How to Fix Wooden Door Frame with RCC Member?

Wooden doors are common item in building construction. Sometimes we also use partex door, plastic door etc. Some doors don't need to break wall to fix. Those are fixed with glue or some other ways. But fixing wooden door frame need to break wall.

Wooden doors are fixed in two steps. First door frame is fixed before plaster works. Secondly, door shutter is fixed after completing inside painting works.

In this article, we are talking about fixing wooden door frame.

We keep the door opening during making masonry wall as shown in architectural drawing. When both sides of door opening (it is also called jamb) are masonry wall then we won't have any difficulties to fix wooden door frame. Because, masonry units can be broken easily. But sometimes we found that one jamb is masonry wall and other jamb is RCC member or both jambs are RCC member.

In this situation we have some difficulties because we can't break RCC column like masonry wall. It is also prohibited by ACI code to break any kinds of RCC members.

Then how do we fix wooden door frame with RCC wall or column?

fixing wooden door frame with RCC

Things we'll need:
  • MS Clamp
  • Screw or Nail
  • Hammer
  • 10 mm diameter bar
  • Drill Machine
  • Welding machine, and
  • Gum.

Fixing frame:
The procedure of fixing wooden door frame with RCC member is same as fixing frame with masonry wall. Only one difference is that we can't break RCC member like masonry block.

Step by step process:
To fix wooden door frame follow the following procedure -
  • Fix the MS clamp with door frame. You can use screw or nail to fix clamp. I'll suggest to use screw instead of nail. Insert the screw into frame by hammering. Fix minimum three clamp in a jamb (one side of frame). Do the same for both jambs.

  • To fix clamp with RCC member, first align the clamp with RCC member as shown in the image.

  • Now make 10 mm diameter hole to RCC member in both sides of clamp with the help of drill machine.

  • Insert 10 mm dia bars into holes. Before inserting bar apply gum on it or into hole so that the bar doesn't come out from the hole later.

  • Weld the bars with clamp.

In the image above I showed a wooden door frame which is positioned at the end of RCC column. So we used 90 degree clamp. But if the frame is positioned at the middle of RCC member then we have to use straight MS clamp.

If you have any question or suggestion about fixing wooden door frame with RCC member then please share in comments...

How to Make Concrete Cube for Compression Test?

Concrete's compressive-strength mostly depends on the mix design. But it is affected by several other factors. Such as mixing of concrete, placing of concrete, curing of concrete as well as quality of concrete ingredients. So we can't be assured that if we produce concrete as per mix-design we will get desired compressive strength.

However, we should know the concrete compressive strength for every part of concrete-structure.

For knowing compressive-strength of concrete, we generally test concrete-cube or concrete-cylinder at laboratory. These cubes/cylinders are made on construction site. In this article I'll discuss the procedures of making concrete cube.

  • Cube Mould (150x150x150 mm or 100x100x100 mm)
  • Tamping bar (16 mm diameter and bull-nosed
  • Steel Float/Trowel

Procedures of Making Concrete Cube:
Making concrete-cube specimen is simple and it is done in three simple steps.
  1. Cleaning & Fixing mould,
  2. Placing, Compacting & Finishing concrete, and
  3. Curing.

1. Cleaning & Fixing mould
  • Clean the cube-mould properly and apply oil on inner surface of mould. But no oil should be visible on surface.

  • Fix the cube mould with base plate tightly. No gap should be left in joints so that cement-slurry doesn't penetrate.

  • Place the mould on levelled surface.

2. Placing, Compacting & Finishing concrete
  • Take concrete from three or four random mixes.

  • Place concrete into mould in three layers. Compact each layer by giving 35 blows of tamping bar.

  • Remove excess concrete from the top of mould and finish concrete surface with trowel. Make the top surface of concrete cube even and smooth.

  • Left the mould completely undisturbed for first four hours after casting.

  • After ending undisturbed period, put down casting date and item name on the top of concrete specimen with permanent marker.

3. Curing
  • After 8 to 10 hours of casting, wrap the cube mould with wetted hessian cloth. Cover the mould's top portion with a polythene sheet so that water doesn't fall on concrete surface.

  • Uncover and remove the cube specimens from mould after 24±½ hours of casting. For removing specimen from mould, first loosen all nut-bolts and carefully remove specimen because concrete is still weak and can be broken.

