Building Work

Building and Home Improvement Activities

Q - The drawings for our new house show steel lintels over the door and windows openings. What are the advantages of steel over the traditional concrete lintels?

A - Steel lintels have almost totally replaced concrete in recent years. They are used
because they are easy to hoist into position so lifting equipment is not required. But more importantly, their profile allows the outer skin of a hollow wall to be built on the toe of the lintel to produce a continuous brickwork effect but concrete lintels are usually visible. Although they cost about twice as much as concrete lintels there are savings in handling costs.

Q - I am building a four-bedroom detached house and intend to use dot and dab plasterboard. I will need about 200 sheets size 2400 x 1200mm. What sort of cost will be involved?

A - Here the current costs of plasterboard:

9.5mm thick 2400 x 1200mm £2.68 per square metre
12.5mm thick 2400 x 1200mm £3.58 per square metre

Q - How much should I pay per linear metre for taping and filling.

A - This is the preparatory work to plasterboard before skimming and/or decorating. Taping and filling joints is not measured separately from the fixing of plasterboard and the overall labour rate is about £4 per square metre. So the taping and filling part of the work is probably between 75p and £1 per square metre.

Q - We like the idea of having red cedar shingles on our roof and external walls. What is the approximate costs involved?

A - I would work on £70 per square metre for the roof and £55 for the walls.

Q - I am about to begin my first self build and have been advised that I should use the beam and block system for the ground floor. Could you please give me an idea of the cost of this type on construction?

A - For budget purposes I would work on £50 per square metre for pot and block flooring.

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