Stages of Construction

If you are buying a Melbourne property off-the-plan or you intend to construct a building on a piece of land you own, it would be to your benefit to understand the sequence in which a building is constructed. The Stages of Construction are summarised below:

stages of construction    

Planning & Design:  Site plans, building plans, specifications, drawings and other documentation are prepared by the building team (which includes the architect, engineer, or builder). The planning and/or building permit is applied for, costing, insurance and project planning schedules are completed. Material and labour are organised.

Site Preparation:  The site is cleared, the position of the building is 'set out', any necessary earthworks are carried out to level the site and site drainage is constructed according to plans and specifications. If required retaining walls are constructed as well. For security fences are erected.

Foundation Stage:  Individual or continuous footings are constructed. Depending on the foundation design, timber floor frames/steel floor systems/reinforced concrete slabs are laid.

Frame Stage:  The structure of the building is constructed in this stage. Depending on the  design, a choice of mass constr uction/masonry, light frame construction (steel or timber) or brick veneer is used. The roof frame is also constructed during this stage.

Lock-up Stage:  The external walls and roof are completed, external doors (either permanent or temporary) and windows are fixed. To protect against the weather, vandalism, squatters, animals or theft the building is locked up.

Fixing/Fitting Stage:  The internal cladding, skirtings, architraves, doors, built-in components (such as sanitaryware, kitchen cabinets and cupboards) are fitted and fixed.

Final Stage/Completion:  Kitchen and bathroom appliances, services (water, gas and electricity), HVAC systems (i.e. heating, ventilation and cooling), IT cabling, audiovisual and vacuum cleaning systems are installed. All internal and external painting and decoration, landscaping, driveway, paving, fences and gates are completed. 

Although this flow chart applies mainly to landed residential buildings, most of the stages are also relevant to commercial/industrial buildings.