House Construction

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Home building by stages.




To do:
Economic, land ownership and license information, explain that every house construction budget will always exceed expectations, even if the overhead percentage is mostly a fixed figure, climate, workforce and economic environment will always affect the "plan".

Punch list[edit]

Contractor and Home Owner "To Do"

Setting the Stage[edit]

Building Orientation[edit]

Orientation is defined as the position of building in relation to seasonal variation in the sun's path as wall as prevailing wind pattern


To do:
Orientation regarding the Sun (light and warmth), in relation to ground features or adjacent infrastructures.

Grading, Terra-planing and Site Preparation[edit]

A house under construction in Milyanfan village, apparently with both adobe bricks and regular bricks being used.

The site you are building on should be flat, with no lumps or hillocks. to level, you could hire a bulldozer and go over the land with the blade close to the ground to remove all lumps or hillocks. If the plot is on a severe incline then lay stilts out so that you can lay out a floor level on top of them.

At times ground filling has to be done to raise ground to the required level.

Foundation Construction[edit]

Oxnard, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2004) -- Members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four (NMCB-4) work to level concrete in the foundation of a Habitat for Humanity house located in Oxnard, Calif. NMCB-4 is home ported in Port Hueneme, Calif. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Philip Forrest.

An integral part of home building as the structure will depend on it for load-bearing and to survive the environment. Considerations will not stop on immediate necessities like soil structure and characteristics but must be planed to deal with the probability of drastic environmental hazards, from floods, earthquakes even tornadoes.

In most construction, concrete is used as foundation. It is laid into a trench up to 3 or 4 feet deep, and provides a very solid foundation for whatever building material used. There are many different types of foundations.

The most typical foundation is made up of a footing which is the portion of the steel reinforced concrete that bears on the undisturbed soil. Footings are typically 12" 16" up to 36" inches wide by 10" to 12" deep depending on the soil on which they are bearing.

A foundation wall is general applied over the footing to above grade. Foundation walls are typically 8" wide and terminate 8' above the finished grade. like column footing , pile, raft etc. these are used as per condition of soil. Waterproofing, dam-proofing and drainage are typically applied at the exterior of the foundation and footing. This is particularly important when building in wet soils.

The foundation is the most critical part of any structure. The structural failures due to faulty workmanship or to an insufficient thickness of the walls are rare in comparison with those due to defective foundations. When it is necessary, as so frequently it is at the present day, to erect gigantic edifices—as high buildings or long-span bridges—on weak and treacherous soils, the highest constructive skill is required to supplement the weakness of the natural foundation by such artificial preparations as will enable it to sustain the load with safety.

Natural Foundations. The soils comprised under this head may be divided into two classes. (1) Those whose stability is not affected by water, and which are firm enough to support the structure, such as rock, compact gravels, and hard clay, and (2) soils which are firm enough to support the weight of the structure, but whose stability is affected by water, such as loose gravels., sand, clay and loam.

Foundations on Rock. To prepare a rock foundation, all that is generally necessary is to cut away the loose and decayed portions and to dress the surface so exposed to a plane as nearly perpendicular to the direction of the pressure as practicable; or, if the rock forms an inclined plane, to cut a series of plane surfaces, like those of steps, for the walls to rest upon. If there are any fissures in the rock they should be filled with concrete.

Foundations on Gravel, Etc. In dealing with soils of this kind usually nothing more is required than to cover them with a layer of concrete of width and depth sufficient to distribute the weight properly.

Foundations on Sand. Sand is almost incompressible so long as it is not allowed to spread out laterally, but as it has no cohesion, and acts like a fluid when exposed to running water, it must be treated with great caution.

Foundations on Clay. Clay is much affected by the action of water, and hence the ground should be well drained before the work is begun, and the trenches so arranged that water does not remain in them. In general, the less a soil of this kind is exposed to the action of the air, and the sooner it is protected from exposure, the letter for the work. The top of the footings must be carried below the frost line to prevent heaving, and for the same reason the outside face of the wall should be built with a slight batter and perfectly smooth. The frost line attains a depth of six feet in some of the northern states.

