When you begin your project it would be nice to have an idea about where you are going to begin and when you will be finishing. Below is a generalize road map on how construction projects typically go. It all depends on the specific structure and the different variations to be used, such as whether or not there will be masonry work involved and/or if there ends up being additional steps added to the building design.
You will find an explanation to each of the topics following the flowchart.
In addition to that, if you should have any questions, our office is here to answer those for you as well.
Making plans, deciding your financial situation, and choosing a contractor:
The foundation of any project you have will be based upon these three steps:
- What is it I am building?
- Who is going to be building it?
- How on earth am I going to Pay for it?
Usually, a contractor is able to help in guiding through a couple of these, however, it is important to keep in mind the significance of all three having to be completed before you can proceed with your project.
Permits & Insurance
Permits needed, and don’t forget about insurance!
You are more than likely going to have to have a permit for your project. Many times, you might need to receive a permit from places such as the city, state, or other various agencies. If you do not get the permit needed it could cause your project to be slowed down or even brought to a halt, and there may end up being fines that you have to pay later.
The insurance is a significant part of the things you will need, as it is meant to protect both, you and your contractor as well.
The Preparation of the Site:
Depending on how your site is laid out, your contractor may have to implement certain things, such as the building code on its drainage, excavating the site (preparing) for what you are building there.
Additional preparation to the site could include things like the laying of utilities, water, sanitation, arranging for the power, removal of any vegetation, and temporary storage facilities.
After all that, it is time to begin introducing the utilities and begin the inspections that will be required. You will find an explanation at the end of this page on both.
Usually, a structure will be built on a foundation made of concrete. The contractor is going to construct a form that is made of panels, wood and/or foam. In order to increase the tensile strength in the foundation the contractor will be laying mesh or rebar into the forms.
In addition, the utilities and other miscellaneous things like an in floor heating system might be added to the forms. After all of this has been completed, your contractor then puts cement into the forms and allows it a curing time. Once the curing time has passed, the forms are removed to give the structure a finished foundation.
Next, any constructions that are going to be consisting of wood buildings will be framed up, this creates the final structures skeleton. If the construction is to be of metal, a similar frame is made using metal, and of course, if the structure is to be built using masonry, it means that it will be built brick by brick. The frame is what allows the contractor to add in the windows and doors, however, if they are to be of wood, then they will usually get added later on.
Roofing, Siding, and HVAC:
When the contractor gets to this point he will begin putting the siding and roof onto the structure. It will be a HVAC company that comes in at this point and begins installing the heating and air conditioning system, or ventilation system to the structure, this does not begin until the project that the contractor does is complete so that the structure is not left unprotected.
Now that the structure has sides and a roof for protecting your investment the contractor will begin the next step of the project, which includes insulation and finishing the interior of the structure. There will be many different materials in use, such as paint, trim, flooring, lighting, sheet-rock, and other factors which are used in making your new building more comfortable.
Now your new building is nearly completed! The contractor will now pint the exterior of your new structure (unless it calls for a siding that is pre-finished).
The landscape consists of a site cleanup, which may include the cleanup of gravel and also turf, shrubs, and trees. Both, the accessibility of your new structure and the aesthetic nature can be increased due to how your landscaping is designed.
The punch list:
A punch list is where the contractor walks through the final construction of the structure and point out all of the things which were not done according to the original plans and/or things that may not have a quality that is sufficient to the importance of the structure, and then write all of this down creating a punch list. The punch list could also include things that you have decided to do differently, creating a need for a ‘Change order’ (See below).
The Finished Project:
Congratulations, your new building is now completed!
Your investment will be enjoyable for years to come, thanks to the great contractor you hired to do the job. Remember, that with proper maintenance, your investment can continue growing too.
Note: Contractors will usually specify if they are going to be cleaning up the building and/or site when they are finished, if yours states that they will be leaving it in a ‘broom cleaned’ condition you might want to make an arrangement with your contractor a head of time for it to be professionally cleaned when it is completed.
The Warranty Period:
Many contractors will offer you a warranty on the work they provide to you. Which goes to say, “Should you later discover incorrect construction (during the period that the warranty covers), the contractor is obligated to come back and fix or replace it without any more charges occurring.”
However, the materials, and/or appliances will not usually be covered in the contractor’s warranty, for these items it will be necessary for you to get a warranty straight from the manufacturer, or from the distributor of those items, this of course, does not always include labor charges.
Things such as water, sewer, utilities, power, and even communications, will more than likely be placed at various stages of the building process. For instance, water has to be piped in, so that it can run from either a well or maybe a municipal water system, and lead to the structure itself.
Other than the piping that brings in the water, there is additional plumbing that runs (or is casted) throughout the foundation of the structure and extends through the frame to all the areas that is going to need running water, such as toilets, sinks, and other appliances, which themselves are installed during the interior process of construction.
There will need to be inspections made of the structure throughout the building process, this is performed by government officials (more than likely, the ones who required you to get permits). The inspections could include the structure, building codes, HVAC, electrical, utilities, and etc. There will be a final inspection conducted at the end of the construction process.
Contractors communicate with you regarding such things as price changes, schedules, and adding on additional work. They happen in one of two ways, which are: When you add on or remove some of the original design; and when there are issues that are beyond the contractor’s ability to see a head of time. Sometimes there are change orders when the original options you chose turn out to be more than you budget allowance.
Change orders need to be given to you in writing and include any estimate of the expected increase or decrease on the time and money to be involved.