Steps of Construction of a House by Architects in Lahore, Pakistan

Housing is a fundamental component of a society. It is a very significant factor for humanity throughout the world. Housing is a basic human requirement and necessity as everyone of us needs a shelter and a place where we can live in safely and calmly. A modest, secure and affordable house is what everyone desires to own.

A house is a place of dwelling; it is a building where families live in a peaceful and serene way; it is a place of shelter. A house provides protection against extremities of weather and keep the occupants safe from rain, wind, heat and cold.

Lahore is the capital of Punjab province and the second largest city of Pakistan. There are many modern developments and well-designed housing schemes at various locations in the city. Some of the high class and top ranked housing schemes in Lahore are Defence Housing Authority, Bahria Town, Lake City Housing Scheme, Valencia Housing Society and so on. One may find residential land of different sizes such as 5 Marla plot, 10 Marla plot, 1 Kanal plot, 2 Kanal plot and so on. These fully developed housing developments feature diverse infrastructure and outstanding facilities that are required for a high standard lifestyle. Key facilities of these family oriented housing projects and luxurious housing schemes may comprise of security, clean water, proximity of schools, Allama Iqbal International airport, community centers, grocery stores, hospitals, banks, commercial areas, mosques, cinema, public transportation, local restaurants, international fast food chains, parks and outdoor activities.
housing Lahore
When one desires of owning a house, he purchases a land in one of the housing schemes in Lahore. The next step is to hire a reputable architect who will design and convert your dream house into reality. Architects listen to the client’s brief about what he wants in his new house and what color scheme he is looking forward to. Architects design the spaces and prepare architectural floor plans fulfilling client’s requirements. After getting client’s consent, architects move further to make 3d visualization to convey the design concept in colored 3d renderings. Architects prepare working drawings that are used by the contractors during the construction at the site. For all kinds of architectural sketches and construction drawings, they use various design softwares such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk 3dsMAX, Authodesk Revit, Adobe Photoshop, Maya, Google Sketchup, Lumion and so on. Architects prepare a large list of drawings coordinating with other engineering consultants such as electrical engineers, structural engineers, MEP engineers, steel engineers and so on.

Drawings are then submitted to specific authorities such as Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Bahria Town, Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Cantonment Board and other relevant departments for approval before starting the construction at site. Click here to know more about list of architectural, structural, sanitation, electrical, HVAC drawings required for the successful completion of a construction project.

A well designed and well-constructed house makes a safe, healthy and holistic space for its inhabitants. Client should be aware of the basic construction process before building the house at site.  

This construction article has been written and composed by a professional team of architects based on their professional experience in collaboration with other consulting engineers, coordinators, contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers to be well familiar with craftsmanship and construction standards. This well written and thoughtful article will guide client as well as construction team through a step by step process of constructing a residence project in Lahore. You will find all the useful information you need to know before building your own house. So let’s begin!

1. START
Contractors, sub-contractors, vendors, site supervisor and purchasers are advised not to initiate any work at site without the following construction drawings and related documents available at site:

  • Approved Submission Drawings
  • Whole Set of Construction Working Drawings
  • Written Contract Agreement Signed by Client, Contractor & Related Parties
  • Bill of Quantities (BOQ)
  • Soil Inspection Report

2. CLEAN UP
The site land is prepared for construction by cleaning and getting rid of all weeds and other wild shrubs and planting grown on the site. Site is cleared up of rocks, all unwanted substances, waste materials and other obstacles to make it tidy to commence construction work.

3- CHALKING
Once the site is cleared of unwanted materials, the central lines of the brick masonry walls are marked on the earth within the site boundaries as mentioned on the excavation drawings. These central lines are marked by using chalk. Where there are straight walls in the drawings, they are aligned straight at site with the help of a piece of cord that is stretched on the wooden or iron rods fixed in the earth according to the drawings and chalked along the length of cord.

4. EXCAVATION
house construction
The earth is dug out and excavated to a particular depth from ground level according to depth shown in excavation drawing. Excavation is carried out as per drawings as well as any specific instructions provided by the structural engineer of the project. Excavation drawing shows the width and depth of the footing to determine how wide and deep the soil is dug to prepare a base for the foundation lean. There are various types of foundations designed by structural engineers depending on the type and load of building such as raft foundation, strip foundation, piling and others. After a certain level of earth below road level is achieved, earth is compressed and compacted with the help of a manual or auto compactor before starting any other activity. Assistant foreman is required to inspect labor and workmanship during this time and record it in a notebook.

5. TERMITE PROOFING
Once the trench is prepared and compacted, termite proofing is required to apply on the earth surface. As there is a possibility of termites’ attack over the duration of time, all the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the excavated land are sprayed with a powerful, high quality and effective termite control chemical. Instructions of the termite proof chemical manufacturer are carefully followed while spraying the solution. The chemical prevents the damage caused by termites that may travel inside the structure through earth in the future. There are various top quality termite proofing chemicals available in the market that work best for the construction. Warranty of the termite proof chemical is to be found out from the supplier and recorded before the usage. Assistant foreman is required to inspect and record all activities during this process.

6. EXCAVATION INSPECTION
Once the process of spraying termite proof chemical, excavation of the site is inspected, checked and approved by the project architect and assistant construction manager. This is to make sure excavation is executed according to the plan and there are no discrepancies between drawings and site work.

