Why It’s Important to Choose Only the Best Cement for Construction

Cement is supposed to be the most important element of any construction as it is essential in holding the structure together firmly. That is the reason why it is essential to choose high quality cement that can guarantee the durability of a construction project.

On the quality of cement depends the strength of the concrete, the base of any construction project. A high quality concrete can efficiently resist environmental degradation and protect the building from harsh weather and bugs. So what all does a builder look for before getting into a construction project.

Is your supplier reliable?

A builder must meticulously plan and look at the precise requirement of your project.Only then will he be able to zero in on a good building material supplier who can bring him the best cement for construction. A supplier who is really dedicated to providing excellence when it comes to quality of cement and service will certainly be able to back his claims with genuine knowledge. His previous clients’ testimonials will also serve to be useful in knowing his reputation as a supplier, as well as his experience in supplying high quality cement. Such a supplier can be a reliable bet in building a durable structure. The builder can also measure his performance so far from the quality of his marketing and branding.

If a building material supplier is renowned,it is mostly because he has been consistently supplying appropriate material. There is a practice among ordinary suppliers to supply cement mixed with external elements. This mixing dilutes the quality of the cement and is risky for construction. Therefore it is always safe to look for a reputed supplier before and invest only when you are sure that the cement you are buying is of high quality and the best cement for construction.

It is recommended that the builder puts in a little effort in researching to find out where a reliable supplier with guaranteed quality service can be found.Proper research, that includes meticulous inspection of a supplier’s work, ensures that you do not get dazed by just a flashy branding exercise.

Cement types

Some of the main varieties of cement, besides ordinary portland cement, are:

1. White: This is formed when it is freed of colouring oxides such as manganese, iron, and chlorium. This is manufactured using oil, and not coal, as fuel. This is mostly used for plastering, finishing and decorating such as marbles or glazed tiles’ fixing.

2. Coloured: Ordinary cement is given colours by intimately mixing pigments with it. Chlorium oxide, for instance makes it green, Cobalt makes blue, Iron oxide makes it brown, red or yellow depending upon the proportion used. Their use is to give desired colours to walls, floors, and window sills.

3. Low Heat: This is made especially for huge concrete works. While constructing dams, for instance, the heat created due to hydration of cement can damage the construction. Low heat cement, which contains only 5% of tricalcium aluminate and 46% dicalcium silicate, can manage to keep the construction intact.

4. Quick Setting: This is formed by adding a little aluminium sulphate after reducing the amount of its gypsum. It is further finely grinded to enhance its quick setting property. Living up to its name, it starts setting within 5 minutes, literally, once you start adding water. By half n hour, it is quite hard. This is used to block hold water that is static or slowly running.

5. Rapid Hardening: This is manufactured by burning at a high temperature with increased lime content. This apparently helps in enhancing strength and speeding up construction activity.

Do a quick field test of the cement you are going to use by checking:

– the date printed on the cement bag for freshness

– its smoothness by rubbing it between fingers

– whether it floats in water for some time before sinking

– uniformity of its colour

– whether there are any lumps due to moisture

– its strength by slowing submerging a cake of the cement in water (it should retain its shape even after 24 hours).

Making sure that the cement used is the best cement for construction is a builder’s responsibility, not his prerogative. He is morally and legally obliged to use high quality cement, for it is going to determine the safety of the people who are going to live and work in the building.

How To Choose A House Plan – Part 3 of 10

Almost every house plan site offers to change their stock drawings to suit your specific requirements. That’s a valuable service – but be careful, some seemingly small changes can be expensive to make, and even more expensive to build.

One Change – Lots Of Drawings

There was a time when changes to house plans were done in the field with no documentation at all. If you wanted to make the house a little bigger, you only needed tell your contractor – and you didn’t have a plans examiner and a building inspector looking over your shoulder.

But as we’ll learn in Chapter #4 “A Set Of House Plans Isn’t Enough“, building codes across the country are getting tougher and plans examiners are looking at house plans more closely. When a change is made to a set of drawings, that change must be as well documented as the original plans, regardless of the size or complexity of the change. Sometimes that’s not a big deal but sometimes it requires quite a few changes to the set of drawings and expensive changes to the house itself.

