With architectural block, basements don't have to be plain or colorless. Architectural block comes in many colors and textures: split-face, scored, ribbed, slump, prefaced, or burnished. COST-COMPETITIVE Most basement walls are sold based on cost and buyer appeal. Architectural block definitely offers more buyer appeal than plain block or poured concrete. But it costs more than plain block and about the same or more than poured concrete. Costs, of course, vary geographically and they're not constant. OTHER BLOCK BENEFITS How do block and poured concrete basement walls compare in other respects? If properly built, both block and poured concrete walls are strong and durable. They both resist fire and termites. Both reduce sound transmission, and both can be built dampproof. Neither poured concrete nor concrete block warps or rots with age. But not all their wall properties are the same. A concrete block wall has more than twice as much insulating value as a poured concrete wall. Block also gives the architect more flexibility.