Setting Up Buildings Accurately to Ensure a Successful Build


In these trying economic times wasting money is a nearly unpardonable sin. This truism is especially true in the construction industry. With the rising cost of building materials and recent decline in new house construction, today’s contractor must pay attention to every detail of the process of designing and building a new structure. It order to properly create a new building, the builder must set up the building site by surveying site conditions, setting site perimeter, and making profiles to denote wall thickness.

To correctly set up a building, the ground must be surveyed to assess local conditions. First of all, local building codes require the demarcation of utility lines such as electricity, gas and water lines. Secondly, the ascetics of the plot should be reviewed as desired related to driveway, neighbours and elevation of the ground. Finally, the plot should be cleared of vegetation and debris prior to demarcation of the structural boundaries.

To demarcate the site perimeter (internal wall dimensions), the first spike should be offset from a fixed point(such as the margin of the plot). Next, using a tape measure hooked to the first spike (which should stick out of the ground by about an inch) the length of one wall is should be measured and marked with another spike or nail. The width is to be measured in the same fashion and checked using the Pythagorean Theorem.

To do this, begin by multiplying the length and width by themselves, then adding the results together. Complete the process by taking the square root of the sum to find the proper length of the diagonal of a right triangle. (Note: Some builders elect to use a 3:4:5 triangle to complete this process, but often this tool is not reliable when used over long distances such as exterior wall measurements.) Next, validate the right angle by checking the diagonal in relation to the current spikes and adjust the spike according to create a right angle. After ascertaining this, repeat the process for fourth spike and outline the perimeter with chalk powder or lime.

Finally, the thickness of the outer walls must be accounted for prior to the digging of the foundation. This may be achieved by the use of profile pegs and boards. First, measure two feet (600mm) away from the spikes along each axis of the demarcated quadrilateral and drive profile pegs straddling these lines. The process should then be repeated in the remaining three corners of the demarcated area.

You may need a friend to assist you. Next, Profile boards should be placed the corresponding foundation lines should be marked. Finally, the build should mark a ‘center line’ around the entire building by measuring in hallway between the initial four spikes and the outer foundation line. With this, the building has been properly demarcated and excavation can begin. You will be on your way to creating a successful building. If these steps are followed, the build will avoid common pitfalls in the construction of a new structure.