Consider for example, a theoretical two-foot extension of a family room at the back of a two-story house with a basement. If you’re working with a typically complete set of plans, your two-foot extension will require a change to all of the following drawings in order to be accepted by your local building department:

Foundation plan

First floor plan

Second floor plan

Roof plan

Left side elevation

Right side elevation

Rear elevation

Main building section

Those are just the “architectural” drawings – you’ll also need to have structural changes made, which may require review by a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer. And in areas that require compliance with energy codes, those calculations will have to be redone.

Don’t let this scare you away from considering altering your design – just be sure you get a firm quote on all of the work needed to get your drawings completely ready to submit for permits. Or better yet, find a plan that doesn’t need these changes.

Some plan services have popular “pre-designed” additions and alterations with all of the necessary drawings already completed. If one of those designs meets your needs, that’s a much more efficient and cost effective way to go.

Consider The Impact On The Rest Of The House

If you find that the change you want to make isn’t offered as a pre-design, you may want to have a custom alteration made. But don’t get caught up in major changes – the trick is to avoid doing so much modification that you’d have been better off choosing another plan, or designing a custom home from scratch.

Every day, my staff counsels homeowners who have gotten their home design almost done – and then added just one more room. Too often we find that final room (frequently a screened porch) is difficult or impossible to blend seamlessly into the design.

If they don’t consider the entire design from day one, they risk “cobbing up” a perfectly good home plan.

The same concept applies to pre-designed house plans. Don’t buy one that has almost everything you want and assume that your other rooms can be easily added. That one more room could mess up everything you fell in love with about the house plan in the first place.

Adding rooms to a completed plan can sometimes start a chain reaction of changes – the new room blocks a bedroom window; the window can’t be moved without moving a wall; the moved wall makes the bath too small…etc.

Instead, take advantage of the “study plans” that most services offer. Buy a study set of the plan that’s closest to what you want, and have the plan service or your design professional evaluate it for the feasibility of the change you want. Study sets aren’t cheap, but they’re a lot cheaper than having to rework an entire plan.

Architects Can’t Stamp Plans

It’s written somewhere on every plan service website: “You may need to have your house plans reviewed and stamped by a local engineer or architect.”

Unfortunately, that’s against the law in many jurisdictions – for Architects. By statute, Architects must prepare or supervise the preparation of architectural drawings before they can affix their seal or stamp to them. To do otherwise is called “plan stamping” and is a practice than can cost an Architect his license.

It’s a bit of a catch-22; you have permission from the plan’s author to alter the plans, but not from your state’s Architect licensing board.

An Architect can – in some instances – stamp a set of plans he didn’t prepare if he’s made significant alterations to them. What’s considered “significant”? That’s for your Architect and his State Board to decide. If you’re making lot of changes to the plans, you’re probably in the clear, although there’s no accepted legal threshold for what are “significant” changes. But what if the design you’ve found is OK as is, and you simply need to get it ready to submit for permits?

Ironically, a “non-architect” – a residential designer, drafter, or structural engineer – might be a better choice in this situation. As an Architect myself that’s tough to say, but the law is the law!

For structural review the answer is easy – find and hire a local structural engineer to review the plans, size the structural members, and place his stamp on the set. An experienced structural engineer might catch a few “non-structural” code issues along the way, too.

For non-structural issues you may be able to have an Architect provide a sheet of standard notes that you can attach to the drawings – without the need to stamp the drawings. You may also be able to get this information from your builder, or from a residential designer or drafter.

But then again all this might be moot – since very few jurisdictions in the country require an Architect’s stamp on single-family home construction drawings!

So check with your building department first – but don’t assume an Architect can always “stamp” your pre-designed plans.

Minimum Code Compliance

Plan services sell plans that conform to the code that was in effect in the location the house was built, and at the time the house was built.

In the United States, local building codes are based on one of four current “model” codes. Each of those codes share similarities, but each has its differences, too. Each code goes through periodic revision, so they’re constantly changing.

It’s very likely that the house plan you buy will need some changes to bring it “up to code”.

More importantly, however is the idea that the plan you buy will at best be only minimally compliant with the building code. That will get your plan past most building departments but will leave quite a bit of the specifications and details of the house undecided.

