Building Maintenance & Construction: Tools and Maintenance Tasks introduces and develops knowledge of basic building maintenance tools and materials, applied skills and techniques, industry health and safety standards, and preventive maintenance and troubleshooting practices required by employers for entry-level positions in the building trades and facilities maintenance fields.

Learning Outcomes

Participants that successfully complete this text should be able to:

  1. Describe and demonstrate safe use of common hand and power tools used to perform common maintenance and construction tasks.
  2. Identify and perform basic preventive and reactive maintenance procedures for residential homes, apartments, and appliances.
  3. Identify standard building and construction materials, basic building mechanical systems and components, and discuss applicable solutions to mitigate building envelope and basic mechanical system component failures.
  4. Describe procedures for research, requisition, and procurement of materials and parts to complete construction and maintenance tasks and/or work orders.
  5. Apply quantitative methods to common building maintenance tasks.


Procedures discussed throughout the Building Maintenance & Construction text require application of basic mathematics and physical science. Readers will be introduced to general mathematical formulas, critical thinking skills, and safety as applied to specific tools and tasks throughout the book.


This text is designed to provide accurate authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. The University of Hawai`i and the author/s specifically disclaim any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any of the techniques, strategies, or contents of this text.

All content found herein is believed to be in the “public domain“ or is the original work of the author based upon experience and is intended to be used for educational purposes. Some of the images displayed may be of unknown origin. The author/s and publishers have no intent to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright. Citation of sources, when known, are provided throughout the the text. The author/s and the University of Hawai`i intend no gain or financial benefit from the downloads of any pictures, images, or video.

If you are the rightful owner of any of the pictures/images within, and you do not want it to be displayed or if you require a suitable credit, then please contact us at and we will immediately do whatever is needed, either for the image to be removed or provide credit where it is due.

Professional Licensing

Professional journey license and/or apprenticeship under the guidance of a licensed electrician, plumber, or other licensed trades person are required to perform many of the tasks and skills demonstrated in this text in most states. By all means, text end users are not certified as technicians or journeymen (women) to perform these tasks on their own.

About the Author

Clifford “Cliff” Rutherford has 35+ years of journey-level residential and commercial construction, mechanical trades and facilities engineering experience.  Prior to 2006, Cliff’s mechanical and construction experience was gained working in Texas as a machinist, HVACR installation and repair technician, hydraulic/pneumatic equipment mechanic/operator/trainer, apartment and resort facilities head engineer, and private builder/contractor specializing in design-build projects for commercial applications. Moving to Hawai`i in 2006, Cliff worked for a Maui home builder and mechanical contractor specializing in residential construction, commercial plumbing and mechanical trades.

In January 2009, Cliff started teaching carpentry, blueprint reading, and computer aided drafting (CAD) classes for the University of Hawai’i Maui College’s high-school based dual credit enrollment Construction Academy Program at Lahainaluna and Hāna high schools on the island of Maui, and Lānaʻi High School on the Island of Lānaʻi, later coordinating the program encompassing all seven Department of Education high schools in the program. Since 2014, Cliff has continued his work with UH Maui College as Program Coordinator for the  Construction Technology Program, developing and adopting curriculum for the program’s multiple trades AAS degree credit courses in CAD, blueprint reading and drafting, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry, energy and sustainability, small engine repair, HVACR, painting and decorating, welding and occupational safety.

Cliff has earned and maintains several industry credentials. These include but are not limited to: Career and Technical Education (CTE) teaching certificates; National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Residential Construction certification for instructors, Certified Green Professional (CGP), and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designations; International Facility Management Association’s (IFMAs) Sustainable Facility Professional (SFP) designation; Northwest Energy Efficiency Council’s Building Operator Certificate (BOC) 1 & 2 Instructor certification; National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Solar Thermal Water Train-the-Trainer and ESCO EPA-608 Instructor/Proctor.

As strong believer in providing up-to-date and relevant continued education opportunities for the local community, Cliff has developed and taught several maintenance and construction skills based courses for local employers and community members as non-credit offerings through the Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs at Maui College. He also teaches industry recognized professional development and certification courses that include courses for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 Universal Technician Certification, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council’s Building Operator Certificate (BOC) 1 & 2, and IFMA’s SFP designation.


This book is dedicated to my students, mentors, and colleagues, past, present, and future, who challenge me each day to be a passionate and compassionate teacher, peer, and friend.

And most of all, to my wife and best friend, Rosemary, who always encourages me to do the impossible, believes I can achieve more than I myself believe, and has sacrificed so much for me to prove I can.


Contact the Author

Clifford Rutherford

University of Hawai`i Maui College

310 West Ka`ahumanu Ave

Kahului, HI 96732


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Building Maintenance & Construction: Tools and Maintenance Tasks (Interactive) Copyright © 2018 by University of Hawai’i Maui College and the Construction Technology Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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