Building Renovation

Course CodeBSS104
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Making Home Improvements

Building renovation projects may be large or small, costly or expensive, complex or simple. All such projects should be carefully considered with respect to these issues before anything is ever done.

Any project can be disruptive for a home owner. The longer it takes to complete, the more disruptive it can be. Give serious consideration to what is an acceptable level of disruption, and make sure everyone concerned understands the time frame which needs to be worked to.

For any project to be successful it should be realistically conceived and its execution should be planned to achieve a useful outcome within the constraints of financial and other resources available, and with a comfortable margin of error.

Enhance your skillset

Learn about the tools and techniques involved in building construction.

Learn to plan, prepare and execute a renovation project to repair or improve part or all of an existing building.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Building Renovation Projects
    • Identifying Constraints
    • What and Why are you renovating
    • Determining what is worth doing
    • Where to begin
    • What tooms to renovate
    • Managing risks - avoiding surprises
    • Determining costs
    • Dealing with subcontractors and tradesmen
    • Safety on Site
    • Allowable tolerances
  2. Core Structural and Site Works
    • Moisture problems - drainage, condensation, plumbing, roof leaks etc
    • Biological damage -animals, mould, dry rot, etc
    • Fire damage
    • Foundations
    • Load bearing beams
    • Reparing damaged walls and roofs
    • Using scaffolds, cranes, temporary supports
  3. Replacing/Repairing Roofs and Floors
    • Roof characteristics
    • Roof coverings -slatyes, tiles, thatch, shingles, metal sheet, etc
    • Roof repair Jobs
    • Cleaning and Painting roofs
    • Floors - ground floors, upper floors, suspended floors, etc
    • Floor finishes
    • Solid floors, wood floors
    • Floor repair jobs
    • Cleaning and staining floors
    • Floor coverings -linoleum
  4. Doors, Windows and walls
    • Wall maintenance
    • Rendering
    • Sealing
    • Cleaning efflorescence, types of stains, etc
    • Preserving timber
    • Repair jobs
    • Re-pointing
    • Replacing bricks
    • Window frame materials - aluminium, metal, UPVC, wood
    • Window types
    • Repairing broken window glass
    • Doors -panelled, flush, ledged and braced
    • How to hang a door
    • Adjusting existing doors
  5. Plastering and Tiling
    • Plastering tools
    • Using plaster
    • Cutting plasterboard
    • Fixing plasterboard to walls
    • Jointing plasterboard
    • Repairing holes in plasterboard
    • Repairing cracks
    • Fixing plasteboard to ceilings
    • Plastering over plasterboard
    • Finishing outside corners
    • Tiling tools
    • Tiling floors
    • Tiling walls
  6. Carpentry Renovation
    • Carpentry tools - hammers, saws, chisels, planes and other hand tools
    • Power tools - nail guns, saws, drills, grinders, planes, sanders
    • Choosing wood -types of wood
    • Buying wood - stress grading timber
    • Working with wood
    • Types of joints -edge, angled, framing, housing, halving, dowel
    • Fixing joints -nails, screws, glues, other fasteners
    • Finishing -sandpaper, wood fillers
    • Applying woodworking skills
  7. Painting
    • Painting tools
    • Paint work
    • Before painting - preparing different surfaces
    • What to paint a surface with - brick, concrete, cement, stone, plaster, metal, wood
    • Preparing to paint
    • Using brushes
    • Cleaning and storing brushes
    • Using rollers - cleaning and storing
    • Spray painting
  8. Plumbing Basics
    • Tyupes of plumbng jobs
    • Roof plumbing and guttering
    • Drainage plumbing
    • Grey water plumbing
    • Water supply - water tanks 0- underground tanks, other water sources
    • Plumbing tools
    • Plumbing fittings
    • Working with copper pipes - cutting, joining
    • Working with plastic pipes - cutting, joining
    • Replaving taps
    • Earth bonding
    • Sanitary appliances
  9. Electrical Basics
    • Understanding electricity - current, voltage, resistance, Ohm's law, Voltage
    • Basic home electrics
    • Tools -voltage tester, socket tester, other tools
    • Basic wiring jobs - wiring a plug, wiring a light switch
    • Light fittings
    • Lighting design
    • Solar power
    • Energy ratings
  10. Renovating a Room
    • Planning a room renovation
    • Scheduling works
    • PLanning time
    • Drawing a budget
    • Project management
    • Choosing materials and appliances
    • Special Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Learn to understand and Counteract Deterioration in Construction.

Some construction does last (consider the pyramids), but for the most part, there are things that cause deterioration. Understanding those impacts is the first step in detecting and circumventing problems with deterioration in building construction.

Buildings are affected by the weather, and living things such as wood rots and animal infestations. If left unchecked, biological or chemical deterioration can and will occur in any building. 

  • A poorly constructed building will be more prone to deterioration.
  • Buildings exposed to harsher climates will be more prone to deterioration.

Protective surfaces can break down, subsidence can cause movement of foundations and cracking in walls, and ground or air water can bring their own toll on a building's integrity.  

Moisture is a common problem, which may be caused by a wide variety of problems including:

  • Water moving upwards from the ground (this is capillary action - similar to the way a sponge dipped into water will soak water up into the drier parts above the water).
  • Leaks from the roof, windows or seals around pipes, vents, chimneys or anything else on the outside of the building.
  • Leaks through cracks in exterior walls.
  • Leaks from internal water pipes or drains.
  • Leaks from water storage tanks or appliances (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine).
  • Condensation on interior surfaces in inadequately protected surfaces in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry.
  • Condensation on poorly ventilated surfaces in a humid climate.
  • Runoff rainwater seeping under building or into walls.

Termites are a significant problem in some countries such as Australia and the United States. Termites are something of a 'silent destroyer' of timber in houses because they often cause extensive damage without homeowners being aware that they have invaded.
Rodents are another unwelcome guest in properties although the damage they cause is less likely to affect the structure of properties unless the house has been vacant for many years. Rats and mice gnaw through materials to make tunnels through which they can pass. They have teeth which continue growing throughout their lives and gnawing is how they file them down. They are capable of gnawing through a wide range of materials including cardboard, laminates, and timber as well as plaster. Sometimes they chew through wiring or cause other damage. 

Birds are only usually a problem in vacant houses which have entry points such as smashed or missing windows and holes in roofs. 

Moulds are a type of fungus. Different types of mould can become problematic in households. Moulds thrive in moist environments. Outdoors they can be found on wet leaves beneath a forest floor, in caves or in clogged gutters. Indoors moulds can be found in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms but they also emerge where there is inadequate ventilation and moisture such as on the insides of windows where there is condensation and between the linings of curtains. 


Benefits of Studying This Course

This course is designed to be of benefit to people who are interested in learning how to renovate buildings for themselves or in business. It will also be of value to those who are operating an existing property development business who would like to broaden their knowledge.

Take this course if you would like to:

  • Find ways to improve an existing renovation business.
  • Enhance your employability in construction and building maintenance.
  • Improve your knowledge of practical aspects of building renovation.
  • Buy a property with a view to renovating it.

This course may be studied by itself or along with other 100-hour modules as part of a learning package.

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