Friday, February 20, 2015

Importance of plan of the house

Those who plan to construct their dream house in Kerala generally do not consider plan of the house as important. What I usually hear is this:

”I can tell what all rooms I need in the house. Anyone who can draw a plan can make it in to a plan. Why I need a well-known Architect to draw plan for my house? Contractors usually arrange a plan for me without any extra charges. These Architects charge in thousands for a plan. Why should I spend that money? Instead I can use it for construction”

Anyone who get qualified as an Architect after few years of study in an Engineering college do not turn out to be a great Architect. Like in any other field of knowledge, what matters most is common sense and practical intelligence to decide on selection of best option out of many alternatives available. Ability to take quick decisions with an eye on economy and better utility is also important.

For almost all those who plan to construct a house, it is their major investment in life. When you spend lakhs of your hard earned money, don’t you think it necessary to get better value for your money and to avoid wastage of money?

I have noticed that practically very few people can make out advantages and defects of plan of a house by looking at that drawing. Elevation or external appearance of the building can click on your mind easily. Most of the people treat plan as not so important and even those who could not notice much by looking at a plan get wiser by the time structure of the building get completed and at that point of time, many people notice wastage of space, money and inadequate facilities even after spending so much .Getting wiser after completion of structure of building is of no use. Many people have called me to their houses under construction and asked me to check whether the defects can be corrected. But that will be too late to do anything

An Architect or Engineer experienced in designing and constructing houses can notice defects and inadequacies of a plan by looking at a plan itself. I can check your plan prepared by any one and tell you defects on Architecture, Structural engineering and Vasthu factors. In cases where minor modifications in plan cannot make it a good plan I can redesign the plan for you. Charges for such a plan will be quite negligible compared to losses you may incur during construction and defects and inadequacies which you may have to suffer during life of the building

Hence my advice is to go for the best Architect you can find and get the better designs using his years of experience in designing and building hundreds of houses. In almost all cases, you are not going to build another house. Why not make the house about which you and your generations to come can be proud of at a lower cost?

Cost reduction in present day conditions where both materials and labour are costly, can be achieved only by appropriate design .Looking for cheaper material by seeking advises from any one you come across is not going to help you. You tell your budget constraint if any frankly to your Architect. He will definitely get you better house at lesser cost with facilities which you never thought was possible with your limited funds

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Design and Construction of house in Kerala

After going through several emails I get and phone queries from different parts of world from Keralites who plan to construct their dream home usually in their native land even if it is far away from comforts and infrastructure facilities available at better known places in Kerala, I think it is high time I share with you few basic facts of design and construction of house in Kerala:

1. Square feet cost of construction

Almost everyone think that there is a uniform fixed square feet cost of construction of house in Kerala irrespective of location, site conditions, soil conditions, design of house. They think just like buying few Kg of rice from market, they can decide how much square feet area there house has to be, get square feet cost from a contractor and start construction

Nonprofessional contractors practically do not know anything about Architecture, Structural Engineering and how to construct house by saving cost and getting better utilisation for built up space. They are in business simply to get profit. They simply go on telling you lie about their expertise, smile a lot, and talk in pleasing manner to get money out of you. They are least bothered about engineering, quality standards and Architecture

Most of the people have a feeling that experienced expert Architects and Engineers are for rich people building large houses and other buildings. When you have limited funds and when you need maximum facilities at lesser cost you definitely need services of an expert in building design and construction. Just anyone who has come out of an Architectural or Engineering college cannot give you expertise required. At the most, a less exposed qualified person may be familiar with little vocabulary and may be able to draw using Auto CAD software.

