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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

House Construction Key Stages


Key Stages of Home Construction


Constructing your own house can be quite an exciting thought, but it definitely isn't an easy task. It requires not just your money but time, effort, and involvement throughout the course of turning your dream home into reality.

You might have outsourced your construction assignment to a builder but it is YOUR house and you need to take all decisions. This makes it important for you to acquaint yourself with the key stages of construction - so that you know what you are getting into.

Listed below are the key stages involved in the construction process:

  • Pre-construction: This stage involves the following preliminary steps:

    • Get a design plan created by an Architect as per construction bye laws; the Architect then gets it sanctioned from the Municipal Corporation of your area.
    • Get the cost estimates from an engineer.
    • Hire a builder or contractor who would oversee the construction, order materials, create a schedule for building, etc.
    • If taking loan for construction, get the loan sanctioned.

  • Ground preparation: This involves clearing the site and getting it ready for new construction.

  • Foundation: After the ground is prepared, the foundation of the building is laid. This is the most important stage of construction as the layout and life of your house will depend on the foundation.

  • Framing, sheathing and roofing: This is the skeleton or the basic structure of your house. At this stage, walls, stairs, roof and floors are constructed.

  • Exterior finishes: This stage involves finishing the exterior of your house. It includes completing brickwork and external plastering, installing roofing material, setting of exterior doors, and adding exterior trim and accents.

  • Mechanicals: At this stage, mechanical aspects such as plumbing and electrical wiring are completed. The ends of pipes, wiring, and ductwork are left exposed for completion later. You would need to get the water meter and electricity meter sanctioned from the Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Electricity Board of your area, respectively.

  • Interior finishes: This is the most exciting stage for you as now you get an idea of what your house looks like and how you want to enhance its looks. This stage includes:

    • Filling in walls and ceilings
    • Completing flooring
    • Completing electrical work, such as switch plates, outlets and lighting fixtures
    • Installing cabinets, windows, interior doors, almirahs, countertops, bathroom fittings, mirrors, etc.
    • Painting the house
  • 'Move in' time: Get the completion certificate from Municipal Corporation of your area and move into your dream home!

Who performs the above steps?

Within each stage, various activities are performed by a group of independent subcontractors who specialize in different activities. For example, in the 'Interior Finishes' stage, there will be a flooring subcontractor, a painting subcontractor, an electrical subcontractor, etc. All these subcontractors are overseen by the contractor (or builder) to ensure that the work is done on time, within budget, and as per plan.

How long does each stage take?

Each stage mentioned above has an approximate duration but is difficult to generalize, as each house is unique and so is each construction. So, while your builder might have given you a completion date, expect delays due to various external factors like weather conditions, availability of labor and materials, delay in permissions, etc. It is a good idea to stay in touch with your builder throughout and be informed about any updates to timelines and cost…to avoid any surprises at the end.

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