photos below shows how the beam design has beams at right angles to each other - the designers minimise the length of the spans. Also can be seen 3 beams together, providing strength where needed, such as underneath stairs, or to get the spacing right. Also to be noticed, the long span beams are spaced to have the blocks orientated both ways, another device to provide strength for long beams.

Photo of block and beam in preparation

Photo of block and beam

And, last but not least, a Radon barrier has to be completed. The first part of this is through laying the first course of blocks onto wide DPM 12", 15" or 18" (the wider, the more expensive). The barrier is completed by laying DPM, overlapping the DPC (don't forget, DPM has already been used underneath the beams to suppress weeds). Alternatively, bitumen can be painted across each floor. Do this before any pipes are laid onto the floor. With a concrete slab, the Radon barrier is a sheet of DPM on which the concrete is poured - job done.

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