Residential building construction process

Looking to know how the house construction process is carried out? Here is a step by step overview of the residential building construction process.

House construction process is carried out as

  • Pre construction process
  • Building construction process

To know about the pre construction process – read here.

Here the building construction process from start to finish is explained clearly step by step.

You would have got a home plan in the pre construction process.

First step is to confirm the home plan as per your requirement with any changes if required.

Try to communicate properly with the one who plans your dream home before starting foundation work. After that you can only make minor changes in the home plan.

After pre-construction works the following construction process is to be followed. 

These are the step by step house construction process from start to finish and some of these steps can be carried out in different order too. 

1. Site cleaning

Here the site refers to the land where the house is to be constructed.

We have to clean the land, if there are any plants or rubbish present in the construction site. 

In somecase old house or building may be present in the site which have to be demolished and removed. It is better to remove the old building foundation also, so that it does not disturb the new foundation. 

After cleaning we have to level the land so that we can mark the plan.

2. Ground marking

After cleaning, ask the engineer or the one who you have hired to build your home, to  mark the plan in the ground. So that you will get an idea of your home size.

With the markings you can understand the size of rooms and the area you will get outside the house.

After that markings for columns should be done. 

3. Excavation works

With the column marking the placement of footing is decided.

With the column placement, the excavation for the footing work is to be done. 

The excavation is to be done as required sizes (6’×6’) or (5’×5’) or (4’×4’).

If pile foundation is to be done then excavation work is not needed. Only for the pile cap, a little excavation will be done as required.

4. Foundation works

Foundation for the residential building in tamilnadu is majorly carried out by the following methods depending upon the soil condition.

  • In shallow foundation – Isolated spread footing
  • In deep foundation – Pile foundation 

4.1 Isolated spread footing

Isolated footing is widely used in house construction foundation works. It is considered the most economical method.

This type of footing is to be used where the soil will not settle further or where rocks are present under the ground.

Once the foundation work is completed backfilling the soil is done.

4.2 Pile foundation

Pile foundation is also used in house construction foundation work. It requires more steel so it is slightly more expensive than isolated footing.

This type of pile foundation is to be used where clay soil is present or the soil may settle further. 

5. Raising ground level

Raising the ground level is increasing the ground floor level of the house above the road level.

If the site ground level is below the road level, it is necessary to increase the site ground level to road level.

In future if the road is constructed its level may increase and rain water may enter the house, in order to meet the road level in future the floor level of car parking is raised 1 to 2 feet and the house floor level increased 2.5 to 3.5 feet from the existing road level.

6. Plinth beam

The beam is to be reinforced and concreted as per required standards above the brickwork at ground floor level.

Approximately the top level of the plinth beam is to be considered as the ground floor level which is raised from road level. 

Depending upon the span between the columns, reinforcement and thickness of beam is to be done. 

7. Filling

Once the ground level is increased, various soil is used to fill the raised level.

That is the level raised from ground is to be filled with soil and consolidated in order to get proper floor level.

After consolidation the soil is allowed to dry and pcc is to be laid all over the floor.

8. Column raising

Column reinforcement from the foundation will be raised above the roof level up to the next floor. That is two or three feet above the roof level.

The reinforcement is raised up to the next floor so that lapping for next floor column reinforcement could be done easily.

Then the shuttering work for column reinforcement is to be done up to the roof level or lintel level. And concreting for all columns is to be done as per required Indian standards.

The very next day shuttering is to be removed and the curing process is to be carried out every day till starting the brick work.

9. Brick work up to sill level

Bricks are to be laid on required areas up to 2.5 or 3 feet height depending on the sill level. 

Before laying bricks, the wall alignment between columns for laying bricks is to be done and checked properly as per design requirements. As wall thickness may differ 9 inches or 4.5 inches and door openings are to be avoided without laying bricks.

Only if 

  • the wall is aligned properly between columns and 
  • vertical alignment of wall using plumb bob is done properly 

the wall alignment will be correct and plastering thickness will be at standard thickness else plastering thickness may increase.