  • Immediatly after removing, put the specimen into a tank of clean water for curing. Make sure cube specimen is fully submerged in water.

  • After 28 days of curing take out specimens from water tank and send to laboratory for testing.

Generally three cube specimens are tested separately at laboratory and the average result is counted as concrete compressive-strength. So we make three specimens on site at a time.

How to Estimate Ingredients for 3" Brick Masonry Wall?

Masonry wall is the most common item in building construction. We use bricks for making masonry wall. The common size of brick is 9½"x4½"x2¾" inch.

Most commonly used wall thickness in building construction are 3", 5" and 10". We generally use cement-mortar for jointing bricks with one another. The ratio of cement-mortar, we use, for 3" and 5" thick wall is 1:4 and for 10" thick brick wall is 1:6.

The ingredients or materials needed for making brick masonry wall are cement, sand and bricks. So, we have to estimate those materials.

To estimate materials for brick masonry wall we need to know the thickness of mortar joint. We put half inch thickness of mortar between bricks for jointing. So our brick size with mortar thickness will be 10"x5"x3".

Read More: Quality Checklist for Brick Work.

Now lets estimate the materials.

Materials for 100 square feet 3 inch thick brick masonry wall -

Area of one brick with mortar = 10"x5" =0.83'x0.42' = 0.35 square feet (as our wall is 3" thick, so we'll ignore the 3" side of bricks for estimating bricks).

Bricks needed for 100 sq.ft masonry wall are = 100/0.35 = 285.71 numbers,
say, 286 numbers.

If we take 5% wastage of bricks, then total bricks needed for 100 sq.ft 3" thick masonry wall are = 285.74 + 5% = 300 numbers.

Now lets calculate the mortar volume -

volume of 1 number of brick with mortar is = 10"x5"x3"= 0.83'x0.42'x0.25' = 0.09 cubic feet (cu.ft).

Without mortar volume of one number of brick is = 9½" x 4½" x 2¾"= 0.79' x 0.38' x 0.23'= 0.07 cu.ft.

For 100 square feet (sq.ft) brick wall brick needed 286 nos excluding wastage.
So, mortar volume for 100 sq.ft brick wall is = 286 x (0.09-0.07) = 5.72 cu.ft.

Dry volume of mortar is 5.72x1.54 = 8.81 cu.ft,
Including 5% wastage dry volume of mortar will be 9.25 cu.ft.

As we use 1:4 cement-sand ratio for 3" brick wall, so cement will be -

cement = 9.25/5 = 1.85 cu.ft.
1 bag cement volume is = 1.25 cu.ft.
So, cement needed 1.85/1.25 = 1.48 bag,
say, 1½ bag.

Sand will be needed for 100 sq.ft 3" thick brick wall is =9.25/5 x 4= 7.40 cu.ft.
Say, 8 cu.ft.


Materials needed for 100 square feet 3" thick brick wall are -

Brick - 300 numbers,
Cement - 1½ bag, and
Sand - 8 cu.ft.

Practical estimation:

The above estimation of 100 sq.ft 3" thick brick wall is correct. But practically I found that the required sand quantity is 10 cu.ft. So, it'll be better to calculate the required materials for 100 sq.ft 3" thick brick wall by following manner -

Cement - 1½ bag,
Sand - 10 cu.ft, and
Brick - 300 NOS.

How to estimate materials for different quantity of 3" thick brick wall?

Suppose you need to calculate the required materials for "Y" sq.ft 3" thick brick wall. You can do this by following way -

Cement - Y x 0.015,
Sand - Y x 0.10, and
Brick - Y x 3.

How do you estimate materials for brick masonry wall?
If you have any suggestion about this estimation please share in comments...

Terms Used in Masonry Construction

Masonry, the mostly used term in civil construction sector. Although common use of masonry is as building wall, it is also used in some other places. Such as garden wall, floor, drive way, patio, foundation etc.

In masonry construction, we often use some terms. Construction related professionals should know those terms properly to smoothly operate the work.

masonry terms, masonry construction

Terms commonly used in masonry construction are described below -

Masonry work: Works that are executed with masonry materials is the masonry work. Most commonly used masonry materials are brick, concrete block and stone. Beside these, there are some other masonry materials - glass block, terra cotta, structural clay tile etc.

Veneer: When masonry is used on nonmasonry wall as a facing material that is called veneer. Veneer is normally one unit in thickness.

