Building a House during COVID-19| How to Continue Your Construction Project

The construction industry is facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just like most industries. The need to keep social distance, for instance, restricts efficient construction. That’s because most construction workers operate in proximity. Nevertheless, you can continue your construction project during COVID-19. Here are essential tips to guide you.

Communication

Situations keep changing in the current times. Companies that supply construction materials and construction companies may suffer the effects of the COVID-19 at any time. And this can affect their operations. As such, your construction project may stop abruptly when such stakeholders fail to fulfill their obligation. To avoid this, maintain communication with suppliers and contractors. That way, you can always know when and what to expect throughout the construction project.

Inspections

Ensure that the right experts inspect progress in your construction site continuously. And this is an essential practice for ensuring that everything progresses appropriately. You should also visit your construction site to ensure that the contractor meets all regulatory and safety standards at the site. You can also find ways to perform virtual inspections. That way, you can be up-to-date about the project without visiting the site.

Materials

Some countries are experiences a shortage of construction materials because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, find out who or what COVID-19 has affected. That way, you can know whether you will get the necessary supplies for your project on time. You will also learn about the shipping issues to expect and how to overcome them.

Schedule

Talk to your contractor about your construction project schedule. Find out whether they can complete the project within your preferred schedule. If something delays your project, the contractor should tell you immediately.

Costs

Understand the costs you will incur when acquiring materials and labor. Also, understand possible miscellaneous expenses that you might incur due to the current pandemic. It will help if your budget includes the project and unexpected expenses.

6 Principles of a Sustainable Construction Design

Architecture concept with drawing compass on blueprints.

A sustainable or green building has minimal effects on the environment. Essentially, sustainable construction refers to the use of structures and processes that are resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the life-cycle of a building from design and construction to operation, maintenance, remodeling, and demolition. 

The purpose of sustainable construction is to preserve and restore the environment or a surrounding habitat that is important for sustaining life. Here are the 6 fundamental principles of a sustainable construction design. 

Optimize the Potential of a Site 

Whether you’re retrofitting a building or designing a new one, the site design should integrate a sustainable design to enhance the success of the project. This should begin with a careful selection of the site. And it includes rehabilitating the existing building. The orientation, landscaping, and location of a building affect the local ecosystems, energy use, and transportation methods. 

Optimize Energy Utilization 

Enhance energy usage in an existing building is very important. That’s because it increases the energy independence of the occupants. Operating a net-zero energy structure is a great way to minimize fossil fuel-derived energy dependence. 

Conserve and Preserve Water 

Sustainable structures utilize water more efficiently. They also recycle and reuse water for possible on-site uses where feasible. 

Optimize Building Material Use and Space 

With the continued growth of the world population, natural resources use is always increasing. Sustainable construction focuses on the use and reuse of materials sustainably and productively throughout their lifecycle. 

Improve Indoor Environmental Quality 

The indoor environmental quality of any building affects the comfort, health, and productivity of the occupants. Some of the attributes of a building that affects the indoor environment quality include day-lighting, moisture control and ventilation, acoustic performance, and use of materials with VOC emissions. 

Optimize Maintenance and Operational Practices 

Building designers specify the systems and materials that reduce or simplify the maintenance requirements of a building. They can use techniques that require less energy, less water, and less toxic cleaners or chemicals to maintain a building. 

Sustainable construction design is achieved through the integration of different techniques and practices. Talk to your building designer and contractor about these principles to engage in a sustainable construction project. 

Dangers of Doing Construction Work in the Summer Heat

Are you handling your construction project during the summer? If yes, you should know the dangers to be wary of. In most cases, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the major dangers to be wary about. These can be serious conditions that shouldn’t be underestimated because of their health consequences on workers. 

Heat Stroke 

Heat stroke occurs because of the body exposure to very high temperatures to a level where the mechanism that the body uses to regulate temperature naturally fails. This leads to consciousness loss or fever. Heat stroke can simply be described as overheating of the body and it is unable to cool down the way it does normally. 

Heat stroke symptoms include: 

  • Red skin 
  • Headaches 
  • Core temperature hits 104 degrees Fahrenheit and above 
  • Agitation, confusion, delirium, and slurred speech 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Increased heart rate 

If a construction worker shows these symptoms of heat stroke, immediate action should be taken. That’s because heat stroke will damage the brain, muscles, heart, and kidneys if not controlled. It can also cause death.

Heat Exhaustion 

Heat exhaustion can be described as a milder form of heat stroke. This occurs when the body becomes overheated to a level where it cannot cool down. But, heat exhaustion has less severe symptoms. The risk of heat stroke is also not very high. But, this condition should not be dismissed as a non-threat because it can easily become heat stroke. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches 
  • Weak, rapid pulse 
  • Dizziness, fatigue, and fainting 
  • Intense sweating 
  • Cool skin and goosebumps

If a construction worker exhibits any of these symptoms, immediate action should be taken. This will prevent the condition from inhibiting their performance at work or even leading to death. 

Low-Cost House Construction Techniques

The main reason why most people often opt to buy and not build homes is because of the assumption that home construction is expensive. However, that is not entirely true. With proper planning and the low-cost building materials available today, house construction is no longer a costly affair. The following are some of the main low-cost home construction techniques that can save you lots of money. 

