Different Building Materials and Their Uses

Indeed, there are endless options for building materials that you can choose from when planning a construction project. However, each material usually has unique characteristics and qualities that make them either ideal or unsuitable for certain construction activities. Nevertheless, the following are the key building materials and their recommended uses. 

Concrete or Reinforced Concrete (RCC)

This is one of the most popular building materials for residential, commercial, and industrial construction. Concrete, or its reinforced form called RCC, is used in many building tasks including the foundation whereby it is usually incorporated with steel. Concrete is also used in flooring as well as other interior and exterior structural works. 

Stones/ Mud Bricks 

Natural stone has continued to be a material of choice for various kinds of construction projects. Stone is available in different forms including granite and marble, which are highly durable, beautiful, and resilient. Mud bricks come from dried clay and, also quite sustainable. Stone and mud bricks are mainly used on columns, walls, floors, and interior structures. 

Steel and Aluminum 

Steel and aluminum are the most commonly used metals in construction. Apart from their immense strength, those metals are also sustainable with outstanding fire resistance properties. They are mainly used in structural parts that require reinforcements like the foundation, wall columns, staircases, doors, windows, and plumbing. 

Wood 

Various types of wood are used in construction including teak, oak, pine and timber. Wood is stable, durable, and beautiful with great insulation properties. Woodworks in many areas such as the flooring, staircases, doors, ceilings, cabinets, garden, and interior finishes. 

Glass 

Despite its fragility, glass is durable, insulating, and quite luxurious. As such, it works great both indoors and outdoors. Glass is mainly used in cladding, facades, partitions, doors, windows, and lighting. 

Generally, there are other building materials that you may also need when constructing a house. However, you should understand the qualities of each material and its applications to determine the most suitable building materials for your project.

Things Not to Forget when Building a Home

Building a home entails a lot of activities that could easily leave your head spinning. In the rush to put things together and meet project deadlines, there are several things that you can easily forget. The following are some of the most essential things that you should never forget when building a home. 

Securing the Sub-Floors 

The sub-floor is the platform onto which the entire structure will rest. As a result, even the slightest mistakes in its construction could have dire consequences on the safety and longevity of your home. If you are building a home that goes more than one floor high, it is recommended that the sub-floors are strongly secured with nail screws or liquid nails to hold it in position. 

Placement of Lighting Fixtures and Electric Outlets 

On most occasions, builders are never keen on the placement of light switches and lights. Sometimes, you may find out that the fixtures are placed in very inconvenient locations or left out. The same could also happen with power outlets. All those should be corrected before the completion of the building. 

Extra Building Materials 

Even with the best home construction plan, things may not always go according to your expectations. Some materials may be damaged during transportation. On the other hand, you may also require some changes after the start of construction. To avoid stalling the project due to a lack of materials, you should always order extra. Even if the materials are not used in the initial construction, they may still come in handy during a home remodeling. 

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are other important things that you should also never forget when constructing a home including the placement of entertainment systems, cabinets, door swing directions, A/C ventilation, water heater placement, and shower head height. To make sure that you have everything needed for your home construction, it is advisable to prepare a checklist and use it to inspect the progress.  Always remember to check in with the national association home builder site for any update to do lists they may recommend over time. Click here.

Smart Ways to Save Money when Building a Home

The costs of home construction are among the greatest challenges that most people encounter when planning to build. A majority of people usually fear that the projects could cost more money than initially budgeted for. But, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can still save a lot of money on home construction. The following are smart ways to save money when building a home. 

Compare Bids from Multiple Contractors 

If you want to save money on home construction, you should request bids from different contractors and compare their rates before hiring. Based on the bids that you receive, carefully look into what each contractor is offering to determine the most appropriate one for your budget. You should also check the references of the contractors to ensure that you are hiring the right person that will truly meet your needs. 

Choose the Aesthetics Wisely

The decorations and finishes usually account for a significant part of the overall costs of home construction. As such, you need to be a little more conservative with the aesthetics to keep the costs on the low. Whether you want a rustic or modern look to the home, various low-cost materials can deliver the best spectacle. For instance, stone cladding can provide unique stone mimics at much cheaper costs than real stones. 

DIY (Do It Yourself)

While you need a professional to build your home, there are some minor works that you can easily perform with DIY instructions. If you are the handy type, there are some tasks that you can undertake like installation of lighting fixtures to save up on labor costs. DIY projects can be a great way to save money when building a home but, you should only perform them if you are sure of the procedures. 

Other smart money-saving measures for home construction that you should also consider include using recycled building materials and sourcing your materials. Besides, you can also opt to go green. 

Top 5 Pro Tips on How to Hire a General Contractor

Whether you’re remodeling your current home or building a new facility for your business, the success of your project depends on the building contractor you hire. It’s important that you do your due diligence before you hire a general contractor. You shouldn’t make the final decision on who to work with based on price alone. Remember your home or commercial building is a major investment, and you don’t want poor construction work. Here are tips on how to find a qualified general contractor for your new construction or remodeling project. 

Start with a Detailed Plan

Before you even think of approaching a contractor for your project, you want to find a professional designer or architect who can help you develop a detailed plan with the specifics of your construction. The plan may include interior architecture, finishes, electrical and lighting features, among other details which will provide your contractor with the information needed for accurate pricing before the project starts. 

Price out your Construction Project

At this point you already have a complete set of drawings and plans with specifications from your designer or architect. How do you price your project then? Well, you may ask your architect or your friends to recommend a few builders and contractors to whom you can send your detailed drawings and plans for pricing. Since you’re already providing the contractors with all the information about your project, they’ll have no option than to stick to their provided pricing and bids. 

Check out your Contractor’s Recent Work

After sending out your detailed plans to contractors and they’ve sent bids, the next step is to visit their most recent projects. It doesn’t matter who referred the contractors to you, make sure you get a look at their work. Compare the construction work a contractor completed recently and what they did a couple of years ago. If you like and impressed by what you see, and the owner of the building is happy with how the project was executed, there’s a good chance that the contractor will do a good job and you’ll be happy too. 

Ensure your Contractor is licensed and insured

You don’t want to be part of the statistics on homeowners and commercial property owners who were disappointed with their contractor after receiving poor quality services. Make sure you hire a licensed and insured contractor. Remember accidents are part of the norm in the construction industry. A licensed and insured contractor gives you peace of mind since you won’t be liable in case of mishaps or an accident during the construction process. 

Interview your Contractor

You’ve narrowed down to one contractor who you think is the right candidate for the job. Now it’s time to ask questions without hesitation. This is an investment you’re making and your contractor should be sensitive to your needs. They should respond to all your concerns and ensure you’re at peace before staring the project. Pick a contractor you can trust and communicate with. 

You want to hire a contractor who is committed to your complete satisfaction. They should commit to finishing your project on time and staying within your budget. It’s important that you get everything in writing before starting the job. And remember not to choose a contractor based on price. The lowest bidder might end up becoming the biggest headache and a disappointment at the end of your construction project.