Construction of the building, or major restoration work, begins after your contractor has obtained a building permit. Developing the house plans, making sure that any engineering required for flood and wind resistance has been done, preparing the bid documents, getting bids, selecting the contractor -- all this culminates in construction of the home. If you have not completed this preliminary work, you will find helpful information in the Design and Laws, Licenses and Permits sections. If you are still considering whether to restore, rebuild or build in a new location, or wondering how you're going to finance your project, find answers in the Getting Started section.

While you are working on the plans and permits, you may be spending time getting the site ready. If you're restoring a damaged home, you'll be cleaning and salvaging -- carefully -- so workers are not injured or exposed to mold, lead or asbestos. Your situation may be much the same if you're building a new home on the site of a severely damaged home and trying to salvage materials for reuse. You'll have a easier time getting started with construction if you've chosen to build in a subdivision where the lots have been cleared and prepped. But you may find yourself having to clear trees and brush and deciding which trees to save.

You will have made certain decisions about your home in the planning stage and prior to getting a permit. Will your home be built completely on site, using standard 2x4 construction? Built on-site using one of the panel or concrete forms technologies? Or are you planning to purchase a prefabricated home and assemble it on site? Information about site-built and factory-built homes and about exterior walls and roofs will be found in this Construction channel. The Exterior Walls and Roof section includes information on windows and doors, accessory structures and paved areas of the lawn.

A good foundation is critical, and Louisiana soils make foundation design particularly challenging. Pilings may be needed, even if your home is slab-on-grade. Many homes will need to have an elevated first floor for flood protection. Foundations must be engineered in certain flood and wind risk areas. Foundations and Floors includes information on floor finishes and coverings.

When it comes time to finish the interior, you'll be looking for plumbing, electrical and security equipment; heating and ventilation systems; finish carpentry; and finishes for interior surfaces. For any of the building -- inside or out -- you may want to consider using previously used, or recycled, building materials, appliances or furnishings.

Landscape and Lawn are important for aesthetics, pest control and making sure water drains away from the home and off the property. You may want a sprinkler system, or you may be considering putting up a fence, floodwall or personal levee. While you're building, be sure you protect local water quality by taking steps to prevent loose soil from being washed off the construction site.

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1/5/2007 10:40:11 PM
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