As a design-build firm, we are around the building process every day. You, however, may not be familiar with the various construction phases. Because of this, we decided to break down four important construction phases with a little more description.
Foundation: The Base of Construction Phases
There are many foundation types that Elements can use for your home construction. During the Elements of Life Analysis ©, we determine which is your preference. The foundation that is used will be finalized during the construction phase, by completing a site analysis, which considers factors such as site details and soil conditions. You will be able to follow all the progress on your Homeowner’s Page.
Types of Foundations
- Typical footing and stem wall construction – Footings are dug from 12-feet wide and 18-inches deep to 36-feet wide and 48-inches deep. Stem walls differ in height from site to site in order to best suit the terrain and flooring system. On top of the footing and stem wall, a slab can be installed or a crawl space can be built. This system is used in the low to moderate frost line areas.
- Drilled shaft concrete piers and grade beam-This system is used in commercial and industrial projects but can be cost effective if the residential project is large enough.
- Slab on grade with a turned-down edge-Areas with little or no frost line are acceptable for this type of foundation. Construction is usually a monolithic pour. Post tension cables are very effective with this design.
- Basement foundation – Basements are hollow, sub-grade structures that are designed for living spaces and or work/storage. They are built with CMU (cinder block) or cast-in-place concrete walls. Waterproofing is a must to avoid long-term moisture infiltration problems if a basement foundation is used.
Framing: The Structure of Construction Phases
Elements has worked with many different types of framing and wall construction, including concrete wall systems, timber frame, steel frame, and traditional stick construction. Although we are open to the different options, many of our homes are stick built, utilizing materials such as dimensional lumber and some engineered products, such as I-joists and trusses. All our materials are inspected for mold and other defects before they are used in your home. Also, we only use products that meet the International Residential Building Code and National Home Builders Association Standards. (For more information, check out our Resources page.)
Roofing: The Height of Construction Phases
Because a roof leak can be one of the worst nightmares for both the homeowner and the builder, we water test certain areas of the roof before sheetrock goes up to ensure that there are no leaks. Most of the time, we use an Architectural Shingle, with metal or copper accents (budget permitting). We are open to all metal and slate roofs, if the project fits that design.
Mechanical (Plumbing/HVAC): The Knitty-Gritty of Construction Phases
Mold is a key factor to consider when doing mechanical, which includes plumbing and HVAC. Because we realize that one small plumbing leak can cause mold growth over time, we pressurize our system with water before we sheetrock to verify there are no leaks. We also know that cold air spilling into a warm air space, such as a crawl space, is another place for mold to grow; therefore, we often encapsulate our crawl spaces.
Let us put you in your Element!
This is just a sampling of the additional steps we take during the various construction phases to ensure that we put you in your Element.
For more information about our home building process, click here.
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