Wythe: One unit thick vertical masonry wall is called wythe.

Single-wythe wall: Masonry wall can be one unit or more in thickness. Single-wythe wall means it'll be only one unit in thickness and it won't be anchored with backing wall.

Double-wythe wall: If the walls are two units in thickness that is called double-wythe wall.

Collar joint: Double-wythe wall contains a gap between wythes. This gap is normally filled with cement-mortar. If the thickness of gap is less than one inch that is called collar joint.

Cavity and Cavity wall: If the thickness of gap between wythes is wider than one inch that is called cavity. Using steel reinforcement is must if the cavity is filled with cement-mortar. Cavity can also be left unfilled.

If the cavity is left unfilled of a double-wythe wall that is called cavity wall.

Bat/batt: Half or smaller piece of a full size masonry block is called bat/batt.

Bed joint: Horizontal joint of a masonry wall is the bed joint.

Buttering: Buttering means placing mortar on masonry block with trowel.

Closure: Closure is the small piece of masonry block used at the end of masonry wall to maintain bond pattern.

Grout: A liquid mix of cementitious material, fine aggregate and water.

Jamb: Vertical sides of masonry wall opening is called jamb. Such as both sides of window and door openings.

I included standard terms used in masonry construction in this post. There are also many other terms locally used in masonry construction at different location of the world.

Do you know any other terms used in masonry construction? Please share in the comments...

How To Make Masonry Wall On A Building Floor

In building, we make masonry wall to divide the floor area to many separated useful parts. Such as bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen etc.

brick wall, masonry wall, brick masonry wall

How To Make Masonry Wall

We generally use bricks to make masonry wall in our building. The common size of brick is 9½" x 4½" x 2¾".

To produce quality masonry wall we follow the following procedures -

Brick quality: When we receive bricks on construction site we first check the quality of bricks.

6 requirements of good quality bricks.

Quality assessment of some building materials on site.

Soaking bricks: Before executing any brick work, we soak them in fresh water for 12 hours. For that purpose, we make a water tank on every floor of a building. This tank is made with brick masonry wall.

Brick wall layout: First we make the brick layout on floor as shown in architectural drawing. Then we invite flat's client to visit his flat and make decision if he wants to change room's size or location of wall. As per his decision we then make necessary changes and finalize the brick layout.

Making cement mortar: We make cement-mortar by mixing cement and sand with specified ratio. Normally we use 1:4 ratio for 5" thick brick wall and 1:6 ratio for 10" thick brick wall.

Making wall: We take bricks out of water tank even before mixing mortar to sweep out water from bricks. Then we start making brick wall putting bricks one after another. During brick wall work we carefully check the door and window location from the drawing and Make the wall-openings for door and window in brick wall.

Checklist for masonry work.

Brick bond pattern: We normally use english bond pattern for making brick wall. (See: Traditional brick bond patterns used in masonry wall construction).

Brick joint: We make brick masonry wall by jointing one another with cement mortar. We keep the joint thickness normally ½". When we joint bricks with RCC beam/column, we first chip those RCC members properly. We specially take care to fill the joint between beam and masonry wall. Because most of the cracks on plaster form in this joint.

Curing: We cure the brick masonry wall for minimum 14 days and don't do any other works on masonry wall within this curing period because it can weaken mortar joints.

Methods of curing.

It is better to use plastic mesh on joint between RCC member and masonry wall to prevent cracks. It is also suggested in many masonry construction books to use wire mesh (GI or plastic) in every three layers in a brick masonry wall.

What size of bricks do you use for making masonry wall?

Do you use wire mesh in every three layers of a masonry wall?

Please share in comments...

Cold Weather Concreting - Affects and Precautions

What is cold weather for concreting?
How it can damage concrete quality?
How to protect concrete during cold weather?

This article will answer the above questions.

It's better to avoid concreting in cold weather. But, for our tight project schedule, it's often not possible to avoid cold weather concreting.

On large commercial projects we can use expensive heated enclosures to protect concrete from cold weathering damage.

But, on many residential projects it can't be possible to use such expensive protections. So we'll use some alternate ways to protect our concrete from cold weathering affects.

cold weather concreting, affects of cold weather on concrete, protecting concrete from cold weather

What is cold weather for concreting?
First we need to know what is cold weather for concreting.

