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Building Contractors discussions and advice. Participate in ongoing dicussions and get invaluable Building Contractors advice from people who are experts in their industries or start a new Building Contractors discussion.
( 3020 posts )

[71 Replies]
I am starting this discussion to enable people to ask all the questions from stupid and silly (to which a 10 year old should know the answer) to intelligent and brilliant (which will challenge the best of contractors and architects. After all the dummies will not always be dummies. They will become masters, and all it takes is getting your own house constructed - especially on a tight budget!

Also, any and all corrections, imporvements, replacements will be highly welcomed. Experienced people are requested to chip in with advice, suggestions and assistance.

So assuming that the plot has been bought, i will list the steps involved in order to lay down the platform for discussion!

A. Preliminary steps:

1. Obtain possession and plot layout;

2. Soil test (mostly required in the potohaar region including islamabad);

3. Apply for water, electricity and gas; collect demand note from electricity company;

4. Procure detailed design;

5. Prepare budget and bill of quantities;

6. Do boring if water supply is erratic;

7. Flood the plot with water for two days;

8. Hire a road roller for compaction;

9. Engage contractor and introduce with design architect;

10. Hire chowkidar and build temporary store room/guard room with loose bricks;

B. Grey structure

(gravity-based load bearing brick masonry walls with cement mortar) or (column based):

1. Earth work including disposal (keeping for filling foundations)

2. Procuring and laying compacting material (uniform thickness) in the form of brick aggregate;

3. Watering and compacting the material laid as described;

4. Injecting chemical emulsion for anti-termite treatment; afterwards plugging the holes with cement mortar 1(cement):2 (coarse sand); chlorpyriphos/lindane ec 20% with 1% concentration;

5. Foundations, footings, bases of column for mass concrete; {{{plz advise depth of foundation???}}}

6. Suspended floors, roofs, landings, scaffolding and access platform;

7. Laying in place, specified grade of reinforced cement concrete{{{plz advise ratio???}}} 1:1:2 cement, sand, stone aggregate bajri???;

8. Centring, shuttring, finishingg and reinforcement;

9. Reinforced cement concrete work in beams, suspended floors, roofs with slope of 15 degree, landings, balconies, shelves, chhajjas, lintels, bands, alain window sills, staircases using ratio of 1:1:5:3 cement, sand, stone aggregate 20mm size;

10. Mild steel and medium tensile steel bars;

11. Brick work and walls cement-mortar 1:4;

12. Steel bars at every third course of half brick masonry.

C. Fittings

1. Mep works;

2. Fixing good quality wood in frames of doors, windows, clerestory windows and other frames, wrought framed and fixed in position;

3. Door shutter and stainless steel butt hinges;

Glazed shutter for windows and doors;

4. Grills, frames, guard bar, ladders, railings, brackets, gate etc.

D. Finishing

1. Granite work;

2. Mirrors;

3. Provide openings for bathroom and kitchen fittings such as wash basins, kitchen sinks etc.

4. Mirror polishing;

5. Marble stone slabs;

6. Tile works;

7. Ceiling works;

8. Exterior works;

9. Paint work;

10. Paint and polish of doors, windows including priming coat, rubbing etc.

E. Final touch

1. Integral cement based water proofing treatment etc of roofs, balconies, exterior walls using broken bricks, cement mortar 1:5 and water proofing compound;

2. Flooding with water for 2 weeks to do final testing and commissioning under architect/engineer supervision.

F. Conclusion

Quran recitation and house warming party.



FORTY-STAGE Construction:-

Stages during construction of a new house:

1. Soil analysis of the plot tested for any lose fill

2. Designing and layout

3. Apply for Water, Electricity and Gas connections

4. Construction of store for cement and security guard

5. Underground water boring

6. Construction of underground water tank (I think if boring is done then no need of UGT as the pump can directly throw the water in over head tank)

