All construction projects should follow a set sequence of jobs in order to complete the building on-time and within budget. This work sequence is an important process for a number of reasons, but mainly because it helps to establish order between construction teams.
By following the sequence, contractors can plan the project and know what to expect next. The major sequences of construction are marking, excavation, concreting, bricklaying, roof building and finishing. There are more minor steps in between these processes, which have been outlined below.
Work sequence in building construction
1. Paperwork – Any construction project will begin with paperwork. This includes architectural drawings, planning permission, costings and outlining the project process. Contractors need to ensure that their paperwork is completed properly (in accordance with regulations and laws) and filed correctly. Documents need to be easily accessible when they are needed, so the filing is just as important as the completion of paperwork.
2. Marking and outlining – Once the building and paperwork have been approved, the contractors can start to mark the outline of the structure on the ground. The dimensions and orientation of the building are marked according to the architectural drawings. Once the outlines have been marked, the ground can be prepared for the next step.
3. Excavation – Now the building process can really begin. The foundations are excavated along the outlines drawn in the previous step. Excavations should be carried out according to the planning documents. Contractors should work carefully to match the exact dimensions of the trenches and floor spaces.
4. Foundation work – Building the foundations is a precise process that follows this sequence:
- Compacting the ground – The trenches are dug and the ground is compressed using tampers and rollers.
- Pouring concrete – Plain cement-based concrete is then laid on top of the compacted soil. The depth of the concrete depends on the nature of the foundation.
- Footing reinforcement – Steel rebar is tied together and placed on the concrete base to form a skeleton for the foundations.
- Formwork – To achieve the proper shape of the concrete, formwork is constructed according to the planning documents. This formwork also helps to keep the concrete from coming into contact with the surrounding soil.
- Footing – Concrete is poured into the formwork to create solid footings upon which the building will stand. Once the concrete is cured, construction can take place on top of the footing.
5. Column casting – Concrete columns are then built on top of the foundations. Formwork is built around steel rebar skeletons; wet concrete is poured into the formwork, around the rebar. The formwork is removed after 24 hours and the columns are left to cure.
6. Wall construction – Once the concrete columns are in place, they are connected by the construction of the walls. These walls can be made from concrete, wood, brick or composite materials. The base of the wall is built first using concrete. The height of the wall is determined by the architectural drawings.
7. Lintel construction – Lintels are concrete beams that sit above gaps for doors and windows. These reinforced concrete beams are poured and set on the ground, then hoisted into place above door frames and windows using a crane. They need to be strong to support the weight of the walls above, without any support from below.
8. Roofing – Once the walls and bricklaying are complete, contractors can start building the roof. Whether concrete slabs are used, or wooden trusses and tiles, the roof is the final layer of any building. They will be built according to the planning documents.
9. Plastering – Once the basic structure is complete, contractors can now prepare the building for the final touches. Walls and ceilings can be plastered to give them a smooth appearance. Special mortar is used for plastering, such as TemboFundi. The thickness of the plaster should never be more than 2cm as it becomes heavy and prone to cracking. Leave the plaster to cure for seven days.
10. Installing doors and windows – Next, contractors can start to install the doors and windows beneath the lintels. The metal frames are installed first and then the doors or windows are attached to the frames.
11. Installing electrics and plumbing – The necessary wiring, lighting, piping and water outlets are then installed. These should be completed before painting and tiling.
12. Tiling and painting – Tiles need to be installed in the kitchen, bathroom and any other room that will not be carpeted. If the walls are being tiled too, complete the walls before installing the floor tiles. Then, the non-tiled walls can be painted using two coats of primer and two coats of paint. The paint is applied directly on top of plastered walls – inside and outside the building.
14. Miscellaneous projects – Once all of the above tasks have been completed, contractors can then worry about the minor jobs, such as terracing, landscaping, interior decorating and final installation of appliances and carpets. The planning documents should outline what these minor jobs entail.
By following this work sequence, a contractor can complete a project efficiently and orderly. It will also help to plan the teams of builders, painters, electricians, plumbers and tilers. This work sequence is widely used around the world, so it has been tried and tested.
LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.
At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.