That’s the case with most single-family construction drawings, even the ones you get from an Architect. It’s your job to work with your builder and maybe your interior designer to address all the details you need to build out the interior and exterior finishes.

Check your plan service’s list of drawings – some services include more detail than others. The plans are a good start, but you might still have a lot of work yet to do!

Tips To Choose A Good Construction Service Company

Choosing a good construction company can be quite tricky at times as there are several service providers in the field. However, there are some aspects that can be taken in consideration while choosing such companies. Let us consider some of the important aspects.

Good Rapport: It is essential to choose companies that maintain a good rapport between customers such as planners, architects, engineers and so forth.

Precise and Prompt in Services: Choosing services which are prompt is equally important. For the successful completion of a project, it is important to use a host of several companies that perform its job in a precise manner.

Planning: A reputable company has a well planned strategy to complete the project within a stipulated time frame.

Management: It is one of the most important aspects to be considered while choosing a company. Professional and reputed contractors offer construction management services to the customers. There are many benefits of hiring management services as the project can be completed within the stipulated time frame. It is also possible to reduce the cost of labor and offers options for direct payment.

Prior Experience: It is essential to consider the experience of the company before choosing to avail its services.

License: It is necessary to check the licenses of these companies before hiring their services.

Insurance: Most of the reputable companies also include insurance coverage which is another important factor to consider before choosing the services of these companies.

Some Important Benefits:

Proper Evaluation: By hiring the services of a good company, all the building requirements of the customers are evaluated professionally which is one of the most significant benefits.

Architectural and Engineering Services: It is also possible to obtain efficient and professional services while hiring such companies.

Bonding: Excellent bonding is possible only by hiring the services of such companies.

Finances: It is also possible to arrange necessary finances with the help of these companies.

Time: One of the most important benefits of choosing these companies is that it helps to save ample amount of time. It may take many years to repair faulty buildings and leakages.

Perfection: Another significant benefit of hiring these companies is that it offers the required perfection while building homes, office spaces and other areas. Reputable companies have an in-depth knowledge of handling roofing services compared to amateurs.

Inspection: These companies also know when to conduct inspections and how to maintain buildings.

Most of the reputed companies offer to clean up the premises after the completion of construction process. Today there are many companies listed online that offer excellent services in the field of construction. It is important to choose these companies based on specific products and services. Some of the companies also offer rework if there are any kind of damages in the buildings.

So there are many factors that need to be considered before choosing to hire the services of these companies. A thorough online research will help to find some of the best companies that offer services at reasonable price rates.

How to Choose the Right Custom Home Builder Helping You Build Your Dream Home

Have you made up your mind to renovate or build a new house? Don’t know where to start from? Why not start with hiring the right planner that fit your needs, stay within your budget and help you construct a quality home that not only fulfill all your desires but also provide the personal attention that you deserve!

Believe it or not, finding the best contractor for carrying out your home improvement process is a nerve-racking task to kick-off with. With so many options available in the market these days, it becomes more and more difficult to choose an ideal designer that not only designs a custom dwelling for you, but also makes your dreams come to life by providing you with top quality service and craftsmanship at each phase of the home renovation process.

Choosing the right construction company is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll have to take in your home renovation process in order to construct the abode of your dreams. So, it is important that you make use of some proven techniques so as to speed up your research & selection process and prevent your home-building experience from becoming a nightmare.

Step #1: Define your needs

It is important that you determine both your current and future requirements for your house, which includes size, design, price range, type of abode, and so on. Also, you can do a bit research by visiting different home builders’ websites and checking out different designs they provide.

Step #2: Hire an experienced architect rather than a new one

Choosing an experienced and well-recognized designer is the most important step to consider when it comes to fulfilling all your basic home building requirements, which includes budget handling, customer satisfaction, warranty & service, and more.

Step #3: Ask for referrals

When it comes to finding the right custom home builder, you must ask your friends, family, colleagues or even your neighbors for recommendations.

Step #4: Make sure the company is licensed and insured

It is important that you ask for licensing and insurance as this will legalize everything and will put an end to corruption.

Step #5: Choose the right home builder

No matter what your requirements are, picking the right designer can help you carry out the complete home improvement process in a sophisticated fashion and take your lifestyle to the next level. They play an indispensable part in making the process trouble-free and reverent.