The layman’s guide to under construction homes

Have you ever felt lost while talking to your realtor? They go on about super built up and carpet areas, OSR and loading factor, and substructure and masonry work – leaving you frantically trying to understand what it means. But apart from making sense of what your real estate agent is saying, there are many reasons why you must familiarize yourself with the industry terms. If you have taken the plunge into home buying, being aware of construction progress will save you a lot of trouble and heartache.

Let’s take a look at the key stages of building construction.

·       Mobilisation – This is a preparatory stage to make the plot ready for construction. In this stage the construction manager checks that all statutory requirements are met and planning conditions satisfied. The main goal of this stage is to ensure that construction goes smoothly and as such it aims to streamline processes and make all the necessary materials and facilities available on site. For instance, Mobilisation could include property fencing, transport of construction tools and equipment, and labourer shed construction.

·       Ground Work – Groundwork is a very important phase of construction. This stage provides the necessary strength to hold the building’s weight later. This is when ground is levelled, plot is cleaned, the layout of the building created, and initial excavations done for laying the foundations. Often laying the utilities installations like cabling, drains, fibre optic cables, water pipes, telephone lines, and gas pipes are also included in this phase.

·    Sub Structure Work – Coming after the groundwork, the substructure is the foundation of a building and necessary to support the main structure above. In a broad sense all structural work below ground level such as – foundation, basement, sub-floors, neck columns, grade beams etc. – is covered under this phase.

·    Super Structure Work – Super structure is the part of the building that is above the ground level. This is the main part of the building that will mostly be in use for the intended purpose as a residence or commercial space. Commonly included components in the super structure work are the frame, upper floors, windows, roof, doors, and external wall openings, stairs and ramps, partitions, internal walls, balustrades, cubicles, lintel, parapet, movable room dividers, doors, hatches, sunshade, etc. This is a good time to check for any customizations in layout you had asked for.

·    Masonry Work – This phase consists of building the structure by laying individual masonry units – bricks, concrete blocks, stone etc. – with cement mortar. In this phase you can actually see the intended building as everything comes together into a shape. This stage also involves plastering and levelling of the walls and ceilings and is a preparatory step for services work.

·    Services Work – By this stage, almost everything has taken form and now it’s the time to make it functional. This phase includes electrical work, sanitary work, plumbing work, etc. The equipment promised by the builder – e.g. lights, fans, bathroom fittings etc. – is also fitted during services work. As a buyer this would be a good time to inspect the layout and quality of the material.   

·    Finishing Work – We are almost at the completion of the project and just the final details remain. The finishing work gives the final touches to the building. This includes painting, carpentry work such as doors, door frames, and in some cases false ceilings.

·    Completion – As the name suggests, this is the final stage where everything is completed. This includes cleaning, final inspection, and handover to the buyer. As a buyer it would be a good time to do a complete check on what was promised vs. what is delivered. Check for any discrepancies or anything that you would like to get fixed before you take the handover.

Now that you are familiar with construction stages, you’ll have an easier time during site visits. To stay updated on real estate trends and terms, subscribe to our newsletter.

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