House Construction from conception to completion – II

After learning about the binding material, cement, let’s move ahead towards the other important construction ingredients.


Together with cement, sand is another important material in preparation of mortars and concrete. It is therefore important to understand the quality check parameters of this ingredient. The right quality of sand is significant in the durability and performance of the concrete/mortar mixture.

The ideal sand:

Generally, the river sand is considered ideal for construction. However, the practice being environmentally unsafe, companies avoid using river sand and prefer filter sand and manufactured sand over it.

Features of good quality sand:

  • Clear, angular and hard
  • Free from clay, mica, and soft, flaky material
  • Graded – mix of fine, medium and coarse sand
  • Free from contaminants
  • Moisture content should not exceed 7%

Selecting the right sand:

Filter sand is treated to make it better by washing off all the dust particles with water. The different consistency of sand is used for different purposes. For RCC slabs, rough sand can be used whereas for plastering work, it is advisable to use fine sand. Generally, sand should not be sticky when held in hand.

Manufactured sand:

The government is promoting the use of manufactured sand, also known as M-sand,  as it is a cheaper alternative to natural sand. Moreover, construction experts vouch that manufactured sand is superior in many ways. It is observed that mortars and concrete made using M-sand as a fine aggregate are superior as compared to natural sand mixtures. Therefor ready-mix concrete manufacturers are using manufactured sand for better quality product.

Advantages of manufactured sand:

  • No clay content
  • Scientifically graded to comply BIS specifications
  • Consistent quality is assured by customizing different grades as required
  • Cost effective

Sand being a significantly important material in construction work must be chosen and used with proper knowledge.

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