7. FOOTING PCC BASE
On the excavated and compacted ground, 4” thick PCC base is laid over. PCC is referred to as Plain Cement Concrete and is made up of a mixture of cement, sand and coarse aggregate. The ratio of cement, sand and aggregate used to prepare PCC is 1:6:12. Aggregate may be brick ballast or broken stone depending on the local availability of the material. Size of the coarse aggregate used in the mixture is generally 1½” wide. Width of PCC base is determined by the structural engineer. Strength of concrete is determined in units of psi that is pounds per square inch. It is a measurement of compressive strength of concrete to find out the ability of concrete to bear loads and tolerate compression. A greater psi value means the stronger concrete. Strength of the cement concrete mixture used for building is required to be at least 6000 psi.

8. FOUNDATION
Foundations are laid according to the drawings provided by the structural engineer. There are two types of foundations based on the kind of materials used such as brick masonry foundation and RCC foundation. In brick foundation, ratio of cement and sand used as mortar for laying bricks is 1:6. Meanwhile for plastering of bricks in brick foundation, cement and sand ratio is 1:5. RCC foundations are laid according to the footing drawings issued by structural engineer.

For using bricks in construction industry, bricks are dipped in water and kept soaked for at least four hours before the start of construction. When bricks are soaked in water, water is absorbed by the bricks and air is released. When soaked bricks are laid on wet mortar for making brick courses, they no longer absorb any water and make a strong bond with mortar. On the other hand, if dry bricks are used without soaking them in the water, they absorb water from the wet mortar. This makes the mortar dry by disrupting the ratio of water in the mortar. Mortar in turn loses the strength to a certain extent.

9. FIRST DPC
DPC is referred to as Damp Proof Course. DPC is a layer of a mixture of cement, sand and aggregate laid on the masonry and acts as a moisture barrier as its name suggests. DPC prevents the moisture absorption that may arise from earth through brick walls due to capillary action. It restricts the travelling of moisture through brick masonry. There are two types of damp proof courses depending on how they are laid such as horizontal damp proof course and vertical damp course.

First DPC layer is the horizontal damp proof course and laid on the exterior walls of the building below the finished floor level. This DPC layer is 1½” thick. Ratio of cement, sand and aggregate is 1:2:4 for DPC to protect the building well from moisture. Two coats of bitumen are applied on the upper surface of this layer. A polythene sheet having a thickness of 0.008” is placed on top. Brick masonry is continued on it but stopped near reaching the finished floor level where another DPC layer will be laid.

10. SECOND DPC
waterproofing
A second DPC is also a horizontal damp proof course laid at finished floor level (FFL). It is similar to first DPC layer. Thickness of this course is 1½”. Cement, sand and aggregate ratio is 1:2:4 in order to act as a moisture barrier. Two coats of bitumen are applied on the upper surface of the second DPC. A polythene sheet with a thickness of 0.008” is laid on the top.

11. VERTICAL DPC
Vertical DPC is a vertical damp proof course applied on the exterior walls of the building. It prevents the travelling of dampness from sides through brick walls and any other surfaces in contact with one another. The thickness of vertical DPC is ¾”. Ratio of cement and sand is 1:3 for this layer. Two coats of hot bitumen are applied on the DPC layer to obstruct moisture.

12. DPC INSPECTION
Levels of horizontal as well as vertical DPC layers are inspected and approved by the architect and the assistant construction manager. Their responsibility is to make sure levels of three layers of damp proof course are laid correct and are as per the engineering drawings and specifications.

13. EARTH FILL
After damp proof courses are approved by architect, earth is dumped and filled in the excavated spaces after laying the foundation up to finished floor level. Earth fill is executed in 6” layers. Each time, 6” earth layer is put in the excavated places, it is compacted using the water as well as with the help of compactors according to foreman’s instructions. Earth filling is to be of good quality and devoid of any termites and other insects.

14. BRICK WALLS UP TO 4’ - GROUND FLOOR
Walls are built by laying bricks in various layers on top of each other up to 4’ height. Brick masonry under the windows is executed up to window sill level according to the detailed drawings. Straight edge and plumb line are used to make sure walls are straight and levelled. Straight edge is a bar or a long piece of metal, wood or plastic having a straight edge used to verify straight surfaces and lines.

Straight edge is placed on the wall and held horizontally. It there are no gaps between the straight edge and the newly built wall, it means the wall is straight. Similarly, straight edge is held along the wall vertically to make sure the wall is straight vertically.

Plumb line is a string or a cord that is attached to a small but heavy object at one end to determine if a wall is exactly vertical. The string is held and suspended in a way so the heavy object can dangle freely to check if the surface of the wall is precisely vertical. A plumb line is also known as a plumb bob.

Thickness of the loadbearing wall is 9” while the thickness of the partition wall is 4½”. English bond is used for building the walls. English brick bond is one of the strongest and the most common brick masonry patterns. In this bond, there is a layer or course of stretchers with an alternative course of headers. Size of a common masonry brick is 9” length x 4½” width x 3” depth. Stretcher is the position of a brick placed with its length parallel to the surface of the wall. Header is the orientation of a brick placed widthwise on the face of the wall.