10. Sill concrete

Concrete which is to be laid on the wall at sill level, that is concrete below the window bottom is said to be sill concrete.

Reinforcement as per required standards is to be provided in between the concrete with concrete thickness of 2 to 4 inches.

Mostly sill concrete is to be provided all over the wall at sill level, but in some cases it is provided only below the window surfaces.

11. Brick work up to lintel level

After sill concrete is laid and allowed to set. The next day bricks are to be laid above the sill concrete up to lintel level.

Lintel level is seven feet high from the floor level. The brick work is to be carried out with letting spaces for windows and  for any other openings if required. 

It is necessary to check the wall vertical alignment using a plumb bob while laying the bricks.

12. Lintel beam, sunshade and loft

As lintel, sunshade and loft are to be done at the same level, shuttering reinforcement and concreting for lintel, sunshade and loft can be done at the same time.

12.1 Lintel beam

Lintel beam is to be laid at 7 feet height. Firstly, shuttering for lintel beams is to be done. Secondly, reinforcement for lintel is to be done and finally concreting is to be done. 

Reinforcement is to be provided as required and total concrete thickness of 4 to 5 inches for lintel beam.

12.2 Sunshade

Sunshades are to be provided at 7 feet height where windows are to be placed. Sunshades are actually placed above the windows to protect windows and doors from direct sun and rain.

The size and thickness(generally 3 inches) of sunshade depends upon the design and requirement. The reinforcement of the sun shade is decided depending upon the length, width and design of the sunshade.

Shuttering works for sunshade is to be done, the reinforcement is to be placed on the shuttering and concreting is to be done.

12.3 Loft

Loft is to be placed at 7 feet height at required sides for bedroom, kitchen and storeroom. 

The thickness of the loft is to be 3 inches generally. The length and width varies depending upon the requirements. 

Shuttering for the loft is to be done after that reinforcement for loft is to be placed in the shuttering provided and then concreting for loft is to be done.

13. Brick work up to roof level

After the lintel beam is done brick work is to be done on the lintel beam till the roof level.

The brick work is to be done up to the beam bottom. Since the beam size may differ depending upon the span between the columns.

Generally the roof height is 10 feet. If the beam depth is 9 inches then brick work is to be done up to 9 feet 3 inches. If the beam depth is 1.5 feet then brick work is to be done up to 8.5 feet from floor level.

Once the brickwork up to roof level is completed. Curing is to be done for the entire brickwork.

14. Centering works for roof

Roof centering work is to be done as per the required standards.

Shuttering works are to be done as per the design and roof slab reinforcement depends upon the span length of the rooms and generally roof concrete thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

The beam reinforcement and steel rods to be used in the roof slab reinforcement is to be made ready before completing the roof shuttering works. The rod diameter and slab type is also decided as per the Indian standard requirements for reinforcement.

The slab types used in house construction are one way slab and two way slab.

After shuttering work is completed the beam reinforcement is to be placed in beam shutterings and the steel rods for the roof slab reinforcement are to be tied in a way connected with beams. 

Once the steel rods for roof slab reinforcement are done on roof shuttering. Cover blocks are to be placed below the reinforcement of the beam and roof slab.

15. Electrical works in roof

Electrical pipes are to be placed on roof slab before the roof concrete.

Electrical pipes work is to be laid on the roof so that it would be easier to pass the  wire and make wiring easy for the entire home.

After completing it is necessary to check if the electrical pipes are connected properly and whether pipes are tied properly within the roof concrete thickness.

16. Roof concrete

Before roof concrete it is necessary to check the level of the shuttering, if the level varies it is necessary to adjust the level equally by adjusting the shuttering legs.

Also needed to check whether the cover blocks are placed properly and if any cover block is damaged replace it with a new one.

Thickness of roof concrete is to be 5 to 6 inches and the reinforcement for roof beam and roof slab is to be done as required.

Roof concrete mixing can be done manually or ready made concrete mix can be used.

