Question: Bay windows are popular in this area. As a consequence, many concrete masonry foundations are constructed to conform to the bay. What is a good way to lay out the angled corners so that they're strong? Generally, the angles are 45º, and 12x8x16-inch concrete masonry units are used in construction.

Answer: Such corners in block walls usually are created by cutting one or both of the blocks at the intersection. This creates a full-height vertical joint that is weaker than the typical running bond. If bed joint reinforcement is used, use twice as much at the corners and continue it around the corners. For best results, purchase special-shaped pieces of joint reinforcement. As a further precaution, grout the cores in each corner section to help the intersecting walls act together. Another solution is to order special concrete masonry units designed to make 45º corners. These units may not be available in all areas.