The ratio of cement and sand in mortar used for 9” thick brick walls is 1:5 and that for 4½” thick brick walls is 1:4. All the bricks are submerged in water for at least four hours prior to brickwork. Brickwork for external walls is executed from outside.

15. DOOR FRAMES - GROUND FLOOR
Once brick masonry is complete up to 4’ height, wooden door frames are installed on ground floor according to the drawings.

16. BRICK WALLS UP TO 7’ - GROUND FLOOR
After installing the wooden door frames, brick masonry is continued in courses up to 7’ height from proposed finished floor level. They are made levelled and straight with the help of tools such as straight edge and plumb line. Mortar used for 9” thick brickwork consists of cement and sand in 1:5 ratio. Mortar used for 4½” thick brickwork is composed of a mixture of cement and sand with a ratio of 1:4. Bricks are placed in water for at least four hours before starting brick masonry work. Bricks for external walls are laid from external side.

17. LINTELS & SHADES - GROUND FLOOR
Lintels are constructed on the top of openings of windows and doors to support the load of brick masonry work above windows and doors. These lintels and sunshades (chhajja) over the windows and doors are built by following the structural drawings and specifications issued by structural engineer. Lintels are made of RCC that is reinforced cement concrete consisting of cement, sand, aggregate and steel bars, poured in the formwork. Lintels are constructed with shoulders of 9” extending beyond the sides of the openings. There is a difference in the structural design of a lintel for a corner window. In a corner L-shaped window, lintel extends more keeping in mind the load and stability of the structure.

18. BRICK WALLS UP TO 10’ - GROUND FLOOR
After concrete in poured in the formwork for constructing lintels and shades above doors and windows, brick masonry is continued in layers up to 10’ height from proposed finished floor level. They are made levelled and straight with the help of tools such as straight edge and plumb line. Mortar used for 9” thick brickwork consists of cement and sand in 1:5 ratio. Mortar used for 4½” thick brickwork is composed of a mixture of cement and sand with a ratio of 1:4. Bricks are placed in water for at least four hours before starting brick masonry work. Bricks for external walls are laid from external side.

19. SHUTTERING – GROUND FOOR
A temporary structure is built using metal or wooden poles to support a working platform for labors, workmen and materials used during construction. This process of making this structure is known as scaffolding. A scaffold supports the shuttering as well as construction workers. It provides a safe and durable platform so workmen can perform their tasks easily and reach to required heights. Shuttering or formwork is assembled supported by scaffold. Shuttering is a way of making a mold in which fresh and wet concrete is poured to take the shape of the mold when it sets and hardens. Wooden boards made of sheesham wood are generally used for the purpose of shuttering. All wooden boards are placed side by side. Gaps between them are sealed by using paper or metal sheets.

There is another type of shuttering used in construction known as metal shuttering. Metal shuttering is recommended by the architects in order to achieve better quality. For metal shuttering, oiling and taping is done on metal boards to prevent honey combing and leakage as per the instructions by foreman.

20. STEEL LAYING - GROUND FLOOR
RCC slab
Reinforced steel bars (sarya) are laid according to the structural drawings and specifications provided by structural engineer. Steel rebars are placed on the shuttering boards at around 1” distance. The specific distance is achieved by putting particular sizes of rebar spacers or rebar chairs placed at intervals. Spacers are tied up with reinforcement on the instructions of assistant foreman. Reinforced steel bars are placed near the bottom of the RCC slab as well as close to the top by following the structural drawings where the diameter, type and spacing of the steel bars is mentioned in detail. A steel grid or mesh is built by placing and connecting rebars in x-axis and y axis. These rebars are interconnected strongly with steel wires.

21. ELECTRICAL CONDUITING – GROUND FLOOR
Specific PVC electrical conduits are installed in the steel mesh of reinforced steel bars in accordance with electrical drawings provided by electrical engineer. Internal diameter of conduit pipes used for all kinds of electrification works except for air conditioning is ¾”. Internal diameter of electrical conduits used for air conditioning is 1”.

22. SHUTTERING, STEEL & CONDUITING INSPECTION
Shuttering, reinforced steel mesh, electrical conduit pipes and their levels are inspected and approved by architect, structural engineer and assistant construction manager before pouring the concrete.

Cube test is highly recommended before pouring to determine compressive strength of concrete using mould, base plate and compressive strength test machine. Compressive strength test is performed at day 7, day 14 and day 28 of cube curing.

Assistant foreman needs to make sure all the materials required for making concrete mixture are available at the site at least a day before pouring the concrete on the shuttering to form RCC slab.

23. SLAB POURING - GROUND FLOOR
A mixture is prepared by mixing cement, sand and aggregate in 1:2:4 ratio. The wet mixture is then poured into steel grid formed over shuttering or formwork. Surface of concrete is levelled using vibrator and wooden levelling gauge. Concrete vibrator is used to remove air bubbles and air pockets from wet concrete to formulate a solid and perfect slab. Top surface of wet concrete is made smooth using a hand trowel. Foreman and assistant foreman are required to stay at site during this time.

24. SLAB POURING INSPECTION
During the process of pouring concrete, architect, assistant construction manager and foreman need to remain at site to inspect all activities and record them in writing.