The tearing power of clay and loamy soils may be greatly increased: (1) By increasing the depth. (2) By drainage. This may be accomplished by a covering of gravel or sand, the thickness depending upon the plasticity of the soil, and by surrounding the foundation walls with a tile drain. If springs are encountered the water may be excluded by sheet pilings, puddling or plugging the spring with concrete. (3) By consolidating the soil. This may te done by driving short piles Hose together, or by driving piles, then withdrawing them air filling the space immediately with damp sand well rammed. If the soil is very loose and wet, sand will not be effective, and concrete will be found more satisfactory.

Artificial Foundations. When the ground in its natural state is too soft to bear the weight of the proposed structure, recourse must be had to artificial means of support, and, in doing this, whatever mode of construction is adopted, the principle must always be that of extending the bearing surface as much as possible.

Foundations on Mud, silt, marshy or compressible soils are generally formed in one of three ways: (1) By driving piles in which the footings are supported. (2) By spreading the footings either by-layers of timber, steel beams, or concrete, or a combination of either. (3) By sinking caissons of iron or steel, excavating the soil from the interior, and filling with concrete.



To do:
Complete, explain the difference and consideration regarding terrain quality and building height and load, including support structures.



To do:
Beyond esthetics there needs to be a consideration to the load and function and maintenance, these include for example the need to accommodate solar equipment, to collect rain water, to prevent and combat fire, to let natural light pass and the types of snow fall (wet snow will require the capacity to sustain a higher load).

Structural building[edit]

Rough Framing[edit]

The Framing begins with the anchoring of the studs to the concrete foundation. Walls are constructed of Wood Studs typical 16" on center - framing studs come in 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 2 x 8, 2 x10 and lengths of 6,8,10,12 feet and longer. Floor/Ceiling joists are typically an engineered lumber product, as are the Roof Trusses, both ordered to size. Sheer Walls are constructed by sheathing the stud walls with plywood on one or both sides - used primarily in earthquake regions. Exterior walls are sheathed with plywood or oriented strand board and usually a Owens Corning Rigid Insulation Product.

There are no Federal Building Codes, each State and then County adopts its own building and safety codes. Typically a framing inspection, electrical inspection and plumbing inspection is required prior to walls being insulated and/or dry-walled.


Masonry structures are those built of stone, or of stone-like (petrous) materials, leading to confusion since at times this activity is also referred to as Stone Masonry. The enduring character of masonry structures, the relative simplicity of the processes involved, the pleasing outlines usually obtained, together with the almost universal availability of the materials and the consequent moderate cost, render masonry construction one of the most important of the builder's activities. It is often used in creating the building foundations, walls, linings.

LIGAO, Philippines (June 26, 2007) - Senior Chief Builder James Brooks, attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7, carefully places mortar on a concrete block on a house being built in support of Pacific Partnership 2007. More than 50 Sailors contributed to the project with an aim to complete 35 new houses. A detachment of Seabees from NMCB-7 is attached to amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) to assist the Philippine government in selected construction and engineering projects. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Jackson .

To do:
Complete... Brick Firebox & Chimney Construction and installation of Prefabricated Firebox Inserts with Flue/Dampers

Footing courses[edit]

Footing courses are the bottom courses in masonry; they are generally built to extend beyond the face of the wall and to cover a greater area than the base of the regular wall. Footing courses distribute the weight of a structure over a great area, thus diminishing liability of settlement and increasing stability. Always use the largest stones in the footing courses; they should be laid upon their natural beds and well bonded into the wall so as to avoid the possibility of shearing off that portion of the footing course which projects beyond the face of the wall; also care should be observed, to keep all joints in this projecting portion of the footing courses, especially in brickwork, as far as possible back of face of wall. Stones used in footing courses should be at least eight inches thick and two or three feet on other dimensions. Footing courses should extend, at the bottom, at least twelve inches beyond the face of the wall.

Lime mortar[edit]

Usage: sticking stone and brick together

Fat limes (that is, limes which are pure, as opposed to hydraulic, water transferring limes which are burnt from limestone containing some clay) should not be used for mortar; they are slow-setting, and there is a liability for some of the mortar, where there is not a free access of air to assist the setting, remaining soft for some considerable period, often months, thus causing unequal settlement and possibly failure. Grey stone lime is feebly hydraulic, and makes a good mortar for ordinary work. It however, decays under the influence of the weather. It should never be used in foundation work, or where exposed to wet. Lias lime is hydraulic, that is, it will set firm under water. It should be used in all good class work.

