Types of Construction Defects

Construction defects are some of the major causes of worries for most property owners. Austin, a fellow friend of mine mentions to me that with all his 30+years in the Houston appliance repair market, he has learned unfortunately, most construction defects take years or months to surface. A construction defect is an issue that affects the mechanical system, structural integrity or building components. Here are the major types of construction defects that you should know.

Design Defects

The design of a building is an important success factor. Typical design defects are caused by the failure of architects to come up with well-coordinated or accurate construction documents. It’s important to ensure that specifications or plans are carefully reviewed and eventually followed.

Mechanicals like electrical, HVAC and plumbing should be designed properly to avoid this issue. In most cases, project specifications require mechanical contractor to submit drawings to the architect for proper review and eventual approval. Shop drawings as well as submittals can cause defective construction if there are no quality control steps in place.

Material Defects

In some cases, material defects are the responsibility of the manufacturer. However, they are sometimes not noticed until they have been installed. For instance, a window can come with a seal leaking between the roof shingles and panes. Over time, this can delaminate. A concrete slab can also start to break, flake or split.

It’s important to test building materials before their installation. They should also undergo thorough testing and review by professional committees and testing laboratories. Nevertheless, material defects still occur.

Workmanship Defects

Workmanship refers to a skill level with which a project is completed or a product is produced. Workmanship defects occur when a contractor fails to adhere to the documents of a construction, industry standard practices, or installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Common workmanship defects include improper concrete finishing, soil compaction, lack or improper flashing, weatherproofing systems, stucco or EFIS systems.

It’s important that everybody involved in construction and design go an extra length to prevent these construction defects.

How to Build Your House Cheaply

The cost of most things in this world seems to be increasing every day. And this can make you wonder how you can build your house cheaply. To most people, cheap comes with a low quality. However, this is not always true. The fact is that you can save money when building a house without compromising on quality. Here’s how to construct your home cheaply.

Buy the Right Land

Before you purchase the land to build a house, take your time to research the location. Also, check the ground carefully to determine the amount you’re likely to spend on its preparation. Some lots require more time and labor to prepare before commencing the construction process. If possible, choose land that won’t require a lot of preparation work before construction. Ideally, select land that won’t require bush clearing, extended drainage repair, and excavation.

Choose a Simple House Design

Your architect or designer will provide several designs you can choose from once you tell them the kind of house you want. To build cheaply, go for a simple design. A simple design means the plan won’t cost you a lot of money to transform into a house. But whether you can choose a Masonite or a Bungalow depends on the size of the land. Nevertheless, constructing a simple floor plan is cheap and easy. Therefore, avoid an intricate floor line to build cheaply.

Consider Your House Size

The size of your house will influence its construction costs. So, if you want to build cheaply, choose a home with less footage for the floor. That way, building and maintaining your house won’t cost a lot of money.

Recycle Materials

You don’t have to purchase new materials for every construction step. Instead, recycle some of the materials. What’s more, you can buy second-hand materials for your project because they can be high quality and cheap.

Follow these tips to build a house cheaply. Also, choose a professional builder and work with them from start to completion.

Important Things to Consider When Building Your House

Doing your homework properly can make all the difference when it comes to building your house. Ideally, you need to consider certain things before you start working on your construction project. Here are some of the most important things to consider when building your house. 

Site Survey 

Before you start working on your construction site, do a proper survey. This is very important because it will enable you to avoid nasty surprises. Make sure that the land doesn’t have troublesome trees, difficult inclination, a lot of clay. Work with experts to ensure that the site is ideal for your construction project. 

Plan and Budget 

Take your time to plan your construction project. Working with the right experts will enable you to come up with a more realistic plan for your project. Once you have a plan for your project, budget for it. Decide on the amount of money to spend on your project. If you intend to take a construction loan, check the available options. Do your homework to get a construction loan with the best interest rate. 

Hire the Right Experts 

To build a house, you will have to hire different experts. These include an architect, a designer, and a contractor. Make sure that you have chosen the right experts for different jobs. You can seek recommendations from friends and relatives that have completed their construction projects. 

Go Green 

Sustainable construction is a popular trend that will most likely be around for a long time. Therefore, talk to your contractor and architect about sustainable construction. Make sure that you end up with a house that will be water and energy-efficient. 

You should take the time to research extensively before you start working on your construction project. This will enable you to find and understand the latest trends in the construction industry.

How to Boost Productivity During Construction

If you have an upcoming construction project, you most likely want to know how you can boost productivity without compromising quality. A construction project is an important investment. You want to be sure that everything is done right during this project. However, you also want it to be completed faster. Here is what you can do to enhance productivity during your construction project. 

Communicate Clearly 

You need to give the involved professionals ideas of what you want them to do. That’s why communication is important during construction. Therefore, take the time to communicate the goals of your construction project. Make sure that every stakeholder knows what you expect of them. 

