The good thing about building is that you can build at your own pace, the pace of your building depends on:
- The amount of money at your disposal
(ii) How long you want the project to last
(iii) How much experience you want to acquire
(iv) How you acquired your money. It is only those that have access to public finds that can build mansions over-night
7 Major Stages in a Building Project
I have come to recognize the under-listed seven stages in a building project.
- Foundation stage
- Sub-structure to Damp Proof Course (DPC)
- Lintel Level
- Setting of blocks ready for roofing
- Roofing stage
- Plastering / Rendering stage
- Internal finishing
- The Architect that drew the plan or any other Architect can do the pegging. Labourers would be used to do the digging
- The Architect and bricklayer should supervise such digging
- Binding and setting of blocks will follow
- Filling and ramming follow to set the foundation ready for the concrete floor
- Digging of the soak away pit and septic sand would be used to fill up the buying sand for the filling. The tanks should be plastered to serve as storage for water.
- After adequate ramming the foundation is now ready for floor setting/casting
Floor setting otherwise called German Floor or Damp Proof Cover (DPC)
- Major materials needed are cement, gravels and rods depending on the type of size of the building
- More labourers are also required.
- It is advisable to complete the exercise in one day.
- Note: the Builder should be contracted to supervise every stage of the project at a reasonable fee.
- The cement and gravel should be mixed in appropriate proportion. T
- The levels of the floor of the rooms are determined at this stage
- A carpenter is also required
For a large building project, the use of cement mixer machine might be advisable.
- Foundation Stage
There are four common foundation types namely strip, raft, pile and pad foundation. The choice of any of these foundation will depend on the type of soil (specifically the bearing capacity of soil) and the load of the structure. Bungalows are generally constructed using strip foundation.
This is cheaper than the other foundations since it uses considerably less concrete and reinforcement. However, where the soil has a low bearing capacity such as soil in waterlogged areas, it is necessary to use a raft foundation. This is a bit expensive but pays on the long run.
(b) Floor Setting
The term German floor applies when a raft foundation is used. In this case, the floor is constituted using reinforced concrete (i.e. iron bars and concrete). The floor is tied to the ground beams thereby making the foundation act like a raft. In the case of a strip foundation, the floor in this case is only reinforced with wire mesh to check against cracking.
Use nine inches blocks for the foundation and external walls. Six inches may be used in constructing the internal walls. However, if you do not have columns supporting the roof load, use nine inches blocks throughout. This is stronger.
Proceeding after the Foundation
The moment the foundation has been laid, you can then progress at whatever pace you have chosen. The next N5,000.00 in your hand can make a good and noticeable impact on your building project. So don’t despise the next N1,000.00 at your disposal.
– This stage requires cement, grave and rods to cast the lintel over the windows and doors
– The mixture should be appropriate and in right proportion.
– A carpenter and planks are required at this stage.
– The use of new planks will ensure a neat and Straight lintel.
– Good fairly used planks can also be used.
Setting of Blocks Ready for the Roofing or the Decking Stage
– After the lintel, the blocks are now raised up to the roofing or decking level.
– The angles of the house require some carefulness.
– The fancy blocks to ventilate the roof are required at this stage if they are to be used.
- The house owner will have to choose between using
- iron roofing sheets (Zinc)
- Asbestos (cement roofing sheets)
- Long Span Aluminum Roofing Sheets.
- Zinc is cheaper, followed by asbestos.
- Long Span Sheets are more costly, but beautiful and more durable.
- The planks, nails and other accessories are required at this stage.
- The ceiling board is also another major item.
- Going outside the town to purchase the planks gives a good bargain and minimizes cost provided you are guided rightly.
- Choose the carpenter to do the roofing based on recommendation.
- Strict supervision is required at every stage to minimize the misuse and theft of materials and even to avoid poor construction.
- Where possible, fencing your land before this stage or before foundation helps to reduce the rate of pilferage.
- Ensure you buy good wood for all aspects of the roofing and ensure the original pieces of wood you bought are delivered to you and are also used. A fraudulent carpenter can substitute the woods with poor quality ones.
- Is strongly advisable to ensure that the roofing and ceiling are completed before the plastering stage.
- Fixing the burglary proofs plastering will ensure you don’t additional cost and makes for a neater job.
- It is advisable that plumbing work and electrical work (if conduit system) be completed before plastering.
- This is to avoid breakages and wastages. The installation of the window and door frames before plastering will also ensure you don’t pay double for the same work.
- There are various types of plastering sand. The very whitish one costs more. Also, the tipper load comes in single and double sizes.