Ordinary lime mortar may have its strength considerably enhanced by the addition of a small proportion of Portland cement.

Roman cement is rarely used for mortar, but is useful in some cases on account of the rapidity with which it sets, usually becoming hard about fifteen minutes after mixing. It is useful in tidal work and embankments, and constructions under water. It has about one-third of the strength of Portland cement, by which it is now almost entirely supplanted.

Selenitic cement or lime, invented by Major-General H. V. D. Scott (1822-1883), is lias lime, to which a small proportion of plaster of Paris has been added with the object of suppressing the action of slaking and inducing quicker setting. If carefully mixed in accordance with the instructions issued by the manufacturers, it will take a much larger proportion of sand than ordinary lime.

Lime should be slaked before being made into mortar. The lime is measured out, deposited in a heap on a wooden " bank " or platform, and after being well watered is covered with the correct proportion of sand. This retains the heat and moisture necessary to thorough slaking; the time required for this operation depends on the variety of the lime, but usually it is from a few hours to one and a half days. If the mixing is to be done by hand the materials must be screened to remove any unslaked lumps of lime. The occurrence of these may be prevented by grinding the lime shortly before use. The mass should then be well "larried", i.e. mixed together with the aid of a long-handled rake called the "tarry." Lime mortar should be tempered for at least two days, roughly covered up with sacks or other material. Before being used it must be again turned over and well mixed together.

Roman cement mortars must be mixed as required on account of its quick-setting properties. Fresh Roman cement mixtures must be made several times a day, as near as possible to the place of using.

Cement mortars should never be worked up after setting has taken place. Care should be taken to obtain the proper consistency, which is a stiff paste. If the mortar be too thick, extra labor is involved in its use, and much time wasted. If it be so thin as to run easily from the trowel, a longer time is taken in setting, and the wall is liable to settle; also there is danger that the lime or cement will be killed by the excess of water, or at least have its binding power affected.

It is not advisable to carry out work when the temperature is below freezing point, but in urgent cases bricklaying may be successfully done by using unslaked lime mortar. The mortar must be prepared in small quantities immediately before being used, so that binding action takes place before it cools. When the wall is left at night time the top course should be covered up to prevent the penetration of rain into the work, which would then be destroyed by the action of frost. Bricks used during frosty weather should be quite dry, and those that have been exposed to rain or frost should never be employed. It is generally agreed, that from a practical point of view, bricklaying should not be carried on at temperatures lower than 14° to 9° F, for as the thermometer falls the expense of building is greatly increased, owing to a larger proportion of lime being required.

For grey lime mortar the usual proportion is one part of lime to two or three parts of sand; lias lime mortar is mixed in similar proportions, except for work below ground, when equal quantities of lime and sand should be used. Portland cement mortar is usually in the proportions of one to three, or five, of sand ; good results arc obtained with lime mortar fortified with cement as follows:—one part slaked lime, one part Portland cement, and seven parts sand. Roman cement mortar should consist of one or one and a half parts of cement to one part of sand. Selenitic lime mortar is usually in the proportions of one to four or five, and must be mixed in a particular manner, the lime being first pround in water in the mortar-mill, and the sand gradually added. Blue or black mortar contains equal parts of foundry ashes and lime; but is improved by the addition of a proportion of cement. For setting fire-bricks fire-clay is always used. Pargetting for rendering inside chimney flues is made of one part of lime with three parts of cow dung free from straw or litter. No efficient substitute has been found for this mixture, which should be used fresh. A mortar that has found approval for tall chimney shafts is composed by grinding in a mortar-mill one part of blue lias lime with one part each of sand and foundry ashes. I n the external walls of the Albert Hall the mortar used was one part Portland cement, one part grey Burham lime and six parts pit sand. The lime was slaked twenty-four hours, and after being mixed with the sand for ten minutes the cement was added and the whole ground for one minute; the stuff was prepared in quantities only sufficient for immediate use. The by-laws dated 1891, made by the London County Council under section 16 of the Metropolis Management and Building Acts Amendment Act 18781 require the proportions of lime mortar to be one to three of sand or grit, and for cement mortar one to four. Clean soft water only should be used for the purpose of making mortar.

