The 20 stages of a build…

As a rough guideline, here’s a step by step guide to seeing your house take shape – what generally happens in what order as your build goes up. This isn’t set in stone, as there will naturally be variables depending on your specific build, but whether it’s a new build or an extension on an existing house this summarises the general flow of activity from start through to 2nd fix electrics and plumbing.

  1. Clear site
  1. Mark out footings
  1. Dig footings
  1. Remove excavated soil.

N.B. soil removal has a big cost so ensure this gets done early on within your costings. Also means builders aren’t having to work around soil, traipsing it all over, and lends itself to keeping a tidy site

  1. Pour concrete
  1. Engineer the build out of the ground to damp course level
  1. Oversite (100mm type 1, DPC, 100mm concrete) or block and beam floor with required levels of overlapping damp course on the internal and external skins
  1. Build – These three go up together to wall plate level:

a. Brickwork

b. Cavity Insulation

c. Blockwork

N.B. Scaffolding should get erected at about half way height. Any required steels go in during brick build, before wall plate.

  1. Roof timbers & joists
  1. Soffits and fascias
  1. Roof – Felt, baton and tile
  1. External doors and windows installed
  1. If building an extension, this is usually the point where we’d knock through to the existing building as minimises disruption to the customer until now.
  1. Flooring

a. Floor insulation

b. Under floor heating installed now if relevant

c. Screeding

N.B. Before screeding you must have decided what floor finish you want as there are different screeding allowances depending on the floor product you choose (tiles, wood etc…)

  1. Internal stud work & door frames where required
  1. First fix – get the electric cables and plumbing pipework in place
  1. Drylining. Either:

a. Plasterboard, tape and join or

b. Plasterboard and skim

N.B. The costs of either option are similar but our personal preference is for tape & join. This is because you can paint immediately, whilst if you skim this will require a week to dry out so extends the build time. Of course, if you have curves to factor in, then skimming will be required – just ensure you have a good plasterer to get a smooth skim finish and lovely looking curves!

  1. Skirting and architrave
  1. Snagging list – go through any snagging at this point with your builder, as otherwise its only the electrician and plumber left to finish their piece of the puzzle now
  1. Second fix electrics and plumbing – this is when the electrics and plumbing are completely finished – all pipework and cables are attached to something!  Extractor fans installed; sockets, plug switches, light fittings connected;  appliances installed – integrated ovens, fridges…; baths, sinks, toilets, heated towel rails fully connected and operational.  Essentially, everything from your wine fridge to your sensor operated bathroom cabinet lights should be connected up and working now!

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