Smart Home Construction: Fast Building Solutions

Written by Lillian Connors
23
Jan

Do you want your home building projects to draw out into a seemingly endless process? Surely, delays can occur as there are no guarantees that a development application will go smoothly through the council. Also, there is a possibility of rain while some trades may prove difficult to source or their availability is limited. Factors like these all contribute to construction work taking longer than you initially planned. And while it’s impossible to control every step of the building process, these three options can definitely get you under the new roof faster.

Versatile panels

Home building companies like Fairmont Homes have adopted aerated concrete panels to construct many of their new homes. Instead of traditional bricks, the company initially resorted to these panels to overcome the high cost and limited availability of bricklayers. Only then have they realized the huge potential of aerated concrete panels as a much faster building technique.

According to their manager Daniel Logue, the panels also offer acoustic benefits, are cleaner to work with, have good thermal properties and high fire rating, and can even be used to build party walls in duplexes. Building with panels reduces the build time by three weeks on average. Logue estimates that a home can be complete in 16 weeks, but if there is rain in the forecast, 20 weeks is a more realistic estimate. His company uses elastic acrylic render on its panels, which means they can expand and contract, eliminating problems with cracks.

The prefabricated house

This is probably the fastest of the three solutions – the house is built off-site, most likely in a factory, hauled to the vacant block and craned down into place. Although this option has been around for some time now, Australians are still warming up to the idea. The problem is that these houses have largely been viewed as temporary and low budget housing. But now, according to Bill McCorkell of the prefabricated house building company Archiblox, prefabricated houses that are designed by architects are getting a lot of attention across the country.

Building with high-end materials and smart designs, this company is creating visually distinctive and luxury prefab homes. Prefabricated homes are the pinnacle of green building, as they bring minimal disturbance to the natural surroundings. Off-site building means reduced disruptions as there are no trades and machinery coming on and off the site.

Also, the homes are designed with consideration to material size, so there is maximum product usage and minimal waste. Even kitchens, bathroom, tiles and light fixtures are installed in the factory, prior to shipping out. The modular design of these homes allows the owners to control both time and cost, with most orders being completed in between 12 and 20 weeks. The site installation lasts a single day, with a week or two of final touches.

Permanent formwork

Cold formed steel hobs have been used for over 15 years in the Australian construction industry. It is mainly used for residential housing such as multi-story condos and apartment towers. Steel hobs are manufactured to the site specification, delivered to the site, fixed to the slab and filled with concrete.

Compared to traditional forming up timber hobs, permanent formwork solutions allow for much easier and faster building, as there is no need to wait for concrete to set before stripping the timber ply, removing the nails and patching the hobs. Steel hobs are straight and precisely cut so there is no risk of warping or bending. On top of that, the hob frames are light and offer an easy step-by-step joining with no material waste on the site.

Building a home inevitably brings up unplanned and unaccounted time delays, whether it’s the weather, paperwork or limited availability of certain trades. However, there are ways to speed up the construction process. Consider new and quick building techniques such as aerated concrete panels, permanent steel hobs or simply have your custom-made prefab house lowered onto the lot.