The ABCs of House Construction – A Complete Guide

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Learn more about the ABCs of house construction in this handy handout.

1. Floors

Floors are one of the most important aspects of house construction. They affect both the appearance and feel of a room, so it’s essential to find the right flooring for your space.

A floor consists of a subfloor to support the floor covering and horizontal beams called joists. The joists will carry the floor’s weight, and they must be sized properly to ensure their strength.

The joists must be built to the correct depth, as specified in the building code. They must also be able to safely support the floor’s dead load and imposed live loads, such as electrical wiring or plumbing.

A solid floor can be made from timber or concrete, with a layer of screed on top. Both can be insulated to prevent heat loss. The screed must have a damp proof membrane (DPM) lapped on to it.

2. Walls

Walls are an important part of construction. They serve a number of purposes and functions, including supporting a roof and providing security. They also help to enclose spaces and divide areas within buildings.

There are many different types of walls, and each plays a specific role in a building. Understanding how to choose the right one for a particular project is essential.

For example, load-bearing walls support the weight of the structure above them and are used to direct loads to the foundation. They can also be insulated to improve energy efficiency.

However, there are other types of walls that are not load-bearing and do not support the floor or roof above them. They are typically interior walls and often called curtain or partition walls.

For example, masonry is a strong and durable form of wall construction that uses bricks to construct the structure. It is a popular choice for residential structures because it has great architectural beauty and provides required strength.

3. Ceilings

Ceilings are an essential part of a room. They cover the upper limit of a space and conceal the floor or roof structure above. They are often decorative, with frescoes and artwork. In connection to this, a roof is also an essential part of a house which can be installed by Somerville roofing companies.

Architects often use ceilings to hide structural elements of a home or building, like the joists and beams that support the roof. They also provide a place for sprinkler heads, lighting, air conditioning vents, wiring and other building services.

They can be suspended or hung from the roof rafters, or they may simply attach to a timber or steel joist. The ceilings can be made of a variety of materials, including gypsum, plasterboard and tongued and grooved timber.

They are often insulated to prevent heat loss and help regulate the temperature in a space. They can also be used to control sound. They can also be decorated to complement the overall decor in a room, with painted or patterned surfaces.

4. Doors

Doors are a key part of a home’s structure. They provide access into and out of a space, separate rooms with different functions, ensure privacy, control ventilation or air drafts, dampen noise, and block fire.

Doors usually consist of stiles, rails, mullions, and panels. The panels, which can be large and wide, fill in the spaces between the stiles and rails. They can be flat or in raised panel designs, glued in or left as floating panels.

The mullion is an optional vertical member that runs between two rails and splits the door into smaller panels. Mullions are typically found in more traditional styles such as a Victorian Queen Anne or Arts and Crafts bungalow.

The simplest door is the battened and ledged variety, which consists of wooden battens with three horizontal ledges (top, middle, and bottom). Ledges can be braced to add rigidity or nailed to the top of the door frame.

5. Windows

The windows in a house play an important role in allowing light, air and sound to reach the interior space of the building. Apart from this, they also serve as an excellent addition to the aesthetics of a home.

Window styles vary based on the size of the window opening. They are usually grouped together and integrated with coordinating trim, so that they create a sense of openness.

Moreover, they also help in maintaining the cross-ventilation of the house, thus keeping the indoor atmosphere fresh and lively.

It is therefore essential to opt for a good alternative of windows that can provide you with all the necessary benefits. You can go for uPVC windows that offer numerous advantages, including the ability to keep heat away during summers and retain the heat inside the home during winters.

6. Plumbing

Plumbing is a big part of any home’s foundation. Depending on the area you live in, your plumbing system may include anything from your main water line to a full blown sewage treatment plant. Luckily, modern plumbing systems are relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed by a competent handyman or two. To get a good idea of the scope and complexity of your new home’s plumbing systems, check out the local codes and regulations for the areas you plan on calling home. This will help you identify the best professionals to hire for your unique project.

The best way to do this is to ask your prospective plumber for an up front estimate and ask about their experience with a similar project in a different building. This will enable you to determine if the plumber you selected is a good fit for your project and what type of service contract you should consider before you sign on the dotted line. The result will be a more informed decision making process and a much safer and happier owner.

7. Electrical

Electrical systems are a vital part of most modern homes, supplying lights, appliances, heating and air conditioning, TVs, telephones, computers and more. They’re also a source of potential fire hazards.

A house’s electrical system begins with the main power feed from your utility company, either by a mast or through underground conduit (hollow pipe). From here, it goes to a main panel that distributes electricity to lights and receptacles in your home.

Besides the main panel, your house might have a number of sub panels located throughout different areas. These are equipped with individual switches (circuit breakers) that control the power going to circuits in those locations.

The circuits are made up of hot wires that travel to a series of lights and receptacles, and a neutral wire that returns to the main panel. A grounding wire is also included on most circuits, to divert electricity in the event of short-circuiting. The wires are usually protected by an insulating material, which can help prevent electric shock or fire.

8. Finishing

There are a lot of decisions to be made when designing your dream home. From flooring to colour schemes, the final touches are what set your house apart from the rest. They are the icing on the cake when it comes to creating a place that you can call your own, and they are a lot of fun to experiment with.

The best part about the finishing touches is that they are surprisingly affordable and easy to change up once you find your style. From scented candles to gorgeous artwork, these small details can transform any room into a warm and inviting space that is as stylish as it is functional.

The best way to pick out the right finishes for your home is to make a list of all of the elements you want to include in your new home. Then, rate each item in order of importance. After you have created your top tier lists, it is time to take it all one step further and schedule an in-person design consultation. This will ensure you get the results you are after and that your new home is a true reflection of your taste.