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Building a house in ten steps

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Building a house in ten steps

From choosing the project to the reception of the construction, the process of building a house involves several stages that must be followed step by step. We will suggest you how to build a house in ten steps.

Building a house shouldn`t scare you, even if it seems that you have a lot of things to do. Having a good plan and carefully observing the execution stages will eventually help you have the dream house. To make your work easier, we decided to give you a helping hand and to briefly outline the steps you need to follow in order to build a lasting house that matches your requirements. In the following editions of our magazine we`ll analyze in details each stage. Let’s start!

Step 1 – Planning the house

Once you’ve finished the land purchase process, the first step should be choosing the house plan. In order to do this, you need to call a specialist, usually an architect, and cooperate as closely as possible. At the beginning of the collaboration with the architect, it is advisable that he also compiles the file for the Town Planning Certificate, the first step for authorizing the construction, so that the documents go along with the design process. In this way, you can save time and you will know from the very beginning the existing construction regulations in the area where your land is located. Do not hesitate to explain the architect in details what you want and the purpose of the house. In addition to the dimensional plan and compartments plan, ask the architect to also give you 3D plans to have an idea of ​​how the future construction will look and how it will be located in the field.

Also, check if all the desired functions have been included in the plan. A house should also be beautiful, not just functional. You can choose a classic appearance with regular shapes and a sloping roof or a contemporary style with cubic shapes and a terrace roof. Regardless of your choice, simple forms mean a simpler and less costly structure, which is preferable, especially if you have to fit in a budget.

During the design process, do not hesitate to ask the architect for modifications or adjustments, especially if they seem necessary to you, because after the building permit has been granted any change to the project requires reauthorizing it.

Step 2 Obtaining the building permit

Once the final concept of the construction has been decided, the procedures for obtaining the building permit will start. Without it you are not allowed to start building. Otherwise, you will be out of the law, and the fines are huge.

In order to obtain the building permit, you must prepare a file containing the copy of the Town Planning Certificate, several specific opinions and agreements (protection of the environment and utilities, and in some cases, public health, civil and fire protection, historical monuments etc.), various specialized studies, if applicable, Technical Documentation for the Authorization of Construction (DTAC).

Thus, you have to go several times to the Town Planning Office within the City Hall and to other institutions to get all the necessary advice. The legal deadline for issuing the Building Permit is 30 days from the date of application, and the authorization fee is calculated as a percentage (0.5%) of the estimated value of the investment.

Step 3 Site organization

Once you have obtained the Building Permit, it is necessary to declare the commencement of the construction work at the State Building Inspectorate (ISC) 15 days in advance and pay 0.1% of the estimated value of the construction. At the same time, you have to decide whether you work on your own or with a construction company. Even if the second option seems a bit more expensive, you have to consider the fact that you have the benefits of signing a contract and guaranteeing the construction work. Once you made a deal with the construction crew, you should start organizing the site, providing all the necessary conditions for the construction process.

This means building storage places for tools and materials and solving, even temporarily, the utilities problem, because it will require running water and electricity. The problem of water can also be solved by drilling a shallow well. At the same time, it is advisable to install a fence around the land, at least temporarily, even if you use a cheap solution. Only after finishing all the above steps you can start the work: preparing the land, which has to be cleansed of shrubs and bushes. Last but not least, depending on the situation, you have to level the ground, if this is specified in the technical project.

5 tips

– Negotiate the construction of the house for different stages (shell, finish, turnkey), then the landscape architecture services and other works.

– Monitor how often you can the construction work and check the materials delivered and their consumption.

– Check and control expenditure on each construction step and see if you fit into the budget.

– Regardless of whether you build on your own or with the help of a company, you need a site engineer to handle construction papers, as well as a technical expert in charge.

– If the land is not yet delimited, it is advisable to use the help of a cadastre specialist to avoid possible problems that might arise in the case of non-compliance with the land boundaries.

Step 4 Building the foundation

This may be the hardest part of the construction process. First, you need to do the necessary excavations, either manually or with an excavator. The most important aspect is respecting without any deviation the quotas in the plan. After finishing the excavations, pour the first concrete layer into the grooves. This is, in fact, the leveling concrete, which has the role of leveling the ground and fixing the foundation pillars.

The next stage consists in the execution of concrete reinforcing steel and special stirrups. Also, utilities pipelines will be installed according to the specifications in the technical project, in this way the pipeline paths, their depth, the exits to the outside and the slopes can be made precisely. Then, the concrete for the foundation beams is poured. After the concrete has dried well, the concrete formwork is removed. The foundation is filled with well compacted soil, followed by a layer of gravel, the thermal and waterproofing layers and reinforcement mesh. The last step is casting the foundation slab, which means you’ve brought the construction to zero.