You need expertise in designing and building houses obtained through experience. For example, I have designed and directly built more than 200 houses in different parts of Kerala in addition to designing many more and constructing directly even outside Kerala state. Each new construction is a new challenge to me and my expertise is tuned and polished with direct experience at sites and I learn more with each new project. When you get my services you get advantages of my attained wisdom by doing work directly learning and enriching that

In my opinion, there is no point in engineering colleges giving out students with certificates who can do nothing on their own. As part of their study they should be spending at least a year with industry experts from whom they can learn to do work. Present central Government has already understood this defect in our education system and GOI is already planning to impart skill development as part of education

2. Square feet area of a house

Most of the people do not consider it important to pay for design of a house. They will be happy if they can get design of house free. They search websites and come to me with elevations and plan they see on websites and ask me simply how much that house will cost. Your site measurements, other site conditions, your needs for house, budget may not suit at all with that house picture you get from internet sites

As you think square feet is cost you tend to fix up square feet plinth area of the house using square feet cost you may hear from any one. An experienced designer can get you maximum facilities at lesser cost. For example, my office building at Cochin is built on a 3.5 cents land and built like a four bed room attached house with all usual common facilities in a house. Square feet plinth area of this two storied house is only 1400 sft .Don’t try to get a plan of this house and give it to your square feet contractor. He will not be able to build this house with his usual square feet charges

To tell you the truth, no square feet contractor has completed a house till today with originally promised square feet rate. He will do all sorts of compromises in quality and strength of construction to increase his profit and still demand extras one after another. By the time the house reaches finishing stage both you and your contractor might have forgotten the originally agreed square feet rate. It was only a lie to get work from you and you are cheated from day one to end of construction

You tell your requirements and budget constraints to an expert in building design and construction. He will guide you on what design you can have, how much square feet plinth area your house can have and how to go about reducing cost and improving facilities. Payment you make to an expert is not at all a loss .You will save lakhs in construction and will get a better house at lesser cost

3. What you need is a better house at lesser cost

More than those who have lots of money for construction, if you have limited budget you need services of an experienced expert who can guide from beginning to end of construction .You need continuous guidance, your workers need continuous instructions, drawings and engineering, architectural designs so that you get a better house at a lesser cost

You may say that your contractor does not need any design, drawings. Yes. It is exactly what he do not need to put your hard earned money in the drains. If the workers have to do construction work with detailed design drawings, it will increase their job/cost as they will not be able to work comfortably without any engineering. Contractor and worker will leave your house after work. Better quality construction, better facilities and lesser cost is going to benefit you only, not the workers

4. Can cost come down by using certain materials?

Trouble with most of house construction in Kerala is that the owner of the house tries to act as Architect for the house collecting bits of information on house construction from any one he may come across. People give free advises, free cost indications, free material suggestions and by using these, you land up in trouble. Some people may have ego so high that they will say: “I am spending my money. So I will decide on everything on my house” If so, do you need experts? If not, you end up spending more and getting a house with lots of defects which you cannot rectify later

Cost of construction can come down only by appropriate design by an expert in house construction. He will guide you on materials to be used considering all aspects. Do not simply listen to any one whom you may meet to get building design and construction ideas. There is nobody else who can give you correct and better advises and suggestions other than your Architect

5. Changes after construction

I have visited several houses after construction where I was called to advice on what can be done to correct defects. In most of the cases I have found that problems cropped up due to defects in plan of house which in most cases, obtained free from nonprofessional contractor. By saving few thousands as fee for plan of house, they landed up losing lakhs and ending up with a structure with several defects on all aspects. In most of these cases during visit, I could only say, nothing can be done at this stage

6. Professional design, professional supervision

Professional design of the house, continuous close monitoring of construction by an expert are very important and it cannot be taken lightly to save those few thousands fee to an experienced expert. Your nonprofessional contractor will advise you not to get any Architect/Engineer in to design and construction of house. Such people will destroy his profit margin and put him in to trouble

So while designing and building your house act intelligently and don’t be foolish by saving thousands to loose lakhs. Not even a super Architect cannot do much on defects in design and construction after completion of house

 

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Monday, November 24, 2014

#Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation,25,November,2014

 

For faster response to your queries, please write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

You can call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

Better plan of house can reduce cost by lakhs not by thousands

When it comes to building design and construction, quite a lot of people think that house design and selecting from different options during house construction will have to be done by the person who spends money. It is as if the money gives him all important right to choose and decide.

