5 Stages of Building a House

A fellow friend of mine over at Remarkable Industrial Services aka RIS, explained to me that understanding the main stages of building a house enables you to know what happens at every step of your construction project. That way, you know the preparations to make throughout your project. Here is a summary of the five main stages of a construction project.

Understanding the main stages of building a house enables you to know what happens at every step of your construction project. That way, you know the preparations to make throughout your project. Here is a summary of the five main stages of a construction project.

Base Stage

During the base stage, the contractor lays down the foundation and slab. It’s also in this stage that the contractor lays down the plumbing pipework. That’s because this pipework goes beneath the slab. This stage may not stick to your schedule because the concreter must wait for the poured concrete to cure. Also, weather conditions like rain can delay the process.

Frame Stage

In this stage, the contractor completes the frame. And this can be SIPS panels, timber, or steel. It’s in this stage that the house takes shape. If you have niches like a shower niche or recessed vanity mirror, make sure the contractor frames them out in this stage. The contractor should also frame out the built-in pelmets for curtains and blinds and anything that may impact the structure or frame of the house.

Lockup Stage

This stage can also include the “rough-in.” Lockup refers to a sizeable actual build’s piece. The contractor installs all the doors and windows in this stage. They secure these installations and external cladding. The lockup stage is essential because it’s where the contractor prepares the homeowner’s selections before installing the plaster.

Fixing Stage

In this stage, the contractor installs the internal cladding. And this can include the architraves, insulation, cabinetry, waterproofing, and doors. Everything takes shape, and different aspects of the house come together at this stage.


Completion is the final stage of a construction project, and it’s called the “fit-off.” The contractor brings back trades like the carpenter, electrician, and plumber in this stage. These professionals work on things like showers, light fittings, door hardware, and bathroom accessories. You also do the final house inspection at this stage.

Study what should happen in every stage of a construction project carefully. That way, you can ensure that the contractor doesn’t leave out anything.

How Many Quotes Should You Get from Potential Contractors?

Man on construction site with plans in hand

Once you’re done with your home design, planning, and budgeting, the next step is hiring a contractor. Cost is among the major factors that most people consider when hiring a contractor. You want to hire a contractor that charges the most reasonable price without compromising on the quality of your build. 

Most contractors provide free construction project estimates. As such, you can get as many estimates as possible. But, what is the reasonable number of estimates should you get when hiring a contractor. 

Well, three is the recommended number. Ideally, you should get quotes from three contractors or companies of varying sizes. That way, you will get a better scope to guide you when getting a reasonable price for your project. Three quotes should give you a better picture of the average price that you should pay for the project. 

Choosing the Right Quote 

A quote might not be what it seems when given without writing. Contractors are largely unregulated. What’s more, a contractor is not legally bound to join a quality scheme. Therefore, the construction industry has many cons. So, if somebody gives you a ridiculously low quote, ask these questions first. 

  • Is every element included in the quote? 
  • What payment plan does the contractor use? 
  • How did you find the contractor? 
  • Does the contractor belong to any professional or quality control body? 
  • What timeframe does the contractor give for your project? 
  • Is the work of subcontractors included in the quote? 

Your answers to these questions should guide you on the best way to proceed. 

Get References 

Don’t forget to check references before hiring the contractor. Find out more about their past projects and what the clients they have worked with say about their experiences. 

You should generally do your due diligence when getting quotes, vetting, and hiring a contractor for your project.

The Major Construction Trends that Are Affecting the Industry in 2020

Every year, new issues and innovations emerge and their effects are felt in different industries. The construction industry is affected by different trends every year. Here are some of the construction trends that are affecting the industry in 2020. 

Technology Integration 

The remodeling and building industry is implementing innovations that improve productivity while saving money. Technology is now at the core of almost every trend in the construction industry. Contractors are adopting advancements to minimize the impacts of negative construction trends. Less time is being spent on the completion of some tasks. That’s because contractors are using modern software to complete those tasks. Drones, 3D printing, cloud, and mobile applications, as well as, BIM technology, are some of the trends that are shaping the construction industry in 2020. 

Increased Off-Site Operations 

The construction industry is characterized by an increase in off-site tasks like modular constructions and prefabrications. Labor market and material prices continue to tighten. But, pre-construction and off-site practices still make sense for contractors that want to reduce the overall cost, shorten construction timelines, and improve productivity. Construction safety is also improved by controlled factory spaces. This eliminates some hazards of traditional construction. 

Improved Safety Equipment 

The safety and standards of equipment have improved in 2020. For instance, wearable technology and work boots are now better than they were in the past. Some of these products send GPS coordinates while connecting to Wi-Fi. Some can even alert supervisors when workers get tired or fall. 

More Regulatory Burdens 

Regulatory burdens on lot development and purchase are affecting prices. In most places, regulations account for up to 24.3% of the total price of building a single-family house. They also account for 14.6% of the final price of a house because of the high cost of finished lots. 

Labor Crisis 

The current labor crisis is nothing new. However, it continues to affect the construction industry and housing affordability. This remains one of the factors that make it hard for some people to afford homes. 

