The New Build Condo Construction Process
Ever wondered what the process was for building a high rise condo apartment building like Waterview Condos in Grimsby on Lake Ontario? If you’re thinking ahead to retirement, or are already a retiree, 50+ baby boomer, or senior in the process of purchasing a new build condo, have purchased a new condo that will be under construction, or are waiting to move into a new build condo, learn the basics in high rise construction so you know how close you really are to enjoying the good life in your new condo and what’s involved.
Condo Project Overview
The entire project is a sequence of events that often can take up to 5 -7 years from initial interest by a developer to a finished product. What most condo buyers see is the process from the Sales stage to the finished product, but there are multiple stages beyond the construction phase that are included in the complete start to finish building of a high rise condominium.
The first phase is the project design and pre-development. Often pre-development encompasses the developer assessing current trends and needs and finding appropriate land where homes are needed most. Next follows the feasibility, acquisition of land and project design phase followed by the start of the sales and marketing phase. Many of these stages can overlap as well. This would be the pre-construction sales phase that truly determines if building the project is worthwhile. There is generally lag time between pre-construction sales and the start of construction as most builders adhere to requiring a certain percentage of sales before construction can begin. Planning, legal compliance and construction are all conducted almost simultaneously, with planning and permits being done slightly ahead of construction start times. The Condo pre-registration, occupancy, registration and post-registration phases finalize the project.
Condo Construction Phases
The construction phases like the overall phases of construction can often overlap, but there are some core dependencies that inhibit all parts of the construction process to happen simultaneously.
Site Design & Layout
The first phase of actual construction would be considered to most a pre-construction phase, but it is ultimately important to the construction process. The site of the actual building needs to be assessed, evaluated and the layout of the building structure plotted. This can include clearing the land and testing the soil and bedrock of the site.
Basement & Foundation
The first real phase of construction is the excavation of the buildings lower than ground floor levels and pouring the concrete foundation and footings. This process of the building can often be one of the longest in order to pour concrete pilings as well as establish the foundation for the building crane and its setup, and is usually about 1/3rd of the construction process.
Building the Towers
This phase refers to simply building the structural shell of the building, such as the building floors, floor structural supports including walls, beams, slabs and columns. This process also takes about a 1/3rd of the building process but other stages can be started during this phase.
This refers to bringing water, power, and other utilities into each unit and area throughout the building and needs to be completed before the Finishing Works can begin. Generally the tower starts and once the first floor is finished, the services crew starts, then moves to the second floor so the Finishing crew can then start on the first floor and so on.
The Finishing Works of the building process refers to actually making each unit and the entire building habitable, but does not include any structural components. This includes walls, painting, cabinetry, lighting, flooring and fixtures.
The envelope includes the exterior of the structure including cladding, windows, doors, balconies and any exterior edifice, landscape and structure. Generally as the Tower moves up the Envelope can be started after the Services have also moved on.
Although this is a general construction and design layout for a modern condominium, be aware that each builder has their own process in order to meet their own requirements. Yet these phases are fairly standardized throughout the industry, regardless of whether your new condo apartment is in Hamilton, Burlington, Grimsby, Niagara, GTA, Toronto or elsewhere.
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