25. CURING OF SLAB - GROUND FLOOR
After pouring concrete, no activity will be commenced on the slab for at least three days. RCC slab is cured with water to achieve optimum strength, water resistance and durability. Curing is a method in which concrete is watered and kept wet for several days. Curing of the ground floor slab is started after 24 hours of pouring and is done for twelve days. Time to start the curing process of concrete varies depending on when concrete surface starts to dry, lose water and go through shrinkage. Dryness of concrete depends on heat from sun, wind, climate, humidity and temperature of concrete. When water is added in the dry mixture of cement, sand and aggregate, hydration of cement begins instantly and heat is produced in the concrete. To achieve proper strength of concrete, proper hydration of cement is required. This whole process will form a solid synthetic rock known as concrete.

26. REMOVAL OF SHUTTERING - GROUND FLOOR
shuttering
Shuttering boards from ground floor slab are removed after curing the concrete slab for twelve days or more on the instructions of assistant foreman. All shuttering boards are stacked together carefully and stored well in a secure place.

27. CEILING PLASTERING - GROUND FLOOR
Under surface of the slab is covered with cement and sand plaster. Ratio of cement and sand in the plaster used for ceiling is 1:3. Sand to be used for plaster is cleaned well before adding it in the mixture. Thickness of the plaster is 3/8”.

28. WALL CHISELING - GROUND FLOOR
sanitation
Walls are chiseled and grooves (jhari) are made to accommodate the utility services such as gas and electrical pipes as well as spaces made for electrical boxes. Assistant foreman is required to make sure that spaces to be chiseled are marked on the walls with the help of chalk in accordance with the drawings. These marks are inspected and checked by architect before chiseling. Chiseling is not to be started without checking of chalk marks. After chiseling, service pipes are placed inside the grooves and spaces. Architect inspects the pipes network before covering and filling with the plaster.

29. WALL PLASTERING - GROUND FLOOR
Walls of ground floor are plastered and given a smooth surface. Ratio of cement and sand used for plaster to be applied on internal walls is 1:4. Thickness of the plaster is ½” to prepare a base to take wall finish such as paint.

30. KITCHEN COUNTER & BATHROOM VANITY SLABS
kitchen design
Kitchen counter, bathroom and powder vanity slabs are poured at specified height in accordance with drawings and specifications. 4” high ledge (thurhi) is provided at the base of slabs in the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets will sit on this base at a later stage. Walls and 4” high ledge in the kitchen are plastered with ½” thickness to prepare a base for final surface finish.

31. SECOND TERMITE PROOFING
A 6” wide trench is dug into the ground around all the brick masonry of ground floor. A good quality and effective termite control chemical is sprayed into the trench as per the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent the termite attack to the building.

32. PUBLIC HEALTH - GROUND FLOOR
Some effective water proofing is done according to the drawings before starting public health work. Areas to accommodate the sanitary pipes are marked on the wall with a chalk as per sanitary drawings. The marks are inspected by the architect before starting chiseling. Sanitary pipes are placed in the chiseled spaces. Architect inspects the position of all the sanitation pipes. PPRC water supply pipes or equivalent pipes are used. UPVC sewer water pipes or equivalent pipes are used. Effective quality of local RCC pipes are used for main sewer lines. Pressure and water tests are carried out to make sure there is no water leakage in the presence of assistant construction manager who approves the test results before filling the chiseled grooves.

33. FLOORING - GROUND FLOOR
Earth is compacted. On the top of compacted earth, 12” thick layer of a mixture of sand and soil (kassu) is spread evenly. This layer is compacted well. 4” thick layer of brick ballast is laid over kassu layer. Brick ballast layer is compacted manually. All utility lines are re-inspected by foreman before preparing PCC base for flooring. 1½” thick layer of PCC is poured on brick ballast layer. This PCC layer acts as a base to take floor tiles. Ratio of cement, sand and aggregate in PCC base is 1:2:4. Approved floor tiles are then laid on PCC base with mortar as per drawings and instructions by architect. Ratio of cement and sand used in the mortar is 1:6. Tiles are placed on the floor with or without the spacers as per architect’s instructions. Accurate level of the tiles is achieved using a level with a bubble. When tiles are laid, grouting is done by filling the tiny gaps between the tiles with a specific grout.

34. KITCHEN COUNTERTOP - GROUND FLOOR
¾” thick countertop of a particular material such as marble, granite or some other material is fixed on the kitchen slabs prepared earlier.

35. BATHROOM VANITY TOP - GROUND FLOOR
¾” thick countertop of a particular material such as marble, granite or some other material is fixed on the bathroom vanity slabs that were prepared earlier.

36. KITCHEN TILING - GROUND FLOOR
Particular floor tiles are laid on the top of 1½” thick PCC base with mortar in accordance with the drawings and design details. Ratio of cement and sand used in the mortar is 1:6. Accurate level of the tiles is achieved using a level before fixing the tiles in the mortar. When tiles are laid, grouting is done by filling the tiny gaps between the tiles with a specific grout. A slope is made towards proposed floor trap while laying the tiles so water may automatically travel towards floor trap and does not stay stagnant.

37. BATHROOM & POWDER ROOM TILING - GROUND FLOOR
Particular floor tiles are laid on the top of 1½” thick PCC base with mortar in accordance with the drawings and design details. Ratio of cement and sand used in the mortar is 1:6. Accurate level of the tiles is achieved using a level before fixing the tiles in the mortar. When tiles are laid, grouting is done by filling the tiny gaps between the tiles with a specific grout. A slope is made towards proposed floor trap while laying the tiles so water may automatically travel towards floor trap and does not stay stagnant.

