The Five Primary Phases of Construction

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Construction progresses from the ground up and the outside in.
Construction progresses from the ground up and the outside in. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Construction involves more than just building. It's also about planning a structure. Understanding the five stages of construction will help you understand the road ahead when building a business or constructing a home. Whether it's foundation work or electrical installation, the process requires skilled workers to get the job done right.

Foundation

The foundation is the base of the structure. Before a foundation can be laid, the location must be graded and excavated. Plumbing will be connected to the municipality's water and sewer system, and the plumbing must be inspected by a licensed inspector. At that point, the foundation can be poured.

Framing

The framing gives you the original shell of the home. The framing phase will include building stairs, interior walls and exterior walls. After the framing is finalized, the sheathing, roof, doors and windows are installed, along with the siding, brick or stucco. Contractors must deal with weather-related issues during this phase; rain and snow may hamper the framing process.

Plumbing and Electrical

The plumbing and electrical phase is critical, because once you put the drywall on the walls, it's costly to remove and repair. Water lines, water heater, duct work and waste piping are some of the elements installed. Rough electrical wiring, include the electrical boxes and main lines to the municipality power lines, are connected. The electrical and plumbing systems must be inspected before the next phase can be started.

Insulation and Drywall

Next, it's time to insulate the walls. The insulation can be fiberglass, blown-in paper or other materials. After the insulation is in place, the contractors will attach drywall over it. The drywall covers walls and ceilings throughout the house. It varies in thickness and is attached to the wood studs of the frame.

Exterior and Interior Finish

Exterior and interior finishing includes testing of all electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems. Installation of floor coverings, cabinets and ceiling fans are some of the last items to go into the house. Appliances, lights and faucets will be the final touches to the building process. Capping it off are the final inspection and landscaping.

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