If you plan to get a home built from scratch on a new piece of land, you will want to line up an expert team. You'll start with designers and architects to help you translate your dream to paper and then turn to engineers to confirm that it's possible. While you may then turn over all the work to a team of builders, you also need another expert on hand to come into the picture at various stages. Who is this expert, and what should they do?
While you may undoubtedly choose an experienced and knowledgeable builder to do all the construction for you, you will need an impartial inspector on your side. This individual is known as a building approval contractor, and they are licensed by the local authority to sign off at various stages. Think of them as your eyes and ears, especially since you may not have any building experience of your own and may not, in any case, know what to look for.
Local Authority Interest
The job of the approvals department in your local authority is to ensure that building stock within their jurisdiction is always first class and as safe as possible. They want to ensure that any builders use best practices, incorporate the proper materials, and move ahead with due deference to safety and legislation. They want an inspector to certify each property, and this work will take place at various stages.
Inspecting the Footings and Foundations
As soon as the builder has excavated the foundation, they'll be ready to put in place the concrete reinforced footings. The certifier will want to ensure that the materials used are up to the task, that the right amount of concrete and steel reinforcement is in place and that any underground utility services are catered for.
Onto the Slab
The next stage will involve the pouring of the concrete slab. This will need to be introduced correctly to take into account the positioning and nature of the footings, the expected forces produced by the weight of the building and will also need to take into account waterproofing measures. Again, the certifier will need to sign off before work can move on.
Typically, the certifying expert will also look at the property's frame to ensure that it can support the rest of the structure and especially the roof. Assuming everything is good here, the builder may then move forward to the full construction, followed by a final inspection before you can move in.
As you can see, this is detailed work, and a building approvals specialist is one of the most important members of your proposed team. Make sure that you talk with contractors who are licensed by the local authority and have experience with this type of building.