If roof concrete is to be done manually, make sure the availability of needed materials for roof concrete such as jelly, sand, water and electricity. 

17. Roof concrete curing

When roof concrete is completed. Curing for roof concrete is to be done for the next 24 days.

The very next day the side shutterings are to be removed and a small hump called pathi in tamil, is to be constructed by dividing the roof slab area. 

This pathi is constructed in order to store water on roof slab for curing. It is necessary to keep the roof slab wet without getting dry so that concrete can attain its maximum strength.

It is better to keep water on roof concrete for 24 days or atleast of 14 days. This practice is said to be a proper roof concrete curing process.

18. Deshuttering

Deshuttering is the process of removing the shutters or molds. The beam and roof shutters are to be removed after 14 days of roof concrete. 

If the span length of the roof slab is shorter, then shutterings can be removed after 7 to 10 days of roof concrete.

Even after deshuttering curing for roof concrete is to be carried out. 

19. Electrical works

Once the walls are dried after the curing process. Piping for electrical work is to be done at required places.

Need to make a decision finally where to place the switchboards in each room and place the switchboard boxes and pipe works to be completed for each switchboard box.

The electrical pipes and switchboard boxes are placed by cutting the wall at required measurements and placing the pipes, switchboards boxes inside the wall surface.

20. Windows and door frames

Door frames are to be made ready and placed at the respective door openings.

Placing the door frames is considered as an auspicious moment and generally people worship the god and place the main door frame followed by the other door frames. Some people even like to conduct pooja while placing the main door frame. 

Windows frames for wooden windows are also to be made ready and fixed in the window opening at respective windows.

21. Plastering works

Plastering work is considered to be time consuming work. As of now you would think the house construction process is as fast as you expected. But from plastering work till completion it would be slower than you expect.

Plastering is to be done by using the cement mortar. Cement mortar is a mix of sand, cement and water at a particular ratio of Indian standards.

Plastering work is to be done on inner and outer walls. The thickness of plastering is around 12 mm but it can vary depending upon the vertical alignment of the wall and the surface level of bricks as some bricks size may vary.

During inner plastering first the ceiling is to be done and then walls are to be done.

If plastering of a wall is finished, then from the next day curing for that wall must be started. Curing can be done at least for 7 days and continued till 28 days.

22. Plumbing works

After completing plastering work and its curing period. The plumbing work is to be started.

Water tank is to be placed at the planned area. 

The water pipe from borewell to tank is to be connected, which is said to be inlet pipe to tank. Then pipes from the tank are to be taken to toilets, kitchen and for other required places which is said to be outlet pipe from tank.

The pipes which are to be taken inside the house are to be placed inside the walls by cutting the walls for required space for pipes. Outside the house pipes are to be placed on the surface of walls.

Outlet pipe connection for waste water from the wash basin, kitchen, toilet and other areas are to be done. Connection from toilet to septic tank is also to be done.

The plumbing pipe size and type vary according to the place it is to be used.

After completing the plumbing works, patch work for the walls is to be done. That is where the wall is cut and pipes are placed, those places are to be plastered.

23. Painting works

After completing all patch works, the painting process can be started.

First 2 coats of primer are to be painted on the outside walls of the house. Next 1 or 2 coat primer is to be completed on the inner walls.

Then 2 coats of patty and first coat of colour paint for the inner walls are to be completed. Some people may like to do colour paint on the walls after laying the tiles.

24. Tile laying

Tiles are to be purchased for each and every room before starting the tile laying.

Before laying tile the floor level must be checked for each room and the tiling level for the entire house is to be decided.

Tiles are to be laid on the wall and floor at required places. Mostly wall tiles are to be used on the kitchen area, wash basin area, toilets and sometimes on elevation of house also. 

Generally floor tile size used is 2 by 2 feet and wall tile is 1.5 feet by 1 feet. Even big size tiles are also used for floor and wall. 

If a staircase is present inside the house it’s better to lay tiles for steps also.

After laying tiles, grouting for tiles is to be done.