When the average daily temperature drops below 5°C (40°F) for more than three consecutive days and stays below 10°C (50°F) for more than one-half of any 24 hour period then that period is defined as cold weather for concreting. - [Reference: ACI 306]

Affects of cold weather on concreting:
Cold weather mostly affects the freshly placed concrete. Following are the affects of cold weather on concreting -

Cold weather increases the setting time of concrete.

It reduces the rate of strength gain of concrete.

In this situation, concrete can be freezed during first few days of curing.

Early freezing can reduce up to 50% ultimate strength of concrete.

As a result, concrete will loss its strength and weather resistance capability and thus it will loss its durability as well as the quality of structure.

The purpose of precaution is to protect concrete from freezing untill it has gained its minimum strength of 3.5 MPa (500 psi). This strength gain typically happens within first 24 hours.

Following actions can be taken to protect concrete from cold weathering affects -

  • Reduce the water content in concrete mix. That means, the slump of concrete should be less than 100 mm for slab and other flatworks.

  • Add air-entraining admixture to concrete mix. You can use air-entraining cement (See Types of cement).

  • Using windbreaks to protect concrete from cold winds. Because, cold winds cause for temperature drops and excessive evaporation from concrete.

  • During hydration process of cement, it produces heat on its own. Protect that heat from escaping by using polythene sheets.

  • If you order concrete from ready-mix plant then give them instruction to control concrete temperature.

  • Place concrete as early as possible after mixing to reduce heat loss.

  • Increase cement content in concrete mix or use high early strength cement (see: Types of Cement).

  • Do not strip concrete-form as long as possible to reduce evaporation.

If it's not possible to avoid cold weather concreting, yet we shouldn't sacrifice our concrete quality. So, take essential precautions to protect concrete from cold weather affects.

Have you ever concreted during cold weather?
How did you protect then?

How to Fix Wooden Door Frame in Masonry Wall Opening?

We normally fix wooden door frame before plaster work. The door opening we keep in masonry wall during constructing wall as shown in the architectural drawing. After ending the curing period of masonry wall, we start fixing the door frame.

In this article, I'll discuss the commonly used process of fixing wooden door frame in masonry wall opening.

how to fix wooden door frame in brick masonry wall

Wooden door frames are made by carpenter as predetermined size and provided to construction site to fix. These are normally fixed by mason. Before fixing frame we provide two coats of tar paint on unexposed sides of frame. Generally these coats of tar paint is applied by carpenter after making door frame. We just check that is applied or not before fixing. It's carpenter's responsiblity to make the frame completely ready to fix.

Things needed to fix wooden door frame:
  • Hammer
  • MS Clamp
  • Screw or Nail
  • Plumb Bob
  • Water level
  • Spirit level
  • Marking pen/Chalk etc.

Fixing wooden door frame -

Fixing MS Clamp : We fix 3 numbers of clamp in a side of door frame. For both side of a door frame will need 6 numbers of clamp.

First we fix the clamps with wooden door frame by screw or nail. I would suggest to fix by screw. Because if you fix by nail that will be loosened after some time and your door frame will be coming out from wall. So, try to fix clamps with screw.

Making wall opening ready for fixing door frame: We keep wall opening during making masonry wall. Now we'll fix wooden door frame in that opening. As we fix 3 MS clamps in one side of door frame so we have to break masonry wall in 3 places in one side of wall-opening to set the clamps. For both sides of wall opening we have to break 6 places.

Selection of door frame-width for different location: We normally use 11 inch width of door frame for main door of a flat and 6 inch width door frame for internal door of rooms.
But where tiles will be fixed in wall there we normally use 6.5 inch width of door frames.

Marking the level: The purpose of level marking is to keep the top level of all doors same. So we set a reference mark and take the level to all doors with the help of water-level pipe.

Aligning door frame with wall: The purpose of aligning door frame is, when you plaster on wall, plaster surface and door frame will be in same level.

If you'll fix tiles in wall then tiles surface and door frame will be in same level.

Make the frame truly vertical with the help of plumb-bob.

Checking: Before permanently fixing the door with cement-concrete, finally check the alignment and top-level of door frame.

Fill with cement-concrete: If everything is ok fill the gap all around door frame with cement concrete to bond with masonry wall.

Curing: Cure the concreting portion for  minimum 7 days.

Fixing door frame with masonry wall is easy. But what should be done when we have to fix the wooden door frame with RCC column as it isn't suggested to break the column?

Please share your idea in comments...


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