A Step-by-Step Guide to the Construction Phase
Building your new home is exciting, especially when you understand how the process works. For anyone unfamiliar with the building process, here you will find information on the various construction activities that will be carried out. This schedule has been based on the typical single story brick house on a slab. As there are a lot of steps, this has been broken down to work stages that make up the progress payments after a 5% deposit has been paid.
This stage covers all the work in site preparation up to ground floor level. Although you don’t actually see much of the work that comprises this stage of the construction it has a significant impact on the completed house.
Temporary security fencing
Temporary site power supply
Silt barriers (if applicable)
Site clearance Excavate removal of topsoil, vegetation and any rubbish.
Initial peg out. To provide enough information to allow excavation works.
Cut and fill providing one or more level ‘platforms’ that the house will be built on.
Retaining walls any major retaining walls that are required to either support or retain the building ‘platform’. Other retaining walls will often be part of landscaping.
Drainage and Pipework
Building set out.
Installation of under slab ducts and pipes,
Slab Construction Any below base foundations such as Concrete Piers. Laying of sand/gravel slab base. Waterproof membrane. Erect slab forms. Install waffle pods and reinforcement. Cast slab.
This is when the frame for the house and the roof trusses has been fixed and the windows have been fixed in position. The Internal Frame is the key structural element in House Construction. The overall frame is composed from a number of individual wall panels, which when fixed to the base, and fastened together, form a rigid box like structure.
The frame carries several main structural loads. It takes the load of the roof, and any upper floors, down to the foundation. It resists the wind trying to push the whole building over. It provides lateral support for the brick walls & holds the windows in place. It gives a secure fixing point for the internal wall and ceiling lining boards. In the case of weatherboard or lightweight render construction it supports the outer skin of the building. It provides a route and fixing points for cables and pipes & retains insulation, supports cupboards and shelves and becomes a point for fixing of building wrap.
This includes external brickwork, or cladding, final covering of roof and fixing of house doors. The house really starts to take on a finished look as the build advances from the Frame Stage to lock up.
Building Wrap This wrap is used to protect the building, retain the insulation, prevent drafts, and allow moisture vapor to escape from the insulation.
Attach Windows Normally the window frames are attached to the frame before the brickwork starts and the brickwork is then built against the frames and tied in.
Complete Walls This will be the brickwork or the typical house. Attach Fascia boards and Gutters Once the external walls are finished the fascia boards, and soffit boards if you have got eves, are fitted. Gutters are often fitted at this stage although the down-pipes are frequently left until later.
The fixing stage is moving from a very rough looking interior to something resembling the house you are expecting.
Install Insulation This includes both roof and wall insulation although the wall insulation will be installed before dry walling the ceiling insulation may be installed following ceiling board installation.
Electrical – Rough in Running cables/conduits and installing switch and outlet boxes to the frame.
Plumbing – Rough In Running pipes inside walls
Plasterboard installation this will include ceiling boards, wall boards and cornices.
Air conditioning / Ducted Heating
Waterproofing Wet Areas This is applied to floors and walls before tiling
Carpentry – First Fix this sees the kitchen cupboards and bathroom vanities installed. Doors, drawers, and counter tops are often left off at this stage. Skirting boards and architraves and internal window sills are also installed.
Main Plumbing Fixtures Baths, basins, sinks shower trays and laundry tubs are installed and connected to the drainage system. Taps, mixers and toilet bowls are usually left off until after tiling.
Tiling Both wall and floor tiling is normally completed at this stage.
Portico and Carports these will be constructed at this stage together with any freestanding garage. It’s likely that the garage door however will be left until later. (if applicable)
It’s probably been a long haul but we are getting to the last lap now. Nevertheless there is still a fair bit to do including:
Complete Plumbing Internally install taps, mixers, shower fittings, shower screens, and toilets externally finish down-pipes and fix external taps.
Painting, Internal and External. Internal painting will be in at least two stages. The walls and ceiling will be done before fitting of electrical fittings while woodwork/doors may well be later in the process.
Complete electrical. Fitting all the power points and batten fittings. If you are having a high level of home automation this might be quite complex and involve various stages.
Paths and Driveways
Carpentry Final Fix bedroom doors and cabinet doors and drawers.
Internal floor Finishes Timber floating floors or carpets.
Clean Up Outside all rubbish will be removed and the site left flat. Inside a “builders clean” takes place.
Deal With pre-completion inspection Issues Normally this should take around a week but could be longer if there are a lot of defects.
Install Appliances This will normally include oven, cook top and any other expensive appliances and the hot water service.
HAND OVER DAY The keys at last! Make sure you are insured from the morning of handover.
Good Luck with your New House!