“I am spending my money. Why should an Architect take decisions for me?At best he should draw and do matters as I tell him to do. He is simply there to obey my orders and wishes by giving fine tuning with technology and his imagination”

In some cases, person may have an engineering back ground which makes him bolder to assert his “rights” on the hapless Architect. A few of Architects/building professionals eager not to miss the business may say yes to satisfy ego of the client to avoid missing the business. A true professional should say no to the client who consider his money more important than professional capabilities of a qualified experienced professional

How many of those who claim to have engineering back ground can claim to possess expertise immediately after leaving an engineering college? At best an engineering college makes you familiar with vocabulary of engineering and some basic skills without you understanding how it can be used in an engineering project. It is that years of exposure in engineering field with guidance of experienced professionals with whom you work make you a real professional worth the name. More projects and more exposures fine tune your capabilities and make you understand your limitations more.

When you hire services of a building professional, you need to have a frank face to face discussion with the professional. You should explain in detail what all you are looking for in the house, your hopes, dreams and of course your limitations especially on finance. There are some aspects which you may think possible and desirable which are not possible or desirable. You should have the wisdom to accept learned suggestions and advises of a professional. Not accepting them will not create any problem for your consultant but to you only.

Quite a lot of mails I get talk of a quote for all drawings together for house construction. (Plan, Three dimensional Elevation, Plumbing, Electrical, Flooring, Interior). I do agree that from business point of an Architect it is better to get money for a bunch of drawings and later extra charges for revised drawings based on site feedbacks. If your intention is not to make Architect rich, do not ask for all these drawings at one stretch

All that you need on commencement of house construction is the best possible Basic Plan of the house from the most experienced building professional you can find. A good basic plan can make you avoid losing lakhs of your money and get you better facilities at house at lesser cost. A splashy looking Elevation is no good to you except to please your eyes if your building contractor cannot build as per the picture with his capabilities. Once the plan is finalised let your Architect interact with your building contractor before attempting to prepare an Elevation. All the rest of drawings will have to be prepared only at each stage of construction provided your contractor can read those drawings properly. Drawings which your contractor cannot read and understand properly is of no use and do not waste money on it. In such cases you get your Architect interact with your workers to make them work as he plan or visualise to do. Probably you can join in these discussions to incorporate your needs and wishes with guidance from your Architect

Most people do not understand importance of a well-designed plan of house. They prefer to save those thousands to be paid to an experienced Architect and pay nothing or very little to “save money” In fact they will be losing lakhs of their hard earned money and the inconveniences and problems a bad plan will create cannot be corrected by any experienced building professional .People normally understand defects and flaws in a plan of house only after building structure get completed. I have been called to several such sites to make corrections to such buildings. But no one can make corrections without demolishing structural parts which will be impossible in most cases at that stage. So please do not try to save money on plan of house thereby making you lose heavily on construction of your house

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this blog/website is purely advises by Thomas Viruvelil/Viruvelil Group on building design and construction in Kerala. Those who follow these advices without active involvement, guidance and close monitoring by Thomas Viruvelil or those assigned by him do so at their own risk and responsibility. Thomas Viruvelil will not be held responsible in any manner for losses/damages arising out of such use of information from this blog/website.

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog/website in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Viruvelil Group of Companies or Thomas Viruvelil do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance..

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kerala House Construction: Free Consultation,17,October,2014

For faster response to your queries, please write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

You can call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

House Design

Query-1

Mr.Jos has copied an Elevation shown in our website and wanted a similar house but with different needs

My reply to him is that it will not be wise taking elevations and plans from websites to save cost of design .You may save a few thousands. House construction involves lakhs of your hard earned money and unless you are wise enough to get experienced professional to design and construct your house you may land up in a defective designed house which cannot be corrected at all and you may loose lots of your money simply due to your eagerness to avoid professional design

Query-2

We have 1 acre paddy field 90% already filled, we need to built some houses for sale, what all the things i have to do in the time of foundation, will u please advice me. i am planning to built 800 sft home.

Jayanmon 

My reply

Quite a lot of people think of constructing house as a simple affair which can be done by them if they can find a contractor who can give lowest “square feet cost”

It is not a simple affair. For most of the people it involves almost their entire life savings and practically no house building person is an expert on house design and construction. Acquiring expertise need not only careful technical study but also experiences in designing and building houses especially in Kerala environment where both labour and material are costly with each day adding up cost

It is not within the control of a contractor to reduce cost. Most important cost reduction possible only by appropriate design of house by an expert. He can avoid wastages, cost increases and get you better facilities at lower cost. Contractor reduces cost not for you but for his profit putting quality of construction at risk

Without even getting design of building done, here he is asking about foundation. Foundation design will vary from place to place depending upon soil conditions and also depending upon design of building. Nobody can blindly advise you on foundation without site study and finalisation of house design

Query-3

Came across your highly useful informative write up on Kerala house construction.