The construction industry is always changing. These are some of the trends to watch out for to stay updated on what’s new in the industry. Nevertheless, continuous research is always necessary before embarking on a construction project.

Key Floor Plan Characteristics to Consider when Building a House

A floor plan is very important when it comes to building a house. It helps in designing the furniture layout and wiring system among others. Floor plans are valuable tools in the real estate industry and for leasing companies because they help them when renting out spaces and selling houses. But, how do you tell that a floor plan is ideal for a house? Here are the major characteristics of a floor plan to consider. 

Flexible and Versatile 

An ideal floor plan should be flexible and versatile. It should give you the freedom to turn an office into the bedroom of your kids in the future. Therefore, have flexibility and versatility in mind when designing or choosing a floor plan whether you’re building the house for a future buyer or your family. 

Ideal Layout for Rooms 

Bedrooms should be more than simple entertainment spaces. They should not face common spaces for entertainment like the living rooms and dining rooms. Most people prefer having the kitchen opens to the living room or dining rooms so that when a person is cooking, they can interact with their guests with ease or even the kids that are playing in their homes. 


When designing a hallway or a room, think about the number of people that will occupy it at any given time. Is there a room where they can move around? Does the house have room to accommodate furniture for all planned activities?

Lifestyle and Priorities 

If you value entertainment, make sure that your floor plan has a good flow from your kitchen to the living room and outside space. For a person that works from home, the office should get proper light from the outside. It should also be located in a quiet location. 

Practical Considerations and Architectural Details 

Think about cleaning, kids’ safety, cooling, and heating bills before you love that majestic staircase or the windows. Make sure that the architectural details of the house do not affect the heating and cooling bills of your house negatively. 

These are some of the key floor plan characteristics to consider when building a house. Talk to your contractor about them to make a more informed decision. 

Who Should Handle Cost Estimation in a Construction Project?

Anybody that has worked in a construction company has probably seen that the selling process is mostly detached from the actual estimation process. However, this is basically a costly mistake. The person that does the selling should be involved in the cost estimation process. 

Here are the reasons: 

  • Efforts duplication- When selling and estimation are separated, efforts are duplicated. This means two people are paid to do almost the same job and this can be costly for the contractor. 
  • Fewer errors- When the person that sells is allowed to handle cost estimation, errors are reduced. That’s because they know what they told the client when selling and what to include in the estimate. 
  • Faster process- Effective and quick interaction with clients goes a long way in enhancing the growth of a construction business. Separating selling and estimating systems creates obstacles that delay processes. This can turn clients away. 

In a construction project, an experienced cost estimator should handle cost estimation. This can be a professional in a construction company or an independent cost estimator. An experienced construction cost estimator knows the costs of a construction project. They are familiar with construction blueprints and supplies. This enables them to give a more accurate and clear forecast of the amount a construction project will most likely cost before it takes off. 

Why Work with an Experienced Cost Estimator 

Each construction project is different. Your construction project has unique variables. For instance, each project has a unique design, labor, and material needs. These are just some of the factors to consider when providing a cost estimate. Overestimating or underestimating the cost of a construction project can have detrimental consequences. 

Construction cost estimation is a practice that should answer all cost-related questions of a project. However, only an experienced cost estimator can answer these questions properly. What’s more, cost estimation techniques have improved considerably in terms of complexity and sophistication. That’s why you should get your cost estimate from an experienced cost estimator. 

Talk to your contractor about cost estimation at the preconstruction stage to know who will handle it. 

Effective Sustainable Construction Techniques

Every contractor knows that a strategy that saves materials and time has higher profitability. It also brings the good feeling for not creating waste. Mr. Art T. one of the finest roofers in san antonio shares his tips on his processes in running his business and crew. Here are the top construction techniques with the greatest effect on sustainable construction.

Prefabrication of Materials within Controlled Environments

Prefabrication of materials within controlled environments improves quality of the resulting structures. It also reduces trash at the construction sites. Cutting materials decreases waste while creating strong buildings that enable contractors to successfully use even wood framing.

Proper Waste Management

Reducing construction waste is now achievable for most contractors because haulers have now become more sophisticated. In the past, there were several trash bins at the jobsites. These were used for different categories of waste. However, a modern jobsite has a single trash bin. That’s because haulers can separate materials using pickers. This approach enables haulers to avoid up to 75% of landfill via their processes.

Proper Site Management for Improved Environment

Prevention of storm water pollution is now a big deal to the federal and state governments as well as municipalities. No municipality wants a development to dump bad water into its sewer system thereby overflowing it. Silt fencing is now used to contain runoff. Site water can now be treated using the best practice onsite thereby reducing its flow into a sewer system.

Reducing Energy with Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing shows that construction companies are rethinking their construction approaches. Modern construction companies are identifying wasteful activities and eliminating them. For instance, a company can use a modified brush to work with a snow blower thereby reducing the time spent on cleaning metal floor decks during winter.

Careful Selection of Materials

Clients and architects ensure sustainable construction by selecting building materials that are made using recycled products. These materials may be made of renewable products like floors made of bamboo. There are also dual-flush toilets that save water and low-flow faucets. Such building materials make buildings greener.