38. KITCHEN FIXTURES - GROUND FLOOR
Cooking range, hob, hood, refrigerator, freezer, water mixers and other kitchen accessories are selected and approved by the architect and client. All the fixtures are installed and fixed in accordance with the architectural drawings.

39. BATHROOM & POWDER ROOM FIXTURES - GROUND FLOOR
Wash basin, water closet, shower cabin, shower head, water mixers, shattaf (Muslim shower), toilet paper holder, towel rod, towel rack, floor trap, soap dish and other bathroom accessories are selected and approved by the architect and client. All the fixtures are installed and fixed in accordance with the architectural drawings.

40. STAIRCASE
Staircase is constructed in reinforced concrete as per architectural and structural drawings. Ratio cement, sand and aggregate in RCC steps is 1:2:4. Type and diameter of rebars as well as distance between reinforced steel bars is determined by structural engineer. Treads and risers are constructed according to architectural drawings.
interior designers of Lahore
Staircase structure is also prepared in steel. Where staircase is built in steel, sometimes the first two steps are made in concrete going from lower level to upper level.

41. BRICK WALLS UP TO 4’ - FIRST FLOOR
Walls are built by laying bricks in various layers on top of each other up to 4’ height. Brick masonry under the windows is executed up to window sill level according to the detailed drawings. Straight edge and plumb line are used to make sure walls are straight and levelled. Thickness of the loadbearing wall is 9” while the thickness of the partition wall is 4½”. English bond is used for building the walls. The ratio of cement and sand in mortar used for 9” thick brick walls is 1:5 and that for 4½” thick brick walls is 1:4. All the bricks are submerged in water for at least four hours prior to brickwork. Bricks for external walls are laid from external side.

42. DOOR FRAMES - FIRST FLOOR
Once brick masonry is complete up to 4’ height, wooden door frames are installed on ground floor according to the drawings. Metal frames are installed for doors in servant quarter and servant bathroom.

43. BRICK WALLS UP TO 7’ - FIRST FLOOR
After installing the wooden door frames, brick masonry is continued in courses up to 7’ height from proposed finished floor level. They are made levelled and straight with the help of tools such as straight edge and plumb line. Mortar used for 9” thick brickwork consists of cement and sand in 1:5 ratio. Mortar used for 4½” thick brickwork is composed of a mixture of cement and sand with a ratio of 1:4. Bricks are placed in water for at least four hours before starting brick masonry work. Bricks for external walls are laid from external side.

44. LINTELS & SHADES - FIRST FLOOR
windows design
Lintels are constructed on the top of openings of windows and doors to support the load of brick masonry work above windows and doors. These lintels and sunshades (chhajja) over the windows and doors are built by following the structural drawings and specifications issued by structural engineer. Lintels are made of RCC that is reinforced cement concrete consisting of cement, sand, aggregate and steel bars, poured in the formwork. Lintels are constructed with shoulders of 9” extending beyond the sides of the openings. There is a difference in the structural design of a lintel for a corner window. In a corner L-shaped window, lintel extends more keeping in mind the load and stability of the structure.

45. BRICK WALLS UP TO 10’ - FIRST FLOOR
After concrete in poured in the formwork for constructing lintels and shades above doors and windows, brick masonry is continued in layers up to 10’ height from proposed finished floor level. They are made levelled and straight with the help of tools such as straight edge and plumb line. Mortar used for 9” thick brickwork consists of cement and sand in 1:5 ratio. Mortar used for 4½” thick brickwork is composed of a mixture of cement and sand with a ratio of 1:4. Bricks are placed in water for at least four hours before starting brick masonry work. Bricks for external walls are laid from external side.

46. SHUTTERING - FIRST FOOR
A temporary structure is built using metal or wooden poles to support a working platform for labors, workmen and materials used during construction. This process of making this structure is known as scaffolding. A scaffold supports the shuttering as well as construction workers. It provides a safe and durable platform so workmen can perform their tasks easily and reach to required heights. Shuttering or formwork is assembled supported by scaffold. Shuttering is a way of making a mold in which fresh and wet concrete is poured to take the shape of the mold when it sets and hardens. Wooden boards made of sheesham wood are generally used for the purpose of shuttering. All wooden boards are placed side by side. Gaps between them are sealed by using paper or metal sheets.

There is another type of shuttering used in construction known as metal shuttering. Metal shuttering is recommended by the architects in order to achieve better quality. For metal shuttering, oiling and taping is done on metal boards to prevent honey combing and leakage as per the instructions by foreman.

47. STEEL LAYING - FIRST FLOOR
steel rebar
Reinforced steel bars (sarya) are laid according to the structural drawings and specifications provided by structural engineer. Steel rebars are placed on the shuttering boards at around 1” distance. The specific distance is achieved by putting particular sizes of rebar spacers or rebar chairs placed at intervals. Spacers are tied up with reinforcement on the instructions of assistant foreman. Reinforced steel bars are placed near the bottom of the RCC slab as well as close to the top by following the structural drawings where the diameter, type and spacing of the steel bars is mentioned in detail. A steel grid or mesh is built by placing and connecting rebars in x-axis and y axis. These rebars are interconnected strongly with steel wires.

