The challenges of constructing a house in a single continuous phase stem from both a financial root and a project managerial root. In so doing, most house construction projects are broken down into logical phases that are easy on the wallet and technical supervisors.
In this article we will discuss the best practice to construct your house in stages, phased into cost effective steps that maximise the presence of different teams required at each of the building stages or phases. To smoothen out the process of building a house in phases, you will need to carefully plan the project and that requires a few steps and decisions to get started.
There are possibly three ways to finance your house construction projects; saving over a period of time and commencing the construction when you have achieved the required sum, getting a bank loan to facilitate the or taking out a mortgage scheme.
For most people, the most realistic alternative is to construction the house in phases and this is the root this article will base
Do you intend to move into your house at the soonest its inhabitable or are you phasing the construction simply for financial reason? If you are currently renting and wish to build a house, then you have probably considered moving into your unfinished house to save on money. How soon and at which phase you can move into your home is primarily be based on your preference but from experience, we know of 3 basic requirement your incomplete house should posses; security of persons and property, health from injury and exposure & comfort which is relative to an individual.
To aid your planning, we are referring to the steps & stages (in this case phases) of a house construction mentioned in this article, do arm yourself with the following;
- Get your construction drawings – make sure you have all your drawings full approved by the local authorities. It can be very expensive to have this sorted out after the construction commences due to fines, construction freeze, arrests or worse, demolition on your house.
- Get a BoQ – known in full as a Bills of Quantities, its a document that include accurate estimates of the construction works to be undertaken.
- Choose a project manager – this could be yourself, a spouse, a friend or your architect. It is best to find someone with experience and commitment. If you intend to manage the project yourself, then find yourself someone to guide you. You can read this article to learn how to supervise your home’s construction as a Project Manager.
- Hire a contractors or builder – on hiring a local builder or contractor, look over the construction estimates (BoQ), make amendments where necessary (since pricing of materials and labour varies from place to place and time to time) and agree to this new BoQ as part of the contractual documents.
- Compare your final BoQ with your budget; saving, bank loan or mortgage scheme.
- Choose the construction phases carefully – if you intend to live in it before it is completed, then you will have to choose which rooms are to be constructed first. Take into consideration the plumbing works required, the roofline over the constructed rooms, the overall security of the people and property in and around the incomplete house, the health of the occupants to eliminate injury and exposure to dangerous tools and materials. The rule of thumb is if a building element is not required yet, do not proceed with its construction unless if it make economical sense. In this case, you have to protect it and the occupants from damage and injury associated with this building element.
Start the construction
Not all houses are similar and neither are construction sites. The followings is a generic list of how the construction will be phased based on the article The Steps & Stages In The Construction Of A House.
- Site clearing – our recommendation is to carry out this phases fully since specialised machinery may be required though it is possible to accomplish it in phases.
- Setting out the site – this must be done carefully and completely
- Foundation construction – as with site clearing above, our recommendation is to carry out this phases fully since specialised machinery may be required though it is possible to accomplish it in phases.
- Backfill of foundations – this will be undertaken to completion. Since deep opening in the ground are common for most foundation, this posses a health and safety risk to the workers and occupants.
- Start planting grass/ lawn, flowers, trees – this activity is down to the preference of the owner
- Wall & column construction – in the case of a bungalow, the walls should be constructed in regards to the rooms required and roof support structure. In the case of a double storied house, the ground floor wall or columns should be constructed to completion if the walls & columns are structurally integrated or if the walls are load bearing
- Slab construction – this is best carried out in a single bound unless a structural engineer recommends otherwise, in this case, a construction joint will be created in the most appropriate locations.
- Wall and column construction – in the case of a double storied house, the ground floor wall or columns should be constructed to completion if the walls & columns are structurally integrated or if the walls are load bearing
- Roofing – our recommendation is to carry out this phases fully since specialised machinery may be required though it is possible to accomplish it in phases.
These activities can be phased based on need or financial reasons.
- Installation of windows and doors
- Rough electrical
- Rough plumbing
- External wall plastering
- Internal wall plastering
- Floor finishes
- Finish electrical
- Applications to national service providers
- Hard Surfaces installed
- Finish plumbing and install gutters & water harvesting system
- Carpet, wall paper and decorations
- Air conditioning
- Connection to water main
- Connection to the waste system
- Installation of compound finishes
- Final quality check
There you have it. With careful planning and a good building team, you can affordably build you house in phases. Whether you are thinking of building a home to move in before its fully completed or you wish to maximise the resources (money and technicians) you have at a given time, you will inevitably find yourself from time to time returning to this article to get clarification. Please share it with those you know are preparing building a home. DPRO design has a number of low cost house designs and house price calculations services (BoQ – bills of quantities preparation).