Building or constructing a house calls on all your abilities and skills in planning, budgeting and executing the task in hand. Although you may not be physically involved in the actual building up, as the home owner you have the responsibility of building a safe, secure and healthy home with all the factors considered.
There are several areas in home construction that need attention from the roof to the flooring literally and everything in between. A building contractor or expert can provide advice on the basic necessities that include all matters concerning:
• Building engineering like rooftop, walls, ceilings, floors etc.
• Electrical works
• Heating, cooling and ventilation
• Water proofing
• Damage proofing or earthquake proofing
These form the basic concepts of home construction; it makes a world of difference getting them right the first time because constant corrections, repairs, renovations and alterations can weaken the structure of a house rendering it unsafe and unworthy.
Apart from the concept of a solid home construction, there are many precautions that are useful to consider that will ultimately provide healthy living. Some of the important factors that go into a ‘precaution list’ as far as a home is concerned are:
1. Building in a clean location – Choosing the right site for building a home is top priority. A home should be built in a clean area where the air is of good quality and the vicinity is free from pollution.
2. Doing soil testing for strength and presence of pests is very essential. Every home needs a prior anti-pest treatment to prevent insects and pests from invading living spaces.
3. Remembering basic elements of physics – The shape of a house matters a great deal in construction; unnecessary nooks, corners and angles are not only a hindrance but also negatives as far as energy efficiency is concerned.
4. Giving adequate attention to structural elements – Proper laying of foundations and concrete in roofing and flooring and giving it adequate time to harden and strengthen are very essential to prevent cracks, seepage and other harmful effects.
5. Installing proper plumbing and adequate drainage – Pipelines and sewer lines must be given a lot of planning to prevent backflows and flooding. Access to pipelines must be easy to get hold of to carry out repairs and maintenance if necessary.
6. Controlling infiltration – A proper mechanical ventilation system minimizes the extent of uncontrolled infiltration serving to improve the quality of indoor air and prevent exposure to outdoor chemicals and toxins. Using multiple approaches like heat recovery ventilation, central exhaust and other fresh air circulatory approaches have advantages.
7. Use of solid wood or metal for fittings – Readymade bathroom and kitchen cabinets are made of wood and wood products and coated with glues and substances that have high formaldehyde content. Wooden or metal cabinets and fixtures that are custom made provide better and safer alternatives.
8. Using water based adhesives and paints – Water based paints and products tend to have much lower levels of VOCs (volatile organic chemicals). Besides VOCs there are other contents and ingredients used in paints that can cause health problems. Adequate ventilation is very essential for painting jobs for a completely dry effect and for coats to last long without peeling and caking.
9. Testing sensitivity tolerance to materials and chemicals – Upholstery, carpeting and drapes can sometimes cause allergies and reactions in people with very sensitive dispositions; wall, floor and wood coverings should be chosen suitably keeping these factors in mind.
10. Avoiding floor carpeting unless absolutely necessary – Carpeting is one of the ways in which allergens and pollutants flood a home; the microbes, mites, dander and dust that accumulate under heavy carpeting is almost impossible to clean. Shampooing and washing off with strong chemicals add to the problem.
11. Ensuring that the house remains dry in all weather conditions to prevent mold, fungi and other moisture carrying content from damaging interiors and exterior of the home.