Portland cement[edit]


To do:


Adobe, clay and straw bricks - hand-formed[edit]

Adobe, ado' bee, a word of Spanish origin, applies to unburnt, sun-dried bricks used in the arid regions of Mexico and the Southwest United States, and also to the peculiar clayey soil from which they are made. When moist, the soil is very plastic and can be molded into any shape, but when dry, adobe is almost unbreakable. This characteristic was recognized by the aborigines at an early date, and they not only made bowls, pitchers and other vessels from it, but shaped the muddy clay into bricks, which they laid out to dry in the sun. Adobe houses are common in Mexico and Arizona, even to-day. As they are cheap and easy to construct, they are used chiefly by the Mexicans and Indians, but many white people, who could afford other building material, prefer them because they are always cool, even in the hottest weather.

The process of making adobe bricks is simple. The wet adobe is shaped into bricks of various sizes, which are then baked by exposing them to the sun for ten days or two weeks. During this time they are turned every day. Bricks made in the same way were used by the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, and were made by the children of Israel during their enslavement in Egypt.

The art of making bricks dates from very early times, and was practiced by all the civilized nations of antiquity. Brick-making formed the chief occupation of the Israelites during their bondage in Egypt, but in this case the bricks were probably sun-dried only. These bricks were made of a mixture of clay and chopped straw or reeds, worked into a stiff paste with water. The clay was the river mud from the banks of the Nile, and as this had not sufficient cohesion in itself, the chopped straw (or reeds) was added as a binding material. The addition of such substances increases the plasticity of wet clay, especially if the mixture is allowed to stand for some days before use; so that the action of the chopped straw was twofold; a fact possibly known to the Egyptians. These sun-dried bricks, or "adobes", are still made, as of old, on the banks of the Nile by the following method — a shallow pit or bed is prepared, into which are thrown the mud, chopped straw, and water in suitable proportions, and the whole mass is tramped on until it is thoroughly mixed and of the proper consistence. This mixture is removed in lumps and shaped into bricks, in molds or by hand, the bricks being simply sun-dried.

Brick veneer on wood frame walls[edit]

When applied over wood frame walls, a weather-resistive-barrier is critical to protect the wood framing from water damage. Masonry is not waterproof.


Atlantic Beach, Fla. (May 19, 2006) - Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Amy Hamilton, left, and Machinist's Mate Fireman Andy Gomez help build a house on a Beaches Habitat construction project. Sailors from the conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) volunteered to help those in need of a home. The construction site is part of a local Habitat for Humanity chapter, where community volunteers help build homes for those in need. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Adam Herrada.

Mansard, Shed, Hip, Gamble, Saltbox and Gable can be covered in Asphalt and Wood Shingle, Terracotta Tiles, Slate Tiles, Copper Sheeting and Metal Standing Seam the most common roofing materials.

Based on geometry roofs can be classified as sloped, pitched or flat. The "pitch" of the roof is dependent on geographic location - Higher pitched roofs are typically found in cold climates but also in wet climates.

Straw and thatch[edit]


To do:
Complete... Usage: roofing

Rain Control[edit]

Depending on the architectural style the Gutter, Downspouts and Collector Box's may be exposed or built with the roofs eaves and walls.

Gulfport, Miss. (Jan. 7, 2006) - Seabees from the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One (NMCB-1) First Class Association move shingles from the ground to the roof of a house damaged by Hurricane Katrina. NMCB-1 First Class Association makes community service projects its main focus while in homeport. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Ja'lon A. Rhinehart.


Load-bearing walls[edit]


To do:
Mine wikipedia:Load-bearing wall

Commodities infrastructure[edit]


Plumbing is a trade that supports a wide variety of services found in modern buildings and urban areas. At a basic level though, it is the craft that serves to provide clean, drinkable water to homes and businesses and conducts contaminated water away from them. To learn the theory and skill needed to construct and maintain the plumbing systems for large commercial buildings, install boilers, and other complex jobs, plumbers often receive years of training. However, the plumbing systems that bring hot and cold water to household fixtures (sinks, bathtubs, water closets, ...) and carry waste water away from them can be designed, built, and maintained by anyone who is willing to do careful research, invest in tools and practice, and proceed patiently and carefully with the work. It should be noted that as contracted labor only a certified professional should do plumbing in houses and commercial buildings due to the risk involved in maintaining water and sewer. The certification provides a level of guarantee about the capabilities of the professional and in some locations guarantees an insurance covering errors and damages.