Set Goals 

A construction project takes time to complete. Come up with realistic goals that should be accomplished in every phase of your construction project. They can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual goals. Nevertheless, make sure that everybody involved knows what you want to be accomplished within a specific period. 

Reward Your Workers 

Construction is tiring work. Workers spend hours of their time providing manual labor. To boost their productivity, reward them regularly. For instance, buy pizza for your workers when they meet a goal. That way, they will feel appreciated and work harder during the next phase of your construction project. 

Train Your Workers 

Inadequate training can affect productivity at the job site. Therefore, train your workers to ensure that everything runs efficiently at your job site. Essentially, ensure that your workers know what you expect from them. 

Listen to Your Workers 

Your workers should be your eyes and ears on the ground. Therefore, listen to them to know what is happening on the ground. Listening to your employees will enable you to know what to do to enhance the achievement of the set goals. 

These are just some of the ways to boost productivity during construction. You should also ensure the timely supply of materials and equipment to the job site. This will prevent delays that can affect the overall productivity of your construction workers.

Do You Need a General Contractor to Build a New Home?

If you’re not experienced in building a house, you may need to hire a general contractor. This is a professional that can manage your entire construction project. Essentially, the best general contractor is a person that knows what should be done at every phase of the project. 

A general contractor is a professional that can manage every aspect of a construction project. This includes hiring subcontractors and paying them to handle different aspects of the project. A general contractor is also responsible for securing building permits and ensuring that the project meets all code requirements. 

In most cases, general contractors charge a percentage of the total costs of materials and labor or a flat fee. The cost of hiring a general contractor mostly ranges from 10 to 25% depending on the construction job’s scope. 

Why Hire a General Contractor when Building a New Home? 

Hiring a general contractor ensures that you have somebody to handle different aspects of building a new home. It means that you will have somebody managing your project even while away. What’s more, this professional has many skills and vast experience to ensure that your project runs smoothly. 

Hiring a general contractor is the best option if you don’t have the effort or time to spend on making sure that your new home is built the way you desire. You simply share details of the home that you want to build with the contractor and they ensure that everything will be done correctly. 

Choose the Right Contractor

It’s important to take the time to identify and hire the right contractor. That means you should do your due diligence to find a contractor that has the necessary skills and experience to handle your project. Also, check their credentials and past work to make sure that they have what it takes to do a good job. 

Choose a good general contractor to build a new home for you and you will have a wonderful experience. 

Is Adding a Second Story Cheaper than a Ground Floor Addition?

So, you’ve realized that you need an extra space in your home. But, because you love the current location of your home, you are not ready to move. As such, you’ve decided to either build up by adding another story or build out by creating an addition. Cost is a factor to consider when making this decision. However, the kind of the space you need should dictate how you create it. 

The Required Space 

Building out or up are boot suitable option if you need additional baths or bedrooms for your growing family. But, if you need a recreational room like a playroom or den, building an addition may be better than adding a second story. 

The Property 

The shape and size of the property should also play a role when making this decision. For instance, if there is a large backyard in the property, an addition can be the best option. But, if you have a relatively small rear yard, a second story would be better. 

Zoning Issues 

It’s important to talk to your municipality about the local zoning laws. Maybe there are ordinances in your town about setbacks that can limit the distance between your house and your property line with the neighbor. There could also be laws about how high houses can be in your town. Therefore, check with your municipality to find out if there are zoning issues to consider when making this decision.  


Your budget is also a crucial factor to consider when deciding to build up or out. Building up is relatively less expensive than building out. However, there are caveats to consider. An addition costs between $80 and $200 per square foot to build. However, you will need more time before relocating because the remove has to be removed when building up. 

Generally, there is no surefire way of determining whether an addition or a second story provides a cheaper way of expanding a living space. For some people, an addition is cheaper while for others adding a second story is less expensive. Therefore, consider these factors and work with your contractor to achieve your goal without breaking a bank. 

Useful Tips for Hassle-Free Construction of a Home

When it comes to construction of a home, you want the process to be hassle free. However, this will not be the case if you don’t know how to prepare for your construction project. To ensure a seamless home construction process, follow these tips.

Select the Contractor Carefully

Before you hire a contractor for your project, have a look at their past jobs. You can also talk to the owners of the homes that they have built in the past. Ask whether the follow-through of the contractor that you want to hire was good. Also find out if the job was completed on budget and schedule. Choose a contractor only if their clients were satisfied by the quality of their work.

Investigate the Neighborhood

Before you buy the land where you want to build a home, conduct some research. You can also drive around the neighborhood to find out about its convenience in terms of shopping, restaurants, and schools. Buy and build a home at a place where you will be comfortable living with easy access to schools, restaurants and shopping centers.

Avoid Overbuilding

Before you finalize the plans of your home and start building, compare the new home that you want to build with the others in the same area. Obviously, you don’t want your home to be the most expensive in the block.

