Construction Techniques for Contractors | Michigan


7 Credit Hours | Online HD Video & Text Course | Instructor:  J. MacDowell
Here you will learn an overview of the building trade skills from site work, concrete forms and framing to roofs and the many structural components associated with the entire building envelope.

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Course Description

This seven hour course provides an overview of building trade skills. A contractor or home renovator needs to be able to layout a building site; determine the elevations of a site excavation; build concrete footing and wall forms; frame and sheath floors, walls and roofs. They must develop an understanding of the many structural components associated with the entire building envelope, supplementing the hands on experience employed in the field.  The information provided in this course would be advantageous for anyone seeking to start a residential building project or enter into the building industry. This course outlines the fundamental skills involved in residential construction or remodeling through text, integrated videos, diagrams and slides.

Learning objectives are provided to facilitate understanding and progress.   Informal progress checks throughout the module will help you review and measure your understanding of the material.  The assessment at the end of each chapter accurately reflects learning objectives.  A 70% on each assessment is required to move on to the next chapter.  




Chapter 1- Building Planning and Permits

*Learning Objectives: 1) Understand the process of permitting and zoning. 2) Recognize the key people involved in enforcing pertinent regulations. 3) Identify the areas of the code book that deal with administration and building planning. 4)  See the importance of foam plastics during the planning process.

A.  Enforceable Code:  Permitting, Zoning, Building Department
B.  Administration:  Chapter 1
C.  Building Planning:  Chapter 3
D.  Foam Plastics:  Chapter 3

Chapter 2- Sitework

*Learning Objectives 1)  Describe what kind of restrictions may be involved in regards to easements, deeds, and setbacks.  2) Define dewatering and the various laws and regulations surrounding dewatering activities. 3)  Describe the methods by which soil and rock deposits are classified and analyzed. 4)  Recognize the steps involved in site preparation. 5)  Describe the basic methods and tools required for site preparation.

A.  Deeds, Setbacks, Easements and Surveys
B.  Floodplains, Wetlands, Groundwater
C.  Soil Types and Testing
D.  Site Preparation
E.  Grading, Trenching and Equipment

Chapter 3- Footings and Foundations

 *Learning Objectives:  1)  Identify and understand the components and methods to footing and foundation construction. 2) Understand the purpose of steel reinforcement in walls. 3) Identify the different types of forms, and the advantages of one over another depending on the specifics of the job. 4)  Recognize the importance of protecting foundation walls from water infiltration.

A.  Layout Process
B.  Foundation Types:  Basement, Crawl, Slab-on-Grade and others
C.  Displacement and reinforcement:  Steel reinforcement, Columns and Pilasters
D.  Concrete Formwork
E.  Dampproofing and Waterproofing

Chapter 4- Concrete and Concrete Reinforcement

*Learning Objectives  1) Explain the difference between chemical and mineral admixtures, and describe the several different types used. 2) Explain the process of, and importance of compressive strength testing. 3) Discuss how to construct proper concrete joints. 4) Describe and define 5 types of problems that typically occur with concrete.

A.  Admixtures
B.  Compressive Strength Testing: 7 Day Test
C.  Joints:  Isolation, Expansion and Construction
D.  Reinforcement: Placement, Ties
E.  Post Tensioned Prestressed Concrete
F.  Problems:  Scaling, Curling, Spalling

Chapter 5- Masonry

*Learning Objectives 1) Describe mortar types, and when specific types are called for. 2) Learn to properly place and grout concrete and masonry blocks. 3) Recognize the various types, sizes and nomenclature for blocks and masonry units. 4) Identify the requirements of chimney and fireplace construction.

A.  Mortar Types and Use
B.  Placing Mortar
C.  Concrete Blocks and Masonry Units:  Types, Patterns, Joints
D.  Masonry Veneer
E.  Chimney and Fireplace Construction

 Chapter 6- Framing/Rough Carpentry

 *Learning Objectives:  1) Gain an understanding of the many materials used in rough carpentry.  2)  Define the various framing styles commonly used. 3) Identify the basic components of framing:  bracing, joists, walls, floors, fastening schedules and fire blocking.

A.  Materials:  Lumber, Manufactured Materials
B.  Framing:  Platform, Balloon, Post and Beam
C.  Flooring:  Components, Bridging
D.  Wall Framing:  Terms
E.  Roof/Attic Frame:  Roof Systems, Trusses
F.  Fastening Schedules

Chapter 7- Roofing

 *Learning Objective: 1) Understand the anatomy of a roof, the shingles, flashing, and types.

A.  Roof Styles
B.  Methods and Materials
C.  Pitch and Slope
D.  Components of a Roof
E.  Truss Design Sheets
F.  Shingle and Flashing Details

Course instructors will be available by email or telephone between 8am and 6pm Eastern Standard Time. They will assist you with questions regarding course content.

If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-727-7104 or send an email to Email responses will usually be returned promptly, but guaranteed within one business day.

Student policies and procedures are always available by going to our website and scrolling to the bottom of the page (See Attendance, Privacy and Refund Policy).