Installation of Hot/Cold Supply and Waste Lines, Shower and Tub Valves, Hot Water Heater, Water Purifier/Softener and Fire Suppression System

Plumbing Codes[edit]

Many local, regional, and national governments enact regulations that apply to the way buildings are constructed. These regulations are put in place to protect citizens from dangerous conditions. The regulations that apply to a trade such as plumbing are called "codes." Codes exist for general building, electrical work, plumbing, and other aspects of construction. Governments may write their own codes or use codes developed by outside authorities.

In many cases, the regulations are developed as a result of lessons learned through accidents and injuries. As trade experts analyze the flaws in a building that cause or contribute to fires, poisoning, falls, or other mishaps, they add rules to the relevant codes to reduce the chance of recurrence.

Plumbing codes are often associated with inspections. An inspection is done by a trade expert, designated by a government body, who checks work being done to a building to make sure that it is done according to the code. Some government bodies do not inspect work being done. There is a minimum standards code regulated by the U.S. government called the BOCA code. The only places that do not regulate and inspect plumbing are doing so illegally and should probably be avoided as the potential for drinking water contamination is extremely high. Many states have their own code but it can only be more stringent than the BOCA code, not less. One historical figure who gave momentum to the use of building codes in the United States was the early American Benjamin Franklin.

Water Supply[edit]


Drainage and Venting[edit]

The drain should be at least 1 1/2" and should enter a pipe, sized by local plumbing codes, before exiting the structure to septic tank or sewer system. The ptrap of a lavatory or drinking fountain may be 1 1/4", no horizontal waste pipe under 1 1/2" should ever be installed and should in no case carry a fixture load beyond the size of a double lavatory OR a bathtub, but not both. A 2" pipe is needed for a kitchen sink or shower unit.

Most states require at least one 3" vent through the roof, this is usually the vent serving the bathroom fixtures. Other vents may usually penetrate the roof at 2". Local codes influence the height of the pipe through the roof usually 12" to 24", depending on how far north you are located.

Septic/Sewage Systems[edit]

How the septic tank system works - A typical septic system, consists of an underground tank, a distribution line and a soil absorption drainage field. Waste water leaves the home through an underground pipe connected to the septic tank. Baffles in the septic tank slow the flow of the incoming waste water and prevent sewage from flowing directly through the tank. Heavier solids settle to the bottom and accumulate as sludge.

The septic tank system is a natural sewage treatment and disposal system. By natural we mean that it relies on bacteria to digest and clean the waste water. Septic systems are biological systems and must have bacteria to work. The bacteria in the septic tank literally eat & digest the solids in the tank turning them into liquids and gases.

Raw household waste water will quickly clog all but the most porous gravel formations. A septic tank is a watertight chamber, which conditions the waste water to reduce clogging so that it may be more readily absorbed into the soil. The septic tank separates the settable and floatable solids, promotes the growth of anaerobic bacteria necessary to decompose the solids, and provides storage for the resulting sludge and scum.

Constructing a septic tank system:

  • Septic tanks should be located where they will not cause contamination of any well, spring or any other source of water supply.
  • The septic tank should not be located closer than 10 feet from any building. The tank should not be located in swampy areas, or in areas subject to flooding.
  • Slopes greater than 25 percent will cause considerable difficulty in construction, and may slide once they become saturated with effluent.
  • There must be no permanent cover placed over the septic tank or lateral lines.





HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)[edit]

Furnace/Air Conditioner Unit Installation, Supply/Return Air Ducts, Exhaust Ducts, Radiant Floor Systems, Air Purifier/Humidity Systems and Vacuum Systems.

How to reduce HVAC energy cost[edit]

Most home owners already have a HVAC system on their house to help them control temperature on summer and winter season. Too much cold can bring you sickness that is why heater is very helpful. And in summer season, air conditioner is very useful on cooling down your house.

Having a HVAC system installed in your house can definitely make your electricity bill high. Since it uses electricity, it will definitely increase your energy cost.