Prefabricated Panels 

Prefabricated panels are among the most cost-effective building materials today used in many home construction projects. One of the benefits of thee panels is that they are quite flexible and can be customized to your specific needs. Besides, they will also save you on labor costs. Since the panels are fabricated before the start of the construction, they have less on-site waste and also eliminate the cost overruns that may occur due to delays in the delivery of construction materials. 

Stone Cladding 

Stone homes are usually very costly to build due to the high costs of building stones. In case you need a home with the looks of stone but, unable to afford building stones, stone cladding is a more cost-effective option. Stone cladding looks like a veneer, which is applied on the external surfaces to imitate stones. You can use them on the entire façade or selected parts of the building. Stone cladding offers unique finishes and profiles that mimic different kinds of stones. The materials are more affordable and, also less costly in terms of labor. 

Reclaimed Timber 

Reclaimed stone is among the cheap building materials but, provides trendy looks that can truly enhance the appeal of your house. Construction experts say that reclaimed timber is quite durable and, also used when dry. As a result, they hardly experience warping or splitting. Besides, they are also environmentally friendly. Reclaimed timber is cheap but, you must be keen to select the right pieces that will suit your house plan. 

Other low-cost house construction techniques that you should also consider when planning to build a home without spending more include concrete sheets, bamboo, corrugated metal sheets, traditional bricks, and plastic. 
Feel free to check out this site for details on construction techniques. Click here.

Is it Okay to Pour Concrete Foundation during Winter?

There are lots of reservations that many homeowners usually have when it comes to pouring concrete foundations during winter. Some fear that the cold temperatures would damage the concrete. Others also claim that due to the cold, it would take very long for the concrete to cure, thereby dragging their projects several weeks behind schedule. 

Despite the above concerns, professional builders confirm that it is okay to pour concrete foundations during winter. However, some precautions must be taken to ensure that the construction goes on smoothly. 

Tips for Pouring Concrete Foundations in Cold Months 

One of the most important things that must be done before pouring concrete foundations in winter is securing the underground. If you plan to start the project in winter, you should cover the ground under the foundation with plastic sheets or hay to prevent snow, ice, and frost from penetrating the concrete. The ground should be covered before winter starts. 

The ground temperature is very important when pouring concrete foundations during winter. If the ground is frozen, it will impact expansion, thereby changing the soil’s load-bearing capacity. That is why the ground must be properly insulated before the cold months set in. 

It is also important that the builders prepare the concrete for cold weather conditions experienced in winter. The best way of doing that is by adding more cement to the mixture and increasing the temperatures of the water. A professional builder will be able to create the right concrete mixture for the temperatures on your site to avoid freezing. 

Generally, building during winter often comes with lots of benefits including, quicker construction and reduced costs since many people tend to shy away from taking up projects during the cold months. Instead of asking if it is okay to pour concrete foundations during winter, simply prepare a suitable budget and engage a trusted homebuilder to kick start the project. 

5 Tips for Planning your New Construction or Renovation Project

“The sooner you start your home renovation or new construction project, the sooner you’ll be done.” You’ve probably heard that statement. Unfortunately, that’s not how thing work since you one has to do some essential planning upfront. Construction projects are expensive and it can be challenging to stay on schedule and within budget. 

Keep in mind that the process of building a new home or facility for your business starts long before the materials are supplied and foundation is poured. Proper planning will help you avoid costly mistakes during the construction process. Here are important tips to guide you when planning your renovation or new construction project. 

Plan your Budget

Resources are in limited supply which is why you must consider the budget from the moment you start thinking about renovating your home or building a new home. Be realistic and look at how much money you can afford to invest in the project. Budgeting helps you to strike a balance between what you can afford and what you want. Of course, you may need to consider a mortgage or construction loan. Don’t be in a hurry to sign a construction contract with a general contractor before taking as much time as possible to thoroughly research and plan your budget. 

Choose a Design Professional

An architect or professional designer can help you come up with a comprehensive plan of the scope of work and specifics of your project. You may have to combine this phase with the budgeting since the detailed plans and drawings from your architect or interior designer will help you know what’s required of you. You must communicate your budget clearly to the company you hire, though. 

Create a Plan

Whether you use stock plans from an online source or a printed catalogue, it’s important that you work with an architect, professional designer, or any other building professional so you can choose the stock plan that best suits your needs. You can hire a licensed architect to create a custom-designed home, as well. Your goal should be to have the best plan possible that will meet your needs for years. 

Interview Contractors

You now have a home design, building site, and project budget at hand. It’s time to find an experienced general contractor to coordinate all the aspects of your construction project. It’s best to bring a contractor into the process once you have the final schematic home design ready. With the information from the detailed plans and drawings, the contractors can provide you with preliminary estimates of cost. Once you’ve received bids and estimates from several contractors, consider visiting jobsites, calling references, checking reviews, and conducting additional research before selecting the right contractor who can realize your home ownership dream.

Negotiate a Contract

With the materials selections made, right contractor hired, and detailed plan submitted for permits, the next important thing to do is getting written, signed contractors for every professional and contractor involved in your project. The contract should describe the scope of the project with detailed specifications. Everything has to be clearly listed. Make sure the contract is amended in the event either of you makes changes to the construction project.