Organise construction tools and equipment for your build.

Construction tools and equipment are constantly being developed to make every stage of house building easier, quicker, cheaper and safer.

If you have decided to project manage your self build there'll be some stages where you'll need to arrange equipment or construction tools for work to progress.

It is essential as part of your project planning and management that you plan ahead to ensure that equipment is on site and ready for use when it's required.


Green and black cordless drill

The tradesmen and subbies working on your site should have most of the equipment they need but discuss requirements with them before they start work to ensure that you both know what is needed, when and who will provide it.

Pre-Construction

Before work gets underway and depending on your site's location and boundaries you might want to erect temporary fencing to secure the site, protect the public and guard against theft. There are several temporary fencing solutions available with Herras fencing being one of the more popular options and a familiar sight on sites around the country.

JCB back hoe excavator

Excavation

If you are using a company to take care of the groundworks package then they will supply their own plant. The alternative is to hire in a machine, which will normally include a qualified operator. They will arrive on site and dig where directed.

If you have difficult ground conditions or your design requires an alternative foundation solution then you might need to get specialist equipment like a piling rig, auger or trench support for deeper excavations. If this is necessary, speak to your designer or engineer for advice.

Superstructure and General

As your build progresses, equipment such as scaffolding or material handling equipment needs to be available for anyone on site to use. If you are managing the build and appointing separate contractors for each trade then you need to ensure that this equipment will be available to all.

Adequate access equipment and scaffolding is of particular importance, as falls from height constitute the main cause of fatalities in the industry. Visit our construction safety page and make yourself aware of the relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.

Your general needs for construction tools and equipment can be taken care of by local tool hire companies. The guys in the hire centres are normally very helpful and can provide good advice. If they don't supply something they should be able to point you in the right direction of someone who does.

Set up accounts with a couple of local tool hire companies so you can quickly and easily hire anything you need.

If you're getting more hands-on or need to hire something for a longer period of time then weigh up whether it makes more sense to buy it instead.

House Construction Method

The house construction method you choose will result in the need for some specialist equipment and construction tools. For example:

  • Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) - You'll need to hire a concrete pump to place the concrete and a poker vibrator to release air from the wet concrete and bed it into the forms.
  • Structural insulated panels (SIPs) or Kit home - Depending on panel sizes, you may need a crane to lower sections into position for fixing.
  • Steel frame - Again, craneage and access equipment will be required to make the connections.

Summing Up

Discuss the equipment needs for your project with the tradesmen and installers who will be doing the work, set up accounts with tool hire companies and use your schedule to plan well ahead and avoid delays.

It's sometimes tempting to try and do without something to save a bit of money but getting the right construction tool for the job saves a lot of hassle in the long run.

Browse The Self Build Guide for more information on building you own home.

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