48. ELECTRICAL CONDUITING - FIRST FLOOR
Specific PVC electrical conduits are installed in the steel mesh of reinforced steel bars in accordance with electrical drawings provided by electrical engineer. Internal diameter of conduit pipes used for all kinds of electrification works except for air conditioning is ¾”. Internal diameter of electrical conduits used for air conditioning is 1”.

49. SHUTTERING, STEEL & CONDUITING INSPECTION - FIRST FLOOR
Shuttering, reinforced steel mesh, electrical conduit pipes and their levels are inspected and approved by architect, structural engineer and assistant construction manager before pouring the concrete.

Cube test is highly recommended before pouring to determine compressive strength of concrete using mould, base plate and compressive strength test machine. Compressive strength test is performed at day 7, day 14 and day 28 of cube curing.

Assistant foreman needs to make sure all the materials required for making concrete mixture are available at the site at least a day before pouring the concrete on the shuttering to form RCC slab.

50. SLAB POURING - FIRST FLOOR
A mixture is prepared by mixing cement, sand and aggregate in 1:2:4 ratio. The wet mixture is then poured into steel grid formed over shuttering or formwork. Surface of concrete is levelled using vibrator and wooden levelling gauge. Concrete vibrator is used to remove air bubbles and air pockets from wet concrete to formulate a solid and perfect slab. Top surface of wet concrete is made smooth using a hand trowel. Foreman and assistant foreman are required to stay at site during this time.

51. SLAB POURING INSPECTION - FIRST FLOOR
During the process of pouring concrete, architect, assistant construction manager and foreman need to remain at site to inspect all activities and record them in writing.

52. CURING OF SLAB – ROOF
After pouring concrete, no activity will be commenced on the slab for at least three days. RCC slab is cured with water to achieve optimum strength, water resistance and durability. Curing is a method in which concrete is watered and kept wet for several days. Curing of the ground floor slab is started after 24 hours of pouring and is done for twelve days. Time to start the curing process of concrete varies depending on when concrete surface starts to dry, lose water and go through shrinkage. Dryness of concrete depends on heat from sun, wind, climate, humidity and temperature of concrete. When water is added in the dry mixture of cement, sand and aggregate, hydration of cement begins instantly and heat is produced in the concrete. To achieve proper strength of concrete, proper hydration of cement is required. This whole process will form a solid synthetic rock known as concrete.

53. PARAPET WALL – ROOF
Concrete or brick masonry parapet wall of 4½” thickness is constructed at the edges of the roof slab. Height of the parapet wall is as per architectural drawings. Ratio of cement and sand used for mortar is 1:4. Chicken wire mesh fixed with steel nails or equivalent is used to avoid cracks during plastering of parapet wall. Joint between roof finish and parapet wall is finished with slope.

54. OHWT – ROOF
Over Head Water Tank is constructed on rooftop according to structural drawings and architectural details. OHWT is built elevated at a height of 12” from finished floor level of roof supported on concrete legs. Thermopore sheets or equivalent are used for insulation as per architect’s instructions.

55. WATERPROOFING, INSULATION & SURFACE FINISHING – ROOF
Two coats of hot or cold bitumen are applied on the top of roof slab. Polythene sheet with thickness of 0.008” is laid over it. On the top of polythene sheet, polystyrene sheet or equivalent is laid for heat insulation. 4” thick layer of earth is laid for more insulation and to create slope for water flow. 1½” thick roof tiles are laid over it with cement grouting. A little depressed squarish, rectangular or similar spaces also called as khuras are formed for the collection of water. Joint between roof finish and parapet wall is finished with slope.

56. ROOF WORK INSPECTION
After laying the roof tiles, roof work is inspected by the architect to check all tasks are executed according to the drawings.

57. REMOVAL OF SHUTTERING - FIRST FLOOR
Shuttering boards from first floor slab are removed after curing the concrete slab for twelve days or more on the instructions of assistant foreman. All shuttering boards are stacked together carefully and stored well in a secure place.

58. CEILING PLASTERING - FIRST FLOOR
Under surface of the slab is covered with cement and sand plaster. Ratio of cement and sand in the plaster used for ceiling is 1:3. Sand to be used for plaster is cleaned well before adding it in the mixture. Thickness of the plaster is 3/8”.

59. WALL CHISELING - FIRST FLOOR
Walls are chiseled and grooves (jhari) are made to accommodate the utility services such as gas and electrical pipes as well as spaces made for electrical boxes. Assistant foreman is required to make sure that spaces to be chiseled are marked on the walls with the help of chalk in accordance with the drawings. These marks are inspected and checked by architect before chiseling. Chiseling is not to be started without checking of chalk marks. After chiseling, service pipes are placed inside the grooves and spaces. Architect inspects the pipes network before covering and filling with the plaster.

60. WALL PLASTERING - FIRST FLOOR
plaster
Walls of first floor are plastered and given a smooth surface. Ratio of cement and sand used for plaster to be applied on internal walls is 1:4. Thickness of the plaster is ½” to prepare a base to take wall finish such as paint.