Don’t Hire the First Contractor You Come Across

Take time to learn about different contractors. Avoid picking the contractor with the lowest or the highest bid. A high bid is not a guarantee that you will get a superior service and a low bid doesn’t mean a contractor will do a shoddy job. Therefore, take time to conduct some research to know more about different contractors and their work before you make your hiring decision.

Regardless of the design that you have in mind follow these tips to make your home construction hassle free.

Common Challenges in Construction Material Management

A major challenge you are likely to face when building a house is construction material management. Poor management of construction materials can lead to deadline and cost overrun issues. Here are some of the issues that you are likely to face when it comes to the management of construction materials.

Bid Procurement

It’s common for the project scope to change as it comes together and this can affect the bidding process. For instance, a proper owner may decide to change construction materials to settle for higher quality products without changing the overall budget. The contractor can agree and work with subcontractors to determine the necessary changes and the best ways to make them. However, the owner may not have the money to accommodate changes in their budget. To avoid this challenge, it’s important to maintain communication with involved stakeholders in every aspect of the project.

Purchasing Construction Materials

The process of buying construction materials may involve negotiations with manufacturers over quantity and price. These can negotiations tend to be time-consuming. As such, purchasing materials can affect the schedule of a construction project especially if they take long to be delivered.

Inventory Management and Storage

Construction material inventory, tracking, and storage can be a challenge at a construction site. When inventory management and storage involves many people, miscommunication can cause misplacement of materials. Some materials can even be stored without recording or be held up.

Essentially, tracking construction materials is a major challenge especially for a large project. Tracking construction materials from delivery and if delayed is important for a construction project. Having a tracking system is crucial because it minimizes loss and theft. It also makes finding materials easy and quick.

Every construction project has unique needs and materials. Therefore, use a system that suits your construction project to handle and manage materials at your construction site.

Major Types of Construction Loans

Building a new home is exciting. However, if you are unfamiliar with the available types of construction loans, your enthusiasm can be affected negatively. If you need financing for your construction project, here are the major types of construction loans to know about.


This is a loan take to pay for a construction project. On moving in, the loan balance is converted by the lender into a permanent mortgage. Basically, these are like two in one loans. While constructing the building, the borrower of this loan pays the interest of their outstanding balance only. During construction, the interest rate varies. The prime rate influences moving down and up of the interest rate. For instance, if short interest rates are decreased or raised by the Federal Reserve during construction, the interest rate of the loan are affected.

Construction loan is converted into a permanent mortgage by the lender after a home has been built. A permanent mortgage is just like other mortgages. You have the freedom to choose an adjustable-rate loan or a fixed rate loan. The loan’s term is also specified and it can be 15 years or 30 years. It’s important to make mortgage rates comparison and shop when ready.

With most lenders, you will have to lock the maximum rate for your mortgage at the start of the construction project. Generally, a lender will require you to pay at least 20% of the amount expected for a permanent mortgage. In some cases, exceptions are made.

Stand-Alone Construction Loans

Stand-alone construction loans work well when they allow borrowers to make a down payment in a small amount. The first loan is for paying for the construction. On moving in, you take a mortgage that pays off your construction debt. Thus, you get two loans separately.

If you are a home owner without much cash to make down payment, this loan can be advantageous for you. It enables you to live in a home while building a new one.

Before taking any of these construction loans, it’s important to know that the lender will inspect the home under construction routinely. During construction, lenders pay builders in varying stages known as draws. Usually, an inspector or appraiser is sent to ensure that the construction project proceeds according to plan.

Nevertheless, when you chose the right lender and take out the right loan, you will own your dream home without struggles.

For construction loans visit Chase.com

Untold stories of construction. Know this now

When it comes to construction, there are so many things that we, everyday people, doesn’t know about it. Untold stories that can make construction at your home or office so much easier. This is why it is so important to make sure that you know these. This will give you a much better insight about construction in general.

You need to keep an eye on construction material

Yes, you might have hired a construction contractor that is honest and that will not steal the construction material. However, most of them are always taking some of the construction material with them. Especially, if they are purchasing the material on your behalf.

Many people realize too late that they should have kept a close eye on the construction material and the material that is being bought. You will be surprised about how much money you might be losing.

Your project is always going to end up a lot more than what you thought

If you think that you have done your homework, and you have made sure that your budget is going to be enough, then you should think again.

There are always costs that you didn’t anticipate. Meaning that you are going to spend more than what you budgeted for. In order to make sure that you have enough money, is to have more than what you calculated you need for the project.

It is messy and time-consuming. No matter what

It doesn’t matter what you do, it is going to be a messy job and really time-consuming. If you think that you are going to have to deal with it, for just a week, then you should think again. This is extremely messy if you are making a change to the home or office that are already in use.

This is why you should make sure that you are preparing for the mess. Make sure that as much furniture is covered as possible. The more patience you have, the better you will handle the construction at your home.

This is the untold stories of construction. The three top things that you should know about construction. The things that no one is telling you about. When you know these things, you will be better prepared and you will be able to make sure that you can handle the mess. This will make the whole process a lot easier on you and your family.