Step 5 Masonry

From now on, with building each wall, you will see how the house begins to take shape. Even if the hardest part has passed, you do not have to relax too much, because when talking about masonry, the construction must follow the guidelines in the project. Regardless of the materials you use when building the walls (BCA, brick, bolts, etc.), there are a few steps to go through. First, the entire perimeter of the walls has to be isolated, preventing the moisture from entering the walls. Usually, this is done with a bituminous membrane. Then lay the bricks, aiming to create a weaved masonry. However, care must always be taken to ensure the flatness and the levels required by the project.

Great attention should also be paid to the joints, because the thickness of the horizontal ones should be 12 mm and of the vertical ones 10 mm. Anchoring the masonry to the structure of the building (no matter if we`re talking about reinforced concrete diaphragms or pillars) is done with the help of reinforcing steel “mustaches”. After the walls and their structural elements (pillars and lintels) have been made on the ground floor, the intermediate plate will be poured, where applicable. The operations are simple and consist of building formwork, reinforcement and pouring concrete.

Step 6 Roof mounting

The roof actually finishes the construction, being the structural element that provides protection against the whims of the weather. Covering a house can be done either using a terrace or using a sloping roof. The variant of the terrace is rarely used, and its construction requires thermal and waterproof works, properly draining rainwater plays a very important role in this situation. The sloping roof is more common and its mounting requires several stages of execution.

In the first place you should make the frame, the wooden skeleton on which the covering will be mounted. The first step is to fix the beams on the concrete slab; on these vertical props will be fixed. And on the vertical props you should fix ridge beams. On both sides of the ridge you must fix rafters, which at the end lean against the beams. Over the rafters the roof boarding is fixed, and on it there should be used anti-condensation foil. After that, wooden rods will be mounted in both directions. Above them all the covering and its specific accessories are mounted, as well as the drains and pipes for water drainage. The space between the rafters and, partly, beneath them will be filled with a 20 cm thick layer of mineral wool mattresses, under which the ceiling will be closed with a chosen material (OSB, gypsum board, etc.).

Step 7 Carpentry

From now on you can say that you have a shell house. However, there is still much to be done before the house is completed. First, you need doors and windows -carpentry.

As for the installation steps, things are not very complicated in the sense that the carpentry is first inserted into the wall gap (which has been thermally insulated with extruded polystyrene – 2 to 3 cm) and it is fixed using separators all around the gap, aiming to be perfectly straight (you must use the level). Then you mount it using screws and isolate the space between the carpentry and the masonry (mounting joint) in order to prevent air and humidity penetration. Typically, the joints are filled with polyurethane foam because it has very good insulating properties and also allows the carpentry to expand.

Step 8 Thermal insulation and finishes

Once the thermal system is installed, the finishing of the house begins. Typically, the thermal insulation of the exterior walls is made with mineral wool or expanded polystyrene. As far as the execution steps are concerned, the walls must first be cleaned of dust and other impurities. Then, an adhesive mortar is applied around the insulating sheets, and then they are placed side by side in woven rows.

The next step is fixing the boards with dowels to ensure the best adhesion to the wall surface so that the dowel ends are slightly buried in the insulation boards. Then apply a layer of mortar and install the protective layer with reinforcement mesh and, in the end, plaster the wall. In this way, the facade of the house is ready for exterior finishes which can consist in simple application of decorative paints or in different types of covering. Inside, the finishes can be “wet”, with different types of plaster or “dry”, usually made of plasterboard.

* Note: step 7 and 8 can also be reversed between them, depending on each situation.

Step 9 Connecting the House to Utilities

Before finishing the interior finishes, it is advisable to solve the problem of electrical, thermal and sanitary installations. In the case of the electrical installation, the circuit is buried in the masonry in special tubes, following a project made by an authorized specialist. In the case of plasterboards, the trails are posed on the wall, being hidden in the structure on which the plasterboards will be mounted. With regard to thermal installations, the installation of the heating system and related facilities will be carried out. The rooms can be heated either by radiators or by a water or electric pipe floor system, etc. It is also good to connect to the sewerage system and running water, thus avoiding possible damage to the interior and exterior finishes.

Step 10 Reception

If you have reached this stage it means that the construction work has been completed and you can already think about moving in your new house. Whether you have worked with an authorized company or on your own, a reception report must be completed when closing the site. This is done by an inspection board within 15 days after the completion of the works. Attention, the inspection board may reject the reception if they find any vices that cannot be fixed, in which case new plans, works etc. must be carried out. If the report contains only objections, the inspection board will indicate the problems that should be fixed and the repairs should not exceed 90 days from the date of reception. Also, at the same moment, a notice regarding closing the works must be submitted to ISC, and a fee of 0.7% of the real value of the investment must be paid.

Be careful!

If you have worked with craftsmen and have not signed a contract with a construction company, then the works have no guarantee. In this situation, it is advisable to pay the works after closing the site, after the reception.

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