61. PUBLIC HEALTH - FIRST FLOOR
Some effective water proofing is done according to the drawings before starting public health work. Areas to accommodate the sanitary pipes are marked on the wall with a chalk as per sanitary drawings. The marks are inspected by the architect before starting chiseling. Sanitary pipes are placed in the chiseled spaces. Architect inspects the position of all the sanitation pipes. PPRC water supply pipes or equivalent pipes are used. UPVC sewer water pipes or equivalent pipes are used. Effective quality of local RCC pipes are used to connect to main sewer lines. Pressure and water tests are carried out to make sure there is no water leakage in the presence of assistant construction manager who approves the test results before filling the chiseled grooves.

62. FLOORING - FIRST FLOOR
Earth is compacted. On the top of compacted earth, 12” thick layer of a mixture of sand and soil (kassu) is spread evenly. This layer is compacted well. 4” thick layer of brick ballast is laid over kassu layer. Brick ballast layer is compacted manually. All utility lines are re-inspected by foreman before preparing PCC base for flooring. 1½” thick layer of PCC is poured on brick ballast layer. This PCC layer acts as a base to take floor tiles. Ratio of cement, sand and aggregate in PCC base is 1:2:4. Approved floor tiles are then laid on PCC base with mortar as per drawings and instructions by architect. Ratio of cement and sand used in the mortar is 1:6. Tiles are placed on the floor with or without the spacers as per architect’s instructions. Accurate level of the tiles is achieved using a level with a bubble. When tiles are laid, grouting is done by filling the tiny gaps between the tiles with a specific grout.

63. BATHROOM VANITY TOP - FIRST FLOOR
¾” thick countertop of a particular material such as marble, granite or some other material is fixed on the bathroom vanity slabs that were prepared earlier.

64. BATHROOM & POWDER ROOM TILING - FIRST FLOOR
Particular floor tiles are laid on the top of 1½” thick PCC base with mortar in accordance with the drawings and design details. Ratio of cement and sand used in the mortar is 1:6. Accurate level of the tiles is achieved using a level before fixing the tiles in the mortar. When tiles are laid, grouting is done by filling the tiny gaps between the tiles with a specific grout. A slope is made towards proposed floor trap while laying the tiles so water may automatically travel towards floor trap and does not stay stagnant.

65. BATHROOM FIXTURES - FIRST FLOOR
Wash basin, water closet, shower cabin, shower head, water mixers, shattaf (Muslim shower), toilet paper holder, towel rod, towel rack, floor trap, soap dish and other bathroom accessories are selected and approved by the architect and client. All the fixtures are installed and fixed in accordance with the architectural drawings.

66. INTERNAL WORKS INSPECTION
After all the internal works of brickwork, plastering, tiling, installing fixtures are finished, architect and assistant construction manager inspects and checks for any discrepancy and amendment.

67. EXTERNAL WALL CHISELING
External wall is chiseled along chiseling of the internal wall to prevent any discrepancies. Assistant foreman is required to make sure that spaces to be chiseled are marked on the walls with the help of chalk in accordance with the drawings. These marks are inspected and checked by architect before chiseling. Chiseling is not to be started without checking of chalk marks. After chiseling, service pipes are placed inside the grooves and spaces. Architect inspects the pipes network before covering and filling with the plaster.

68. EXTERNAL WALL PLASTERING
External walls are plastered to prepare a base for external wall finish. Plaster has a cement, sand ratio of 1:3. Thickness of the plaster is ½”. Assistant foreman is required to remain at site during plastering and checks verticality and horizontality of wall plaster with the help of a straight edge.

69. EXTERNAL PLASTER INSPECTION
When plastering of the external walls is complete, work is checked by architect and assistant construction manager to ensure same level of plaster on all surfaces without any bumps and unevenness and work is done accurately.

70. SEWER SYSTEM
bathroom design
Sewer pipes are laid after all the internal sewer and waste water piping has been completed. RCC sewer pipes or equivalent pipes are used for main sewerage lines according to the specifications given by public heath engineer. Testing and commissioning of the pipes is performed to make sure future operation of pipes will be safe, secure and without any risk. Sewer pipes are laid from septic tank to the building to maintain the correct invert levels of the pipes. Invert level of a pipe is the bottom level of the inside of the pipe or floor level of the pipe that determines the flow of fluid in the piping system. For a proper flow, fluid flows from a higher level to a lower level with a constant gradient. Water test is performed prior to filling and covering the pipes to prevent mistakes and leakages. Assistant foreman is present at site during this task. Sewer piping system is inspected by architect and assistant construction manager.

71. WATER SUPPLY
dha architect
Water supply pipes are laid in the chiseled spaces and grooves (jhari) according to the specifications given by public heath engineer. Water test is performed prior to filling and covering the pipes to prevent mistakes and leakages. Assistant foreman is present at site during this work. Water supply piping system is inspected by architect and assistant construction manager.

72. ELECTRIFICATION WORKS
Electrical wiring is pulled through the conduit pipes and distribution board (DB) is installed according to the specifications given by electrical consultant. Earthing is done by electrical contractor as specified by electrical consultant in the presence of assistant foreman. Earthing is the process of transmitting the immediate electrical energy discharge directly to the earth using wired with low resistance. Earthing is required for safety of human life from electric shock and death. It is also required for the protection of buildings, appliances and machinery by avoiding flow of excessive current in case of short-circuit. Electrical contractor will be responsible for safety to all workers at site.

