Most clients don’t involve the services of an Engineer or a Builder during their building project simply because they feel it is something they can handle or as a result of insufficient fund to take care of their service charge.
They embark on a building project without understanding the various stages and how to go about them, at the end they spend more than their assumed budget.
I see this scenario as a challenge affecting large numbers of our clients here in Nigeria and outside Nigeria and that is why i decided to take time and explain a step by step process every client need to understand during their house plan construction projects. The first on my list will be :
THE PRELIMINARY STAGE:
This stage involves the period of contract briefing, Negotiation, payment and site inspection.
If the client wishes to engage engineer for the project, This is the right stage to discuss what and how he wants the projects to be done and is equally the best time for the engineer to explain his terms and conditions in other to avoid conflict of interest during the construction process.
The expected contract sum can be negotiated at this point in time and it is advice to always keep good records of all discussion before the clients mobilize the Engineer the agreed contract sum.
Once the Engineer has being mobilized, it is time for the Engineer to visit the site and to start planning for the next phase of work which is the site preparation stage.
At this stage the client has handover the site operation and activities to the engineer to manage on his or her behalf.
If the condition in the MOU mandate the engineer to provides for materials and labor cost for the site operations.
The engineer should at this stage make provision for all necessary materials and a temporary store house needed to kick start the project other wise advice the client to make necessary provision for materials and a store house.
If the client decide to handle the project without involving an Engineer this is the stage where he or she needs to make provision for site materials like head pans, lines, shovels, wheel barrow, water tank, installation of bore-hole, generator etc.
The setting out process can still be referred to as layout marking process, it is a process that is carried out by the Engineers or Builders.
This process involves transferring the information on the drawing to the actual plot of land before the excavation stage.
There are different method in achieving this but this is outside the scope of our coverage area, to know more about setting out of a building click here.
Sometimes the process can be very difficult depending on the nature of the design of house plan, land/plot shape or the method adopted in executing the process.
It is important to always use professional Engineer during the setting out stage to ensure that all details in the drawing is exactly what is transferred to the plot of land.
THE EXCAVATION AND BLINDING STAGE:
This is an important stage in house plan development, care should be taking to ensure that this activities is properly monitored by the site Engineer.
This process involves digging of the foundation trench to the required width and depth specified in the working drawing. While the blinding process involves taking a stable level on the excavated soil to receive concrete mix.
The required thickness for the blinding work can equally be found on the working drawing. If you are not an Engineer and you intend handling the activities yourself, I advice you engage an engineer or an experience builder to help you at this stage.
If the construction work is a storey building avoid using artisans to manage the project at this stage and remember to excavate the column position before blinding it.
THE BLOCK LAYING FORMATION:
Prior to the block laying formation, it is important to note that every thing about the sub- structural work must have been put in place. One important activity is the filling and compacting stage. Effort should be made to ensure proper supervision during the filling and compacting stage.
Once you have successfully completed the casting of the DAMP PROOF COURSE, it is time to start the block laying process. The block laying is a process where concrete blocks are arrange vertically and horizontally to a particular height base on the house plan drawing with the help of cement mortar.
The block laying process is normally handle by professional Manson and supervised by an engineer or a builder, if this stage is not being manage properly there is every possibility of not having a uniform straight wall. One important area you need to bear in mind is the type and quality of block you intend to use for the house plan project.
The type of block wall to use depends on the nature of the job and also the house plan drawing. I strongly advise you to avoid using weak block wall so as not to have increase crack surfaces.