7. Raft drawing by architect

8. Laying concrete

9. Purchase of sariya, cement, marble waste and bricks

10. Construction of raft foundation

11.Brick laying work for foundation walls

12. Filling the foundation

13. DPC

14. Wall construction, and beams filling (no need of next step if a running beam goes all over the structure at 7 feet)

15. Fabrication of doors and windows beams

16. Shuttering for the roof

17. Point for fans and lights in the roof (electrician and plumbers come when sariya work in lanter is finished)

18. Give 10 days to lanter to solidify and keep its surface dipped in water (esp in summers)

19. Order chaughats (doors frames of steel or wood according to your liking and budget)

20. Start walls and beams/columns raising (if building steel frame structure)

21. Same steps now as for the ground floor roof lanter, electricians and plumbers called for keeping power and pipes holes etc-

22. If you are building two stories at once, start plaster from above. But before palster starts keep chaughats ready as they are installed with plaster and also plumber and electricians run cutter in the walls for installing pipes for water and wire.

23. Clear the debris from the floors

24. Call plumber and electricians to lay underground piping, you will need to buy wires and plumbing stuff like sewerage etc

25. Put a concrete layer (called Katcha) and pipes go under it.

26. Call electrician to do the wiring

27. Buy marble or tiles as you like

28. Buy covers for water tank, gutters and rain traps. The frames are installed before flooring begins

29. Order main gate so it is ready when katcha is done if you are going for a sliding gate

30. When marble, tiles are finished install doors

31. You can also start work in bathrooms, make your choice of tiles and colour meanwhile to save time when other works are going on

32. Get kitchen cabinets made or buy ready made according to your choice

33. Get grills and windows installed

34. If structure is not damp and the cement is dried up bring the painter

35. Install fans and lights and air conditioners

36. Install railings for curtains

37. Test are electric, gas and water points if there is any leak or seepage

38. Get water tanks cleaned

39. Get the floor cleaned (normally they put wood waste on it to protect it)

40. And move to your new house

    1863 days ago In Building Contractors
    Post Answer
    (3020 posts)
    Building a house. Points to keep in mind:

    1. Get the family together and decide the type of house you would like. This will be the toughest part because each family member will have an opinion of their own (if you have democratic family). To keep every ones interest while building the house, it is important to include their input.

    2. Get a soil test done of your plot. This will guide the architect/structural engineer to design the foundation for your house. Whether your housing society has a requirement for soil testing or not, we would strongly recommend you should have it done. Otherwise you will have huge cracks in your house if the ground below is soft.

    3. Ask the architect to design the house according to the general outline given by you. You should ask for at least three designs so as to make a good selection. Keep a written record of what you discuss to refer back to in case of disagreement. If you ask for changes MAKE SURE THAT THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE DRAWINGS AS PER YOUR INSTRUCTIONS.

    4. Ask for a scale model of the house once you have selected the design. You should know what the house will look like when it is completed.

    5. It is a common experience with most house builders that there is a cost over-run from 20 to 30%. Keep this in mind when deciding on the size of house you plan to build. The formula we suggest is:

    X is the budget available with you. Divide it by 2. This is to cater for drop in the value of your assets, rapid increase in building materials and other unforeseen expenses.

    6. Look for a good contractor. Get recommendations from friends and relatives. A good contractor can guide and advise while the house is being built.

    7. Get an estimate from the contractor of his labour cost for the building structure. Have the expenses vetted by the architect.

    8. You can give the contract to one person to the build the house on turnkey basis or you can hire the services of the plumber, electrician, carpenter, painter, window installer and AC installer on an individual basis. Whatever you do, DO NOT PAY ANYONE A BIG ADVANCE. You will regret it. Of course you must pay them once they have completed a specific job. This is to ensure that the work continues non-stop.

    9. Before the foundation is laid, you need to carry out termite treatment. Later before the laying of the concrete foundation in the ground floor rooms, termite treatment is to be carried out again. Use a good quality termite treatment chemical and have it applied by a reputable company. Friends we know paid for the treatment but then after a year had to replace their doors because of termite attack.

    10. The easy part of building the house is the building of the structure. The toughest part is the interior work. Something as simple as selecting tiles for the bathrooms and kitchen took us three months. Then there is the selection of light fixtures, door handles, paint for the rooms, etc.

    11. One major advice. As far as possible "SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE". Don't count on the fact that you explained the matter 10 times.