Planning for a house please find attached model plan. Few doubts on modifying room sizes.

1, Could we use bed room sizes as 11 x 12 (Master), 11 x 10, 9 x 12 and 10 x 12 with Vaasthu compliance?

Master bed on South West corner in model plan.

Thanks in advance. Hope you are an expert to help us.

Britto

My reply

On quick perusal following defects noticed in your plan

Plan not a professional design

Lots of wastage of space. Adequate ventilation and lighting not available for most of living spaces

Toilets are too narrow with 120 cm width.

Plan is the most important critical part of house design. Do not try to save money on it to loose lakhs of your money and a house which will not give what it can with professional design

As per Vasthu bed room at South east is harmful

Bed room at North east not good for regular use

If you are interested in me designing your house, please let me know

Query-4

I would like to send you my house plan for your comments as soon as possible.

Rajesh

My reply

On quick perusal of plan, following are defects noticed

As per Vasthu, toilets at North east, South west corners are harmful

Kitchen at South east(Agni Konam) is better .North east is Easana Konam ideal for Pooja.As the house is facing East it is better to provide Kitchen at North West

Dining room is completely dark with no light or ventilation

In modern kitchens with modular Kitchen Store is a waste of space. Second kitchen is also dark with no light or ventilation

I have checked only ground floor plan which itself have several serious defects

Plan of the house is the most important critical part of house design .Do not try to get it done by some one who simply know Auto Cad drawing only

If you want me to design house, please let me know

Query-5

I am one of your website follower. My name is Arun Mathew, I have just started construction of my house (foundation & basement completed), it is 2900 Sqft and my budget was 60 lakhs, however my builder has given an approximate estimate which is coming around 88 Lakhs, which is of course based on the specifications I demanded (materials, brands etc).

I believe I can cut the cost considerably if I get a professional advice and review of the material quantity quoted by the contractor. Therefore I request your service to review the Estimate and advise me of cost savings wherever possible. Would you please review the BOQ if I send and I will be more than happy to pay your fees

My reply

There is no generally accepted material, quality and engineering specifications when a nonprofessional contractor builds a house. His objective is simply to make maximum profit and all his talk of quality will be only to please your ears and nothing more than that

No two contractors build a house in similar manner and hence rates of one contractor cannot be compared with that of another contractor

Only method of ensuring quality of work and saving money without compromising quality is to have an experienced building professional who will not take money from contractor and will ensure professionally acceptable design, engineering standards and quality of work

You do not seem to have taken professional assistance from design stage and simply believed false promises of the contractor

All that I can do now is to visit the site and assess work done and give suggestions on future work to obtain better utility and to save your money on future work.

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this blog/website is purely advises by Thomas Viruvelil/Viruvelil Group on building design and construction in Kerala. Those who follow these advices without active involvement, guidance and close monitoring by Thomas Viruvelil or those assigned by him do so at their own risk and responsibility. Thomas Viruvelil will not be held responsible in any manner for losses/damages arising out of such use of information from this blog/website.

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Viruvelil Group of Companies or Thomas Viruvelil do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance..

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:25,September,2014

For faster response to your queries on house design and construction in Kerala and even outside,write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Or call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

Thomas Viruvelil

Few house Elevations

1.Four bed room house for client at Ettumanoor,Kottayam

ajaykumar-01-01-13

2.Three bed house for client at Kottayam

benny thomas-22-07-11 copy

3.Four bed house for client at Thoppumpady ,Cochin

frazer antony-30-07-11 copy

4.4000 sft house for client at Adoor

jacob thomas-22-04-10

5.Three bed 2000 sft house for client at Palghat

MURUGADAS-14-11-12

6.Four bed house for client at Haripad

roy john-18-06-12

7.1400 sft 4 bed house in 3.5 cents land at Edappally,Cochin

seetha-24-11-12

8.3500 sft house for client at Cherthala

Tomi thomas-12-04-10

Cost of construction

Query-1

My name is Mahesh, from Kannur.