Using HVAC system on winter and summer season is inevitable. You might want to know how to reduce your HVAC energy cost.

Here are some tips on how to reduce your HVAC energy cost:

Maintenance- If you haven’t attended a maintenance program on your HAVC system, make sure you hire a HVAC service company to check your HVAC to see if it is working well. They will check if the parts are still in good condition and if your HVAC system heats and cools well. If you don’t maintain your HVAC system, it will soon get into worst condition.

Stable temperature- You also need to know the right temperature for you HVAC system. Most HVAC system have their temperature range to ensure its efficiency. You can check the HVAC system’s manual or consult a HVAC technician to know the most energy efficient temperature range. When using your HVAC system, don’t instantly put it on a higher temperature. For example, if it is a hot day, don’t put the thermostat on a higher level, you must first remove the heat using low temperature then make it high when the heat is gone.

Change Air filters- You also need to change the air filters of your HVAC system for at least once a month. It is to make sure that your HVAC system has uninterrupted and smooth air flow. Don’t be so lazy on changing it, remember that it will cost you a lot if your HVAC system malfunctioned. Most people don’t change an air filter. That is why their energy cost is rising and the worst is, they pay for the service of the HVAC technician because their HVAC malfunctioned.

Help control the temperature- When you are using your HVAC system, you can also help to control the temperature in your house. For example, it is very hot in your room. In order to make your room cool easily, you need to put curtains on your windows to block the heat rays from the sun.

You also need to make sure that your windows and doors are closed. You can also use the fan to spread the cold air in your room. Air conditioner will take so long on making your room cools if heat rays are entering your room and the windows and doors are open.

You need to know proper way of using and some other things about HVAC system so that you can prevent it from malfunctioning, spending money on the HVAC service and electricity bill.

Central Heating[edit]

Energy Harness[edit]

Water as a Heat Transporter[edit]

Water and Heat in Practice[edit]

Water Flow in Pipes[edit]

Pumped Water Flow in Piping Systems

Elements of Heat Transfer[edit]

Practical Aspects of Heat Transfer[edit]

System Design Basic[edit]


An important document to read is the IEE Wiring Regulations (or equivalent).

Installation of Transformers, Service Panels, Switches, Outlets, GFI Outlets, Jboxs, Recessed Light Fixtures, Exhaust Fans, Fire/Security Horns and Emergency Lighting

Low-voltage systems[edit]

installation of wiring for Security Camera/Alarm, Telephone/Intercom/Internet Communications, Audio/Video Components, LV Light Fixtures and Home Automation Controllers

Exterior details[edit]

Exterior Wall Surfaces[edit]

Materials as Stucco, Brick, Stone, Wood Clapboard and Shingle are all cladding products. Modern wood frame construction requires the installation of a weather-resistive-barrier (WRB) under the cladding. The WRB provides the primary function of protecting the structure from water.

Exterior Cast Stone[edit]

Door/Window Surrounds, Eaves, Balconies, Columns/Pilasters and Steps/Coping

Exterior Openings[edit]

Installation of Exterior Windows, Doors, Roof Hatch and Skylights requires weather proofing be at its best.

Door & Window Hardware[edit]

Installation of Door Hinges, Knobs/Lever, Cremone/Lock, Thresholds and Window Locks/Cranks "Taqi". Although older houses may still contain single glazed wooden framed windows and doors; modern house usually have a steel or aluminum reinforced uPVC framed double glazed system. These window systems are fixed to the preformed concrete ope by use of usually a galvanized steel fixing bracket which clips to the frame of the window or door and is fix back to reveal.

The window will sit either on the upstand of a pre-cast concrete cill or onto a PVC of aluminum PPC cill. A silicone sealant or expandable foam can be used to weather the window or door once in place.

Doors may have to be sunk a few millimeters in order to achieve the correct height of threshold depending on building regulations governing the use of the door.

Interior details[edit]


A fundamental principle in building. It the means by which the interior environment can be made thermally comfortable. Insulation works by limiting the loss of heat from a relatively warm environment to a relatively cold environment. This is achieved in a number of ways:

Limiting Convection (air) heat loss. Most forms of insulation (such as polystyrene and fiberglass) contain cellular structures that trap air. This trapped air acts as a barrier to the passage of air through the insulating material.

