How to build a duplex in one month

Supervising your building or executing your building project without being shortchanged is always the greatest fear of a would be owner.
Understanding that building project costs a substantial sum especially when the taste is high for a salary earner, it is imperative to minimise lost from unscrupulous contractors and nothing can be as fulfilling seeing your house grows from conceptual stage through foundation and ultimately to completion. The objective is to be able to build your house during your leave off work which is usually one month.
For a businessman or a salary earner that can only affords a leave of one month, you can be a witness in the process of building your house, however you need good planning in time,money allocation,labour and materials.
For this project we will discuss a storey building and we are assuming on a fairly stable soil that can allow for a strip foundation.
To get it right, you must be conversant with the stages for an average building project which I will list as follows
1-Clearing of site —————————————cutlass etc
2-setting out ————————–profiles,pegs,nails,rope,builder or advance instruments
3-Digging ——————————— digger,shovel
4-Casting of foundation———————————-cement,sand,granite/gravel,water,iron rods for pillar base
5-foundation blockworks——————————- blocks,cement,sharpsand,water
6-laterite filling———————————-Filling sand
7-Ramming———————————————ramming machine,water
8-oversite concrete or german floor——————–iron rods,hardcore,dpc membrane,cement,sand,granite,water
9-Blockwork on groundfloor to window base—————sharpsand,cement,water
10-blockwork from window base to lintel level———–sharpsand,cement,water
11-Lintel —————————————-wood,iron rods,nails,granite
12-Blockwork after lintel —————————————–blocks,sharpsand,water
13-23.First floor concrete decking ———————– iron rods,sharpsand,granite, water,planks,2b3 wood,nails,binding wire
24-Blockwork on firstfloor to window base————- sharpsand ,blocks,cement,water
25-Blockwork from window base to lintel level———–sharpsand,blocks,water,cement
26-Lintel ——————— granite/gravel,sand,cement,1by12 planks,nails, binding wire
27-Blockwork after lintel to roof beam/ ———–sharpsand,blocks,water,cement
concrete facial/parapet
28-Roof beam/concrete facial/parapet———–granite,sharpsand,cement,planks,2by3 ,nails
29-Roof—————————————-wood,nails etc
30-Roof covering—————————— aluminium,stone coat etc


To get the program of work right you must atleast have an idea of the manpower required for each task because this will help you to request for the right numbers of people else artesans will always be shut in numbers thereby prolonging the time you could have used and work will spillover to the next day.
For the plan above, we will consider tasks,materials,finance required and the labour for our planning.
There are tasks that can go independently, identify such and use it to reduce your time frame, this is important in program of work.
For effectiveness, provide materials for each task two days before the task therefore money must be ready and the labour calculated before the task.
DAY 1-clearing,purchase setting out materials,digging equipments,water(borehole)
DAY2-setting out,order foundation casting materials,order for short pillars iron rods
DAY3-digging,order for foundation blocks,order for sharpsand,granite,iron rods
DAY4-casting of foundation,cast precast lintels for groundfloor windows ,order for filling sand
DAY5-foundation blockwork,cast short pillars,get ramming machine or manual rammer
DAY6-filling-order for oversite concret/german floor materials-iron rods,
DAY7-ramming,order for blocks for grondfloor to window level
DAY8-placements of iron rods etc
DAY9-oversite concrete/german floor,order for blocks from window base to lintel level,cast firstfloor precast lintel
DAY10-blockwork for groundfloor to window level,order for blocks after lintel
DAY11-blockwork from window base to lintel level,order for decking materials
DAY12-lintel,blockwork after lintel level
DAY13-DAY23 decking, order for blocks for first floor to window base
DAY24-blockwork on firstfloor to window base
DAY25-blockwork from window base to lintel level,order blockwork after lintel to roof
DAY26-lintel,blockworks to roof
DAY27-roof beam, order for roof covering
DAY29-roof covering
You have to realise to achieve this you must be able to give an estimate for labour required for each task,the project may also cost more due to speed.
The most problematic of the stages are those of concrete and woodworks, so for every other tasks, give two days to order for material, for the concrete we may need 7 days to prepare for the task.. Some stages that goes independently will help to save time as well.
For the window lintels, know the dimensions of the windows from the plan, cast the lintel by using a board that can accomodate the length and the allowance needed seven days before you’ll need to place the lintel.
Now lets give an estimate for manpower for each task
DAY1= clearing for one plot-3 persons
DAY2 =setting out(one builder,one bricklayer,one labourer)-3 persons
DAY3= digging-for digging know the total trench from your structural or architectural plan, take one partition to be 3.6m and by experience one labour to 4 partitions=11.4meters trench for each labourer. For the plan above our total trench is taken as 114m, divide by 14.4=8 labourers
DAY4 =casting of foundation-also know the volume of concrete you’ll cast, take 2m3 for each labour and divide .For instance, the totall for our plan is 12m3. Divide 12m3 by 2m3=6 labourers
DAY5=Calculate like day4
DAY6=foundation blockwork-, a bricklayer is required to lay 100 blocks per day, so know the numbers of blocks you’ll need then divide by 100. For our plan we need 1000 blocks for 4 coaches, divide this by 100=10 bricklayers . Add one labourer to a bricklayer as well, that is we need 10 bricklayers and 10 labourers to serve them.
DAY7=filling-one labourer should be able to tip one tipper load of 20tons , so for 13 trips we will need 13 labourers for our plan.
DAY8=ramming-use of mahines or 2 labourers/100m2 surface area
DAY9=iron rods
DAY10=oversite concrete-calculate total volume and divide by 2m3 for each labourer. 26/2=13 labourers for our plan
DAY11=Calculate like day6
DAY12=Calculate like day6
DAY13 TO DAY23=FIRSTFLOOR CONCRETE DECKING-for woodwork use surface area of standard 2 rooms i.e 2(3.6 x 3.6) for a carpenter .Therefore for a total surface area of 168m2 divide by 26m2=7 carpenters. For concrete divide total volume by 2m3 i.e 26m3/2=13 labourers. for iron rods use 2 iron benders/ton.
DAY24=Calculate like day6
DAY25=Calculate like day6
DAY27=roof beam,calculate for concrete,woodworks+iron rods as shown previously
DAY28=roof,calculate for wood
DAY29=roof covering

An architect with decades of experience

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