I would like to construct a house of 2500 sft

Can you please advice how much budget should I consider for the subject house

with granite flooring including a semi luxurious interiors.

My reply

Most of the mails I get and telephone enquiries I get ask me the same question;”What will be the cost of house which I am planning to construct?”

Is house construction that simple for any one to answer this question? If I ask you what will be cost of 1 Kg of rice after one year will any one can answer me?

Any house construction normally will take not less than one year.Hundreds of materials are used in house construction.All of us know cost of these materials will only go up in Kerala conditions during this period.

Labour is difficult to get for any type of work in Kerala even though govt statistics still talk of unemployment and govt funds are wasted as unemployment wages to be used by those who get it for alcohol.

Again technology and trends change a lot in house construction with each day coming.

Then why non professional contractors always quote a square feet cost of construction? It is simply because that is the only way of getting work from you.Have you ever thought of the fact that these non professional contractors who do not know anything about Architecture or structural engineering follow strictly engineering standards and quality? Not at all.They build as they please simply to make profit.Do one contractor build exactly in same manner as the other? Not at all.Then how can there be a uniform square feet cost applicable any where irrespective of site ,soil conditions and design? This talk of square feet cost is simply a lie to cheat house owner who think of himself as smart if he find a contractor who promise to build at lowest square feet cost

Have you ever checked whether these contractors complete house construction with quoted amount? Will they give you exact square feet area? Answer for both these questions is a simple No

For cost reduction,what you need is not a contractor who quote lowest square feet rate.You need a qualified experienced professional in building construction.Tell him your budget restrictions if any.He will design the house in such a manner so that you will be able to complete construction with quality,better utility for space inside house.Just getting a drawing from him will not be enough.Let him continuously monitor your house construction with engineering drawings for each stage of construction and proper supervision to ensure that your contractor build as per Architecture and Engineering specifications

Lot of people think an Architect is required only to give a better appearance for your house.It is wrong.You need him from beginning to end of house construction to get better value for money and to save lakhs of your money in house construction

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this blog/website is confidential and may be privileged. Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. VIRUVELIL Group of Companies and Thomas Viruvelil as a person will not be responsible in any manner for use of information.advise/technical data given by this website without close supervision and guidance by the originator of such data/message/advise

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:25,September,2014

For faster response to your queries on house design and construction in Kerala and even outside,write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Or call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

Thomas Viruvelil

Nalukettu model house

Query-1

My name is Rakesh am working as a professional  abroad ,while searching for some architectures in web  i found your site ,can you just tell me about the cost of a Naalukettu model house with modern infrastructure included.

My reply

Nalukettu model house has got additional features peculiar to Kerala Architecture.House construction was not so much costly in olden days.Wood was available in plenty.Labour and materials were available easily and without much cost.Naturally earlier house construction did not bother much about reducing cost by minimising use of both labour and materials

High cost of construction these days force any one who want to reduce cost to reduce unwanted or avoidable spaces in the house,by economical design while providing necessary features and facilities.Attempts to reduce use of labour and materials also form part of cost reduction

Nalukettu type house has following essential extra features which when incorporated will push up cost of construction

1.Open to sky space in the middle of house called Nadumuttom or central court yard

2.Chuttu verandah or verandah around the house:Even though verandah around entire outside walls was quite common in olden days,now this feature if adopted  restricted to front portion and /or another side of house

3.Poomukham: Connected to Chuttu verandah this portion is like a sit out in front side but bigger in dimensions to have sort of informal chat with people outside house or even family members.This place traditionally was used by head of family to relax in a reclining chair with cloth support for body portion

While Poomukham and Chuttu verandah reduced can be incorporated in houses where budget is not a constraint,providing Nadumuttom will create more problems than comfort in present day conditions as open to sky space can create security problems and nature induced problems like pests and rain water inside centre portion of house.In my opinion ,Nadumuttom can be forgotten in present day houses with Kerala architecture elements

Nalukettu or Ettu kettu type houses need be considered only for those with no budget constraints.Some one with less money  for a house should avoid such luxury features in the house

Vasthu compliance for apartments

Query

I am interested in buying a flat which is vasthu wise good Kindly advise.