Basically, construction companies are using off-site fabrication, lean practices, enhanced on-site maintenance, green materials, and landfill avoidance to ensure sustainable construction. If you have an upcoming construction, talk to your contractor about these and other sustainable construction techniques before they start working on your project.

How Construction Bond Works

When looking for a contractor to handle your construction project, choose one with a bond. A contractor bond is the assurance that the contractor that you hire shall perform the way they promise you. If the contractor fails to perform as per the promise, the company that issued them with the bond pays the damages. This is simply how a construction bond works. It’s important to ensure that a construction company has a bond before you hire it. Binding is one of the ways of regulating the construction industry. Here are some of the types of bonds commonly used in the construction industry.

Bid Bonds

This is a bond that protects a property owner. With this bond, the property owner is assured that the hired construction company will honor the original amount of the bid. A contractor and the bond issuer can be sued to recover costs. Bid packages include bid bonds as well as the financial information of the bids. It’s important to note that not all projects require bid bonds. However, bid bonds are necessary for large construction projects.

Performance Bonds

A performance bond assures the project owner that the construction company will perform as per the terms of the signed contract. Perhaps, you have come across construction projects that have been abandoned halfway. A performance bond protects project owners from such occurrences.

If a construction project is left incomplete or if a contractor does a poor quality job, the project owner will be compensated if the contractor has a performance bid.

Payment Bonds

This bond ensures that a contractor pays suppliers and subcontractors. If something happens and the contractor fails to pay the electrician for example, they can go after this surety and the contractor will be have to pay them.

License Bonds

A license bond ensures that the hired contractor is licensed to complete a job. This bond is bought by a contractor when it’s a bidding requirement for a project. A contractor without a license bond can face numerous problems including license revocation and heavy fines.

It’s important to choose a contractor with these bonds when hiring building a house to ensure your safety just in case things fail to turn out as planned.…

Top Contractor Scams to Avoid

Top Contractor Scams to Avoid

Although there are hardworking, honest professionals in the construction industry, there are scammers too. Unfortunately, even scammers seem like legit contractors. To avoid being scammed, it’s wise to know the top contractor scams to avoid.

Need for Money Upfront

This is a common contractor scam that you should avoid. A contractor will argue that they need money to rent earth movers and buy materials in order to start working on your project. Some will ask you to pay between 30 and 50% of the price of the project upfront. Unfortunately, if the contractor is a scammer, you will never see or hear from them again.

To avoid this, avoid paying more than 10% upfront for a construction project. That is the legal maximum required by most states. It’s also sufficient to establish that you are a serious client.

Take My Word for It

On meeting a contractor for the first time, they might be very agreeable in regards to doing what you specify. They can even suggest extra upgrades and touches. Some of these details might not feature in the written contract agreement. It’s easy to be tempted to assume that this doesn’t matter because your verbal understanding with the contractor is clear.

However, the contractor may not include the discussed extras after sometime. On confronting the contractor, they will simply tell you that they were not included in the contract. That means you will either have your house built without them or spend more money to have them built.

No Need for a Permit

Significant construction projects require building permits. This enables building officials to come to your site periodically in order to ascertain that the work being done complies with safety codes. It’s the contractor who should get the permit because they are the one to do the job. If a contractor tells you that your project doesn’t need a permit yet it is major, avoid working with them.

Other contractor scams to avoid include being told that a contractor ran into unpredictable problems that need more money to solve. Others may ask you to buy building materials from them. If you come across such scams, look for another contractor.


Check out this website for last minute buys and finishing touches.

Secrets to construction that you should remember

When it comes to construction and hiring a construction contractor, there are some secrets that you need to know. Secrets that the contractor doesn’t want you to know. The moment that you know these secrets, you will be able to hire a contractor much easier. You will know what to look for and what to look out for. This is the only way to ensure that you are hiring the right person for the job.

Paying a deposit isn’t necessary

You don’t need to pay a deposit. No matter what. There are many construction contractors that are asking a 50% deposit. They are claiming that this is to be able to purchase the material that he is going to use.

There is no reason that you should pay money for something that isn’t done yet. This is a mistake that many people are making. And, most of the time the contractor disappears with 50% without even starting on the project. If he needs to pay the material, you can pay it and just pay him for the work done. This is sometimes the safest bet.

There is more than one contractor that you can hire

Don’t hire the first contractor that you can find. This isn’t going to be the best decision that you can make. There is more than one construction contractor that you can use. And, you might even find one that is more recommended and that have more experience and references.

Take your time and interview as many contractors as possible. This is the only way to make sure that you are choosing the right person for your construction project.

Make sure that you read the contract completely before signing

Construction contractors are popular for adding small print to the contract. And, most of the time it isn’t in the best interest of the other party. This is why you should make sure that you read the contract completely before signing. It might also be a good idea to hire a lawyer that will be able to go through the contract and making sure that it is legit.

With knowing these secrets, you will know that you are going to hire the best construction contractor that you can find. And, that your construction project will be successful and worth all the trouble. There are lots of money at stake, and you should make sure that you don’t lose most of it, to a scammer.