Understanding what construction companies do when building your home
Homeowners hire construction companies to manage each stage of their new home build. These companies know the various stages and the order to be followed to successfully complete a project. A construction company has the necessary resources and network to build and manage the entire process.
While some may only complete the wet works phase of a project, others manage the entire project from start to finish. This includes the management of project finances, site safety and progress. Unless agreed otherwise, their responsibilities also include the coordination and management of the various suppliers who contribute to the project. In this article we will discuss the various stages and what happens in each.
Building a new home is not a quick and easy transaction. The gratification that comes with buying a house comes quicker than that of building a house. But all things considered, building a new home is well worth the effort. The biggest benefit of building your own home is that you get to choose what goes into the home. Understanding that building a new home takes a lot more time to plan, and knowing the processes that need to be followed, will make the journey a lot more pleasant.
The process starts with finding and buying a plot of land and selecting an architect to create the concept and design you envisage for your home. Once your plans have been drawn up by the architect, they will be submitted for town council approval. In an ideal scene, where there are no delays, it will take 4 to 6 months from buying land to obtaining council approval on plans. In some residential estates, you may need to apply to a Home-Owners Association for approval before town council.
If your architect has been contracted to assist you with the tender adjudication, you could possibly have a few construction companies tendering on your plans by this stage as well. Once a building contractor has been appointed, the construction process can begin.
At Jukka Construction, we follow a tried and tested project plan that is customised to suit your architectural plans and timelines. This ensures each stage of the build is executed at the right time. This also ensures that there are no mistakes later in the build. Like unnecessary chopping and chasing for missed plumbing requirements. A well-executed project schedule will eliminate unnecessary costs, or timely delays.
Throughout the lifecycle of the project, you will be required to make various decisions regarding changes to the structure, or what finishes to install. It is imperative that the client is involved during the construction (or wet works) stage so that any changes are implemented timeously and without delay. A good construction company will issue a project schedule for the client to keep track of progress, and at the same time, issue a schedule for when finishes need to be selected by.
Getting Started - Project Establishment
Before a builder can break ground on any site, there are a few regulations that need to be in place.
Once the project has been established, your builder can start with site establishment.
Getting the site ready for building involves:
Once the site has been established, the builder can start with digging the foundations.
- Rib and Block Slabs – A rib and block slab consists of concrete beams with either concrete or polystyrene blocks fitted in between. These slabs are used by most construction companies because they are most cost effective and easy to install. The slab is cast with wet concrete and supported by scaffolding for up to 3 weeks until concrete has cured.
- In-Situ Slabs – In-situ slabs consist of a shuttered container which is filled with steel for reinforcement and concrete. These slabs are more expensive due to the steel requirements, but they can carry more weight. They are best used for structures with open spaces that don’t have many internal brickworks to bear the weight of upper levels.
At this point “wet works” are generally accepted as being complete, and the project moves into the finishes stage.
While the wet works phase can seem to take long and appear to not progress very rapidly, the finishing phase brings a breath of new life to the project. Here you will start to see your home take shape and grow in character.
Completion involves finalising all the last-minute touches to the entire house.
Electrical points and fittings (lights and plugs) are installed, and the electrician will issue a Certificate of Compliance (COC). The plumber will fit the basins, taps, toilets, and shower doors. Carpeting and more delicate internal finishes will be installed once all labourers are finished inside to avoid damage. The garage doors, paving, swimming pool, and landscaping is also completed at this point. The painter will also finish touching up internal and external walls.
Once the finishing touches are done, the contractor will contact a building inspector to view the property. The building inspector will issue an Occupational Certificate should he be satisfied with the build and all necessary paperwork is in place. You may only move into the property once an Occupation Certificate has been issued.
From here your builder will step back and give you some time to settle into your house and allow you a certain period to take note of any snags that need attention before the contract is closed and final fees settled. A reputable contractor will ensure that these snags are addressed and completed within the agreed snag period.
Jukka Construction specialise in the construction of new homes. Having built many luxury homes in and around Johannesburg, our Lead Project Manager, Ashley, will walk you through the process, step by step. Learn more about how we work and how we can help you here.
Contact us today to start building your new home.