Your plan can be a rough sketch. However, a formal building plan will make it easier to workout the exact amount materials needed and can save you money in the long run. A formal building plan is drawn up by an architect-technician or draughtsperson. Once you have your plan you can ask an experienced builder or a materials supplier to tell you what materials you will need and how much you will need. A materials supplier can also give you the costs for the materials.
CHOOSING SUITABLE BUILDING MATERIALS
Ask experienced builders and home-owners what materials are most suitable. • What affordable, commonly-used, good-quality materials are available locally? • Which materials suit the local weather and temperatures? Will they stand up to the heat, cold, wind and rain?
SAVING ON COSTS
Add the cost of the materials to the costs of transporting the materials and the builder’s labour. This will give you an estimate for the whole project. If this does not fit your budget you can consider the following ways to reduce the costs: • Reduce the size of the building or rooms. • Use cheaper or fewer finishes and details. • Compare prices of building materials or buy when there is a sale. • Buy good quality second-hand building materials. • Ask experienced homeowners and builders for advice on how to save on the costs of materials and labour. • Negotiate a better price for labour with the builder and see if you and your family can do some of the work yourself. • Groups of home-owners can form savings clubs to buy building materials in larger amounts, share transport and negotiate discount prices.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE IS
· Select good quality building materials that suit your needs and conditions corr · Workout the corr ect amount of materials needed · Estimate the costs of the materials, check your budget
· Treat second-hand wood with PCP (Penta Chloro Phenal) to kill possible termites and beetles. · Avoid buying any second-hand asbestos products such as ceiling boards, roofsheets, gutters and down pipes. These cause health problems.
SECOND-HAND BUILDING MATERIALS
Using second-hand building materials is a good way to save costs. The following materials can easily be obtained second-hand and are safe to use: • Bricks • Timber window and door frames (check the wood for rot and beetles) • Steel frames (check that there are no kinks in the frames as this will lead to rust) • Structural timber for floors, roofs and ceilings (check the wood for rot and beetles) • Kitchen sinks
There are many alternatives to commonly-used building materials. Some of these are cheaper or are better for the environment. Below are some examples that could be considered:
BUILDING PART COMMONLY-USED MATERIALS
FOUNDATION 600 x 200mm concrete strip footings (in foundation trench dug down to solid bearing ground). 140mm concrete block walls with Damp Proof Course. DPC is placed 150mm above finished ground level and brickforce over windows and doors. Blocks are filled with concrete below floor level. 75mm concrete slab on DPM (Damp Proof Membrane) on soil compacted in layers of maximum 300 mm. Mild steel window frames with 3mm glass, meranti timber door frames (or Clisco window/door frames with surrounds). SA Pine purlin-rafters or trusses with purlins for roof sheets. Corrugated iron (zinc), fibre cement (asbestos) on 228 x 38mm purlin-rafters, or 76 x 50mm purlins. Rhinoboard (gypsumboard) nailed to underside of purlin-rafters, or 38 x 38mm brandering. Cement-sand mix, with acrylic / or PVA paint. Pre-paid electricity meters with incandescent or fluorescent light fittings, electrical geyser, stove and heaters.
Reinforced concrete raft floor slab, or ground beams on unstable soils. Brick wall, cavity brick, compacted earth bricks, soil-cement bricks, panels, sand bags in timber frame. 100mm concrete slab + steel mesh reinforcing on filled / compacted soil. Treated SA Pine, meranti timber or aluminium window /door frames. SA Pine trusses or ridgebeam and rafters with battens for tile roofs. Concrete roof tiles (on 38 x 38mm battens). Masonite hardboard, timber, corrugated cardboard with wire, Isoboard Cemcrete, BreatheCoat. CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), solar water heater, gas or paraffin.
WINDOW AND DOORFRAMES ROOF STRUCTURE ROOF FINISH
PLASTER AND PAINT ENERGY
PAMPHLETS ABOUT: ALSO SEE OTHER PAMPHLETS ABOUT: • Making the best use of your plot • Making home improvements
Published by the Development Action Group 101 Lower Main Road, Obser vatory, 7925 Tel: (021) 448-7886 • Fax: (021) 447-1987
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BUYING BUILDING MATERIALS
I’m not sure what building materials to buy for the alteration we’re planning.
You should work out what you need so that you don’t waste money.
H O M E O W N E RS’ A DV I C E PAMPHLETS