House Building

Building a House

The first steps for house construction are to clear the land to plan size, hopefully preserving worthwhile trees or shrubs as desired.

With far too few new builds coming on line annually, prices for UK property are outstripping supply and an extensive construction of at least 200,000 new properties a year is needed for the next decade to catch up and contain price inflation.

The foundations are dug, normally by mechanical backhoe diggers (Hanlon CASE have a wide range or quality construction equipment), along plan lines to usually around 1 metre in depth, and must be checked by a building control officer, who may call for deeper excavation depending on the type of soil around it.

It is then that concrete is poured in, to within around 150mm of the top usually by ready-mix lorry, for speed and convenience.

Drainage trenches also need to be dug to the right depth and gradient to accommodate the pipes. They should be bedded in at least 100mm of gravel. Plastic pipes are the norm these days, with longer pipes (6 metre) used where possible to give a smoother flow with fewer connectors, and the less bends the better.

Where there are bends, the potential for blockages grows, so insert rodding points or inspection chambers at these locations.

It is prudent to lay utility pipes and ducts in trenches at this time. Water, gas and electricity will have to be accommodated and it is easier and more economical to put them in at this stage, but leave the actual connecting until later.

Before the trenches are backfilled it is prudent to give a water or air pressure test to ensure all connections are sound.

Once these have passed inspection the concrete floor can be poured, in preparation for

The most common house construction method currently used today is timber frame, which, by using factory made prefabrications, can allow the basic structure of the house to be built within 5 to 10 days.

Once this is in place and weatherproofed, an external brick skin can be erected if desired, whilst other trades, electricians, plumbers etc can work internally.

The windows and doors complete the weatherproofing and the trades work on the first fix, any further carpentry and plastering etc. The second fix is the instalment of what turns a construction site into a home. Bathrooms, toilets, kitchen etc. Paving the way for decorating.

The roof is usually finished with slate, or synthetic slate tiles, or clay tiles. The roof line of fascia and soffit are generally of plastic and the fascia carries the guttering that channels the rain water into plastic down pipes which carry it to either discharge over the grid of an open gully or piped underground into a main storm drain, usually in a road, or into a soakaway dug in the garden.

The main soil stack directs waste into the constructed drainage system which generally runs into the main sewer, or in remoter areas a septic tank or cess pit sunk in the garden.