Limiting Radiation heat loss Insulating materials are generally good at limiting radiated heat by reflecting it in the same way that a mirror reflects light. Shiny metals such as aluminum are good at reflecting heat, and this material is often used as a backing for insulated panels.

Interior Wall Surfaces[edit]

Drywall, Plaster, Wood Panel and Tile/Stone/Brick are typical selections.

Interior Wall/Ceiling Finishes[edit]

Primed, Painted, Stained, Wallpaper, Faux Finishes and Venetian Plasters


Floor Coverings (Carpet/Area Rugs), Window Coverings (Drapes/Shades and Sun Control: Window Tint)


Wall Paneling, Coffered Ceiling, Decorative Beams, BaseBoard, Door/Window Casing, Applied Wall Molding, Crown/Cornice Moldings, Columns/Pilasters Overdoor, Staircase Balustrades/Hand Rail and Fireplace Mantels

Wood Flooring[edit]

Wood Plank, Strip and Parquet, Decorative Inlays/Boarders and Staircase Risers/Treads

Stone & Tile[edit]

Ceramic/Terracotta, Terrazo, Concrete, Mosaics and Inlays Floors, Bathroom Walls/Showers/Tub Decks, Fireplace Mantels/Surrounds/Hearths, Countertops/Backsplash, Staircase Risers/Risers, Columns/Pedestals and Exterior Terrace/Walks/Paths/Drives


Wrought Iron Railings, Doors/Windows, Pedestrian/Auto Gates, Fences and Grilles. Copper Awnings, Chimney Caps and Hoods


Built In Bookcases/Desks, Powder Room Pullmans, Bathroom & Kitchen Cabinetry, Pantry/Linen Shelving and Closetry

Finish HVAC[edit]

Decorative Grilles/Diffusers and Controller Trims.

Finish Plumbing[edit]

Installation of Fixtures (Bidet/Toilet), Trims of Faucet/Drain Fittings, Connect Tub/Sink Drains and Volume Tests

Kitchen faucet[edit]

Materials and Tools[edit]

Sink mount kitchen faucet installation tools:

  • Basin wrench
  • Plumbers tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Rags
  • Plumber's putty
  • Copper tube cutter
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 1/2" faucet supply hoses (2)
  • Flashlight
  • Philips and flathead screw drivers

Replacement kitchen faucet:

  1. Check that appropriate contents have been supplied--compare to contents on box.
  2. Instructions.

Wall mount Kitchen Faucet tools will include similar to above and a pipe wrench plus threaded pipes, possible requirements like pipe extractor, hammer and chisel to modify the wall.

Finish Electrical[edit]

Switch/Outlet Covers, Recessed Lighting Trims, Installation of Decorative Light Fixtures (Chandeliers/Sconce/Lanterns)


Kitchen Refrigerator/Freezer, Range, Ovens, Hoods, Dishwasher, Ice makers, Wine Coolers. Laundry Washer and Dryers

Interior Doors[edit]

Installation of Jambs for Pocket/French/BiFold type doors.


Decorative Leaded and Etched Glass Window/Doors, Shower and Tub Doors/Enclosures and Wall Mirror used in house. False wall and beam used gypsum board. Supporting system e.g steel channel for installation gypsum board.


Landscape Watering[edit]

Sprinkler, Driblers

Landscape Pool/Spa[edit]

Swimming Pool, Spa, Fountains and Reflecting Pools

Landscape Hardscape[edit]

Walls, Terraces, Walks, Stairs, Curbs and Driveways

Landscape Structures[edit]

Gazebo, Cabana, Canvas Awnings and BBQ/Cooking Areas

Landscape Plantings[edit]

Lawn, Trees, Shrubs, Flowers and Potted Plants

Landscape Lighting[edit]

Path/Walk, Stair, Plant/Tree, Water Features and Security


External links


  • Independent Builder: Designing & Building a House Your Own Way by Sam Clark, Real Goods Independent Living Books
  • Do-It-Yourself Housebuilding: The Complete Handbook by George Nash
  • IEE Wiring Regulations
  • UK Building Regulations, NBS for Department for Communities and Local Government, Crown Copyright 2008