    12. To avoid leakages in the bathrooms pressure check each connection. It is not a pretty sight when the paint peels off outside the bathroom walls due to leakage.

    13. For electrical wiring use good quality electrical cable. It will be expensive in the short-run but cheaper in the long-run.

    14. Remember small windows help conserve energy whereas big window look good but have high energy losses. With the price of electricity and gas going through the roof and also not available, it would be advisable to go for windows which are not very big.

    15. If you can afford it, build yourself an energy efficient house. That would mean using insulation in the walls and the roof, using double glass windows instead of single glass.

    16. Sometimes we design our houses according to peak usage. That is when everyone is in the house. Once you have moved into the house, you will find the occupancy rate less than 60%. If we were to build again, we would go for fewer rooms and spend the same money to build an energy efficient house.
      1858 days ago 

      (814 posts)
      @ PK 1 ....

      just rough estimates or some one practical experience....cost analysis...

      1=how is anti termite treatment done?and its cost?

      2=what will be the cost of architect?...1 KANAL HOUSE....

      3=how much money for soil test?...suppose in bahria or dha...pindi/isl.
        1858 days ago 

        (47 posts)
        Really valuable and informative thread.You did it again,Pk1 :)

        Regarding insulation issue,I came across a report which is worth a read,about different techniques for making ur home more energy effeciant.

        I was quite surprised tht this kind of research was bein conducted in Pakistan under the govt supervision.
          1853 days ago 

          (47 posts)
          Hmmm...nobody seems interested in taking the time to read the above report or may be it wasn't worth your time???

          Anyway,here's is another inspirational blog by a self builder which might prove to be really helpful,for all of you,dreaming to build their own house.

          You are all welcome in advance ;)
            1851 days ago 

            (1171 posts)
            Does per square foot rate vary with exchange rate of dollar? After all lots of construction inputs are imported items.
              1811 days ago 

              Baber Rabban..
              (1628 posts)
              It does especially in case of tiles. But cement, sand, bricks, wood follow other trends like fuel cost and supply. Marble is connected with electricity rates and diesel prices. Paint is usually connected with exchange rate. Insulation material connected with patrol. Steel connected with dollar and electricity.

              Labor is connected with food basket price probably.

              So we can safely say that dollar, electricity price and diesel prices had most impact.
                1811 days ago 

                (1171 posts)
                Malik sb thank you. But when Ishaq Dar reduced the dollar price I did not see any reduction in per sq foot rates offered by H-T, DSA, Hamza on this forum. Also no reduction by builders in market.

                But sir what is your view point about grey structure only? I am thinking of giving some contractor the job of only making grey structure for me in Lahore. Then i will leave it forb6 months then start fittings later.

                What do you think?
                  1810 days ago 

                  Baber Rabban..
                  (1628 posts)
                  I think grey structure is most difficult for people like us. It's really good to give grey structure contract. A lot of people do that. But it's important that you hire a mid career level architect who regularly visits to counter check the quality. It's also important that he check every dimensions from the start and at every level. Not even half an inch difference should be in all sizes and levels. I paid Rs 15000/per month to a mid level architect to visit everyday . But I was fortunate that the architect's office was walking distance from my home.

                  Regarding rates reduction, I think labor rates never decreased. Subsistence level food basket remained expensive for lower level labor. It's quite complex. Like one factor which is ignored by many is the price of property. If you are building house on crores of rupee plot, laborers has no mercy for you. They want their share. Quite surprisingly for me, lowest level laborer knows most prices of plots, our car price and rent I would get from property.

                  So all this is quite complex. When we start home, people around us flatters us. They show themselves most loyal. Actually they quickly want to have their share. Property prices increase in 2012-2013 had effect on labor prices too.
                    1810 days ago 

                    (1171 posts)
                    Is it a very bad idea to leave more open space (non-constructed area) on your 18 marla plot (for a bigger lawn) than the minimum allowed by the society?
                      1758 days ago 

                      Imran saeed
                      (11 posts)
                      Why don't we structure a development organization with shareholdings of everybody, and this organization can construct the places of the shareholders as well as of different abroad Pakistanis...
                        1758 days ago 

                        Post Answer (71 Replies)
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