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Exterior Improvements

0 401 Market Intelligence

Water in the form of rain falls from the sky and attempts to find the path of least resistance in it’s never ending quest to reach the lowest possible point. Often, that path is interrupted by man-made structures. Water, not knowing the difference between natural and man-made, continues the quest.

Water in the form of rain falls from the sky and attempts to find the path of least resistance in it’s never ending quest to reach the lowest possible point. Often, that path is interrupted by man-made structures. Water, not knowing the difference between natural and man-made, continues the quest. Any crack, split, opening or cavity will be tested for integrity by the relentless force of gravity on water. Where the integrity has been compromised water will penetrate. In man-made structures, the penetration of water is generally considered a bad thing. Throughout history, man has used a variety of materials and methods to deter the penetration of water into the built environment. As an introduction to a series on Waterproofing, this article will discuss the various categories of waterproofing and some of the major types used within each category.

Frequent readers of the RSMeans’ Design & Cost Means Report may recognize this opening paragraph. It seemed fitting to resurrect it for this new series of articles that will feature Exterior Improvements. In this series, various materials and methods for closing in the exterior walls of a structure will be discussed. In addition, cost data from RSMeans’ Building Construction Cost Data will be presented.

Shelter, according to dictionary.com, can be defined as:

“Something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal, or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions, etc.; refuge.”

For much of history, shelter has been provided by natural materials. Earth, stone, and plant materials still provide us with protection from the elements. However, man made materials are finding their place as part of today’s shelters.

In this series of articles we will first discuss stone and clay based materials that provide exterior closure. We will then move on to plant based materials and finally discuss man made items. Our discussions will center around the materials used for exterior closure. While doors and windows provide shelter and exterior closure, discussion of those items will not be included in this series.

Keep an eye out for the next article. In the meantime consider this:

According to the 2010 version of RSMeans’ Building Construction Cost Data, stone based products used as part of an exterior closure system for a structure could run anywhere from $27 to over $100 per square foot.

According to RSMeans’ Square Foot Cost Data 2010, exterior closure makes up anywhere from 5% to over 30% of the cost of a project (depending on material and type of structure).

by RSMeans Engineering Staff last update:Oct 7, 2010

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