73. GAS SUPPLY
PE or GI gas supply pipes or equivalent are laid in the chiseled spaces according to the instructions of public health engineer. Assistant foreman is required to make sure that spaces to be chiseled are marked on the walls with the help of chalk in accordance with the drawings. These marks are inspected and checked by architect before chiseling. Chiseling is not to be started without checking of chalk marks. After chiseling, service pipes are placed inside the grooves and spaces. Architect inspects the pipes network before covering and filling with the plaster.

74. SEPTIC TANK
Septic tank is constructed according to the public health drawings and specifications issued by public health consultant. Best quality bricks, cement, sand and aggregate are used in making the tank. Water test is performed prior to covering to prevent leakage and errors. Assistant foreman requires to be present at site during this work.

75. UGWT
Underground water tank is constructed according to the public health drawings and specifications issued by public health consultant. Best quality bricks, cement, sand and aggregate are used in making the tank. Water test is performed prior to covering to prevent leakage and errors. Assistant foreman requires to be present at site during this work.

76. KHURA
A little depressed squarish, rectangular or similar spaces are formed for the collection of water, also called as khuras. They are built of PCC with cement, sand and aggregate ratio of 1:2:4.

78. COMOUND WALL OR BOUNDARY WALL
Compound wall or Boundary wall is constructed all around the house on the edges of the plot to mark the boundary of the plot according to the architectural detailed drawings. Foundation of the boundary wall is built following the structural design issued by structural engineer. Boundary wall is built of brick masonry using mortar with cement and sand ratio of 1:4. Chiseling is carried out according to the drawings. Walls are then plastered with 1:3 ratio of cement and sand having a thickness of ½”.

79. DRIVEWAY | RAMP | PASSAGES
PCC base is prepared for driveway, car porch, gate ramp and side passages according to the architectural drawings. Ratio of cement, sand and aggregate in PCC base is 1:2:4. Selected floor tiles or pavers are fixed and gradient or slope is created in the floor finish for effective water flow. Gully traps and strip drains are installed according to public health drawings and specifications.

80. MAIN GATE
Main gate is installed supported by hinges according to architectural drawings. It can be swinging gate or sliding gate depending on the space and design prepared by architect. Steel is usually used for manufacturing the gate.

81. EXTERNAL WORK INSPECTION
After all the external works are completed, architect and assistant construction manager inspects all exterior spaces for any discrepancy or pending tasks.

82. INTERNAL PAINT BASE FINISH
A primer coat of a desired paint is applied to the internal walls. Two further coats of paint are applied by paint brush or paint roller depending on a particular textured finish. A good quality matt emulsion paint is employed for walls and ceilings of all the internal spaces except for bathrooms and powder room. A particular enamel paint, oil based paint, is used for walls and ceilings for bathrooms and powder room.

83. EXTERNAL PAINT BASE FINISH
A particular graffiato base and fillings are applied on the exterior walls of the building in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Graffiato is available in many different colors and textures to select from.

84. WINDOW FRAMES
Some good quality Aluminium window frames are fixed into the openings left for windows. There is a variety of colors available in the market for Aluminium profiles used for window frames. Warranty and specifications of Aluminium frames are given by manufacturer.

85. WINDOW GLASS FIXING
Glass panels are fixed into already installed Aluminium window frames using rubber gasket seals. Silicon is filled in the spaces wherever required. Warranty and specifications of glass panes are given by manufacturer.

86. WINDOW GRILLS
Grills are installed into window frames for the protection of glass and security from theft. Detail and specifications of steel grill are given by manufacturer

87. DOORS INSTALLATION
Frames of the doors are installed as per the specifications given by manufacturer. Doors are fixed into the frames with hinges. Design of the door leaf, hinges and door knobs are determined by the architect.

88. KITCHEN WOODWORK
kitchen cabinets
Good quality laminated chipboard boxes or MDF panels are prepared for the cabinets of the kitchen. PVC panels or MDF panels or glass panels with different colors and textures are used for shutters of the cabinets. Shutters are fixed with the internal laminated cabinet boxes with hinges. They may be swinging or sliding according to the design.

89. WARDROBES WOODWORK
Good quality laminated chipboard boxes or MDF panels are prepared for the wardrobes in the bedrooms. PVC panels or MDF panels or glass panels with different colors and textures are used for shutters of the cabinets. Shutters are fixed with the internal laminated cabinet boxes with hinges. They may be swinging or sliding according to the design.

90. HANDRAIL & TERRACE RAILING
Handrail of stairs and terrace railing is fixed according to the design by architect. They may be built of different materials such as glass, Aluminium, wrought iron or wood.

91. FINAL PAINT FINISH
Final touch of paint is applied on all the exterior and interior walls and ceilings of the building to have smooth and tidy appearance of the finished surfaces.

92. EXTERIOR LANDSCAPE
Exterior landscape design is provided by the architect and is built according to the drawings provided. For a proposed water feature, proper waterproofing is required. Specified trees, shrubs and ground covers are planted as per the approved plan.

93. MAIN GATE PAINT
Main gate is given a specified paint finish of approved color and texture.

94. FINISH
Project is constructed successfully. All material requisitions, approved bills, site reports and approvals by architect and assistant construction manager are recorded and submitted to client.

COMMENTS

  1. Hannah
    March 2, 2021, at 5:35 pm REPLY

    Wow thats amazing

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