Avoiding Common Self-Build Issues
Writing for Build-It’s Self-Build Zone. Andy Butcher reminds us that one of the most important parts of a project is to ensure you’re dealing with well-designed, properly-realised foundations. Considering 30% of build costs will be underground, there is a lot to think about. “What’s more” he adds, “the work will need to be thoroughly mapped out well before you can get underway.”
What & Who Else is Involved?
Designing the foundations
Going on site
Groundworks & Claims
Beware the Unexpected
Last Minute Work
- With trench fill, your inspector and warranty provider will normally want to approve the excavations prior to the concrete pour. The trenches should be cleaned out, with the sides true and square, and any water that’s seeped in removed. So be prepared to do some last minute work – and bear in mind that you may be asked to dig a little deeper if soil conditions aren’t quite as expected.
Andy Butchers is a building surveyor with over 25 years’ experience in the construction industry. He is a Director of Build-Zone Survey Services. He regularly shares his knowledge to help self builders and renovators avoid and overcome issues with their projects. You can read more expert advice from Andy by visiting Build It’s Self-Build Zone directory page.
Foundations for Timber Frame can be Simpler & Cheaper
Consider this. A typical 2 storey 150m2 house will weight around:
Brick & Block superstructure = 80 MT
Timber frame + brick skin = 48 MT
Timber frame + timber cladding = 15 MT
(see How Much Does the Timber Frame for a House Weigh?)
So at around 1/5th the weight of an all-masonry superstructure, a timber frame will need less money spending on foundations – whatever the ground conditions. And that translates into easier designs, faster builds, lower costs, higher profits and/or lower house prices.
DfMA to the fore!
To realise these benefits does, of course, need the architectural designer to understand not just that Timber Frame is lighter, but the way in which such buildings work as a structure. In turn this requires an appreciation of the way they are manufactured. Transported and assembled on-site. All of this entails a shift in thinking to what is now increasingly referred to as DfMA - Design for Manufacture & Assembly. This is already available via established ‘Off-Site’ manufacturers and is quickly and easily incorporated into procedures and processes of building and development. Better still, you can make partnering arrangements with such manufacturers to gain all round benefits.
Technologically ‘SMART’ Homes
As Off-Site Construction matures into DfMA it is clearly at the forefront in turning construction workers into technical deliverer and enablers for such delivery. At the same time it is exceptionally well placed to incorporate rapidly increasing demand from buyers for their new homes to be ‘Smart’, e.g. by the incorporation of energy saving and TIoT (the internet of things) to deliver major components.
Greater Speed, Accuracy, Quality and Lower Costs via Collaborative Partnering
Greater collaborative ‘partnering’ between architects, builders and manufacturers will accomplish this The greater speed, accuracy and quality that can result from manufacturing components in a dry, controlled factory environment, together with the ability tom incorporate (yet to be invented) ‘Smart Ware’ gives home builders perhaps the only way of achieving this, together with improved on-site build quality AND controlling costs.
While resistance to the change to DfMA has been the norm, the wish of most UK Builders to deliver excellent customer service and top notch homes is now driving an increasing number to choose Off-Site for their developments. Also, as ‘OffSite Hub” note, architects and designers are moving toward DfMA, something w have been encouraging for over 20 years. The emergence of LA Developers will only speed up this process.
Easy Timber Frame
To assist them in doing so our “Easy Timber Frame “ now offers standard size modular timber frame elements for them to use as a design base, cutting down on technical design and engineering to produce win-win results.