Masonry Division

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Integra Block: From the ground up (Part one)

The photo below is of a footing that was recently poured for a custom home that we are building in Central Phoenix. (A footing is a foundation usually out of concrete that is used as a base to support the weight of your house. ) Many houses start out this way unless they are using a Post-tensioned slab. (We can discuss that at another time.)  You can see rebar coming out of the footing that will provide a connection between the footing and the stem wall.

Custom Integra Block House

The stem wall is used to raise up the outside perimeter of your house to the future level of your floor. (See Photo below)

Masonry Stem Walls for Integra Custom Home in Phoenix, AZ

In the photo above, you will notice a channel running through the top row of  block. This channel is an opening for the masons to place horizontal rebar into.  When grouted, (filled with concrete) that top row of block is called a bondbeam.  A bondbeam adds strength to a wall. It combines the weight bearing properties and rigidity of block, with the strength and bendability of rebar.

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Advantages of the Integra Wall System

The Integra wall system,  http://www.superliteblock.com/integra_introduction.htm was invented in the 1980s by Paul Scott;  a structural engineer in the Phoenix area.  He partnered with Superlite Block to produce this energy-efficient building system. It didn’t take long for homeowners to see the advantages of  Integra… Combining the strength,and durability of  Post-Tensioned block construction with the energy efficiency of a proprietary polyurethane foam insulation that is sprayed into the masonry cores after construction.

 The above photo is of an  integra block shop that we built for “Grandma’s Farm” in southern Phoenix. We used 8″ wide C.M.U (Concrete Masonry Units).  As you can see, the Integra Block looks just like a conventional Masonry building once the construction process is complete.  An Integra wall can be finished just like any other block wall with Paint, Stucco,or even a Brick veneer.

Integra Block Barn Phoenix, Arizona

Integra Block Barn for Grandma’s farm in Phoenix Arizona

   In the next month, we will be building another large custom Integra Block home in the Phoenix-Metro area. We will be documenting the wall construction process so that you can see the differences, and advantages of the Integra wall system.

Beautify your home with Brick

Jason, adding Thinbrick to the Site walls

Adding brick to your  home will add value and durability to your new or existing home.  At the Darrin Gray Corporation, we are committed to help you realize your dream.

Thinbrick Remodel Finished Product

See the difference that brick can make to your home. Brick does not need to be painted. However, it is a good idea to apply a quality water-resistant seal to it every couple of years. This will increase the lifespan of your walls, and keep them looking like new for years to come.

Why Quality is important

Here is an example of what can happen when you burn wood in a fireplace that was designed for gas. The Homeowner burned wood in his fireplace for a while, and then decided to switch back to gas.  He neglected to clean out the ashes that had piled up over the burner. When he turned on the gas, it built up under the ashes and exploded when he tried to light it. This fireplace was not built properly and could not withstand the explosion. The insurance company called us to rebuild and repair it because they knew it would be done right!

This outdoor fireplace was constructed without rebar (reinforcing rods) and grout (concrete) in any of the open cells in the walls.   The result was a destroyed fireplace,and a seriously injured homeowner. There would have been considerably less damage to the fireplace had it been constructed properly. As it was, the homeowner was lucky to be alive after being knocked unconscious and blown into the swimming pool  with 100 lb. chunks of the fireplace found up to 50 feet away. Luckily for him, his wife was inside the house, heard the explosion, and decided to investigate.

There are many people who trust  landscapers, or unlicensed contractors to build their fireplace,or repair your wall, fence,  or BBQ. You wouldn’t trust a plumber to do electrical work at your house would you? You can count on The Darrin Gray Corporation to make sure that your masonry barbecue, fireplace, home,fence or block wall repair will be done right.

Dressing Up a Remodel with Brick

If you are planning a remodel, consider using brick or block to add to its value. Brick is a durable material that never needs paint and adds beauty and style to your home. Masonry walls need less maintenance than wood. This characteristic will save you time and money over the life of your home.

This is Oscar, one of our talented (and camera-shy) masons.  He is adding brick to a carport support column in a residential remodel.  The brick columns will make a beautiful addition to this remodeling project.

Residential Work

Chapman Residence built out of Integra block for Johnson Carlier

The Darrin Gray Corporation specializes in the Integra Wall System. We have many years of experience building these energy-efficient homes. We have built hundreds of tract homes, and many, many Custom homes using the Integra Wall System.

Let us build YOUR next Masonry home!

 

Commercial Masonry Construction by Darrin Gray Corp.

If you have eaten at an IN-N-OUT Burger in Arizona, chances are good that we did the block work on it.

IN-N-OUT Burger is just one of the many commercial enterprises that trust us to build their masonry buildings and site walls the right way.

Fireplaces


This is a residential BBQ/Outdoor Fireplace/Pizza Oven designed by Darrin, and built by our employees from the footings, to the pavers to the brick, and even the tile.

When you need a Barbeque, Fireplace, or even a Brick oven,  you can feel confident that the employees of Darrin Gray Corp. Masonry Division will get it done right, on time, and at a reasonable price.

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