25. All finishers

Once laying tiles is completed. All finishing works can be started one by one. 

25.1 Electrical

Entire wiring work for the house is to be done. The wiring process is a bit complex and takes some time. 

Once wiring is done switches are to be placed on the switchboard tops and connection for all switches to be done. Switchboard tops are to be placed on switchboard boxes. Each switchboard is to be completed and checked.

25.2 Plumbing

Plumbing fittings are to be purchased and provided to the plumber.

Plumber needs to fit all the taps, showers, closets, washbasins, and other fittings at respective places. 

Once all fittings are fixed, the outlet from the tank must be opened and checked for water leakage.

25.3 Windows fixing

Window shutters for wooden windows are to be made ready and fixed on windows with glasses.

Handles and locks for wooden windows are to be placed. And make sure windows open and close properly.

If upvc windows are to be used, the measurement for windows can be taken after plastering is completed for the window openings and upvc windows can be fixed directly as it is made ready to fix from the companies.

25.4 Door fixing

Doors for all rooms to be purchased and fixed.

The door handles, door stopper and door locks are to be fixed. And make sure doors open and close properly.

Toilet doors are also to be fixed.

25.5 Painting

If the teak wood main door is fixed, varnish for the teak door is to be done. Bedroom ready made door side edges are to be pained with matching colours of doors.

Window grills and safety gates are to be painted.

Outer sides of the house are to be painted with selected colours. Now the final coat of colour paint is to be done for the inside of the entire house.

Residential building construction process – completed

Here the entire residential building construction process is completed. But nowadays without interior work a house is not said to be completed.

26. Interior works

The below mentioned are the basic interior which people expect to be done for their dream homes.

  • Modular Kitchen
  • Tv-units
  • Pooja unit
  • Wardrobes
  • False ceiling

Make sure you are ready to spend on interior work and then start the work.

27. House warming

House warming is to be done by making a pooja after completing the entire house.

During house warming people like to invite all their friends and family to show them their newly constructed dream home and serve food to them.

28. Dream come true moment

Finally the day arrived to own a house with your hard earned money. The night while staying in your dream home will make an emotional connection and you will have a peaceful night.

Definition for common terms

The below common terms are used in explaining the residential building construction process.

1. What is shuttering in construction?

Shuttering, also known as framework, is the temporary structure or mold used to support and shape freshly poured concrete until it hardens and gains sufficient strength to stand on its own.

2. What is reinforcement in construction?

Reinforcement refers to the use of steel rods within concrete structures to enhance their strength, durability, and load-bearing capacity.

3. What is PCC?

PCC stands for Plain Cement Concrete. It is made by mixing cement, fine aggregates (usually sand), coarse aggregates (usually crushed stone), and water in a specified proportion.

4. What is RCC?

RCC stands for Reinforced Cement Concrete. It is made by mixing cement, sand, aggregate, water, and reinforcement (usually steel bars or mesh). 

The addition of reinforcement improves the tensile strength of the concrete, making it suitable for various purposes. RCC is used to create structural elements like beams, columns, slabs, and walls.

5. What is sill level?

The sill level refers to the base of a window. The sill level is a reference point during construction to ensure that all window openings are at the same level.

6. What is curing?

Curing is the process of maintaining adequate moisture and time to allow concrete or cement plaster to achieve its desired strength and durability. Also helps in reducing the surface cracking.

To check during residential building construction process

Keep an eye and check the below mentioned during the house construction process.

1. Doors and windows placement

Beforing starting brickwork make sure you are convinced with the window placements and door placements.

2. Rod detailing

Check with the diameter of the steel rods used from foundation to roof and check whether it meets the structural needs.

3. Curing process

Curing must be done properly. Curing will help the structure to gain maximum strength and reduce surface cracks.

Final words

Here the house construction process is explained in a simple way where any one can understand.

To know about the residential construction cost per sq ft – Read here.

Share with your friends and family who are going to build their new home. 

And also share with civil engineering students who may need to know the residential building construction process.

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