Minju

My reply

It will be practically and economically difficult for an apartment designer to design with Vasthu compliance as every apartment builder is trying to make maximum flats from available space.Positioning living spaces like Kitchen and Master bed room in a particular direction  to comply with Vasthu may not be possible.All that is possible is to get a Vasthu expert check the apartment before you buy it.If the flat meet Vasthu features,fine

Building rules

Query-1

My question is .
Is it ok new plan  can submit at the time of completion?First approval is going to expire Mostly it will take another 2 more years What is the minimum requirements to get completion certificate.
Advise me .

Mohamed

My reply

Building permit is usually given for three years.Before date of expiry you can apply for extension.

If you have to increase plinth area from approved plan,you have to submit revised plan and get approved from local authority

You cannot wait up to completion stage

For revised plan and completion plan ,you need services of a licensed Engineer/Architect/supervisor

House Design

Query

My name is Abhilash and my home town is in Palakkad.

I am planning to have a single storey house with 2 bedrooms Could u please send me some designs of single storey house and estimate.

My reply

I get similar mails asking me to send “few house plans” quite often.

Please understand any plan of house or Elevation taken from anywhere will not suit your needs,site,budget and Vasthu factors related to your plot

Most of the people spend  major portion of their savings in life for building a house in Kerala.I do not understand why they avoid professional Architects/Engineers who can give you better designed house which will give you more facilities at lesser cost and structural stability of building.All that non professional contractors can give you is simply a lie of some “square feet cost” which will trap you to him and will make you spend more to get  a house with lots of wastages of your money with lesser facilities

Get professional help from design stage itself.Plan of your house is the most important most critical drawing.Do not go for free plans which will drain your money.Pay for services of an experienced professional in thousands and save lakhs of your money and get a better house by design and structural stability

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:18,September,2014

For faster response to your queries on house design and construction in Kerala and even outside,write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Or call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

Thomas Viruvelil

Remodeling of existing house

Query-1

This is Saju ,i planning to remodel my old home ,kindly sent me your mob no to contact you & what is your service charge to see my  home in Trivandrum

My reply

What I have observed during most of the remodeling cases which I attempted are the following:

1.In most cases houses are not  in a condition of remodeling or renovation as most of these houses are built by non professional contractors without any consideration for Architecture or Structural Engineering

A house built without compliance to Engineering and Architectural standards may not last more than 30 years as  non professional contractor would have done the work purely on profit making basis with only lip service for quality

2.It is almost impossible to assess exact cost of remodeling and renovation with additions.alterations to existing building as the structural stability of the existing structure will be known only when we start breaking portions of existing building

3.Some people resort to remodeling thinking that it will be cheaper compared to new construction.It will never be the case

4.Certain inherent defects in design and construction  of existing building cannot be corrected and you should not expect remodeling to make it right

5.Some people go for remodeling simply due to sentimental attachment to existing building.In that case,you should not bother about cost

6.Wherever possible it is better to avoid addition,remodeling and go for new construction unless you are sure about Architectural excellence and Structural stability of building which is only remote possibility

Attempt to remodel/extend/alter existing structure should be done only if an experienced building professional recommend you to go ahead on proposed additions/remodeling.If the expert do not agree for such remodeling work,do not attempt to do it

We can check up existing building and give you professional advice and if found feasible can take up work with our expert workers in a professional manner with latest technology inputs

House Construction

Query-1

Dear Sir,

I have around 5 cents of land and I am planning to build a house of around 1250-1500 sq ft with 3-4 bedrooms soon.  My budget is around 25 lakhs. 

First I would like to know whether you can recommend any reliable contractor to carryout the work. .Also pl.let me know whether giving the work on labour contract or on full building contract would be good.I am planning to take loan from bank for carrying out the work

Let me have your valuable comments,

S.BINIL

My reply

House Construction in Kerala is carried out mostly by non professional contractors who do not bother about Engineering or Architecture.Most of them do not have even elementary knowledge in Engineering or Architecture

Some how they have created a wrong idea in minds of people that there is a so called fixed square feet cost of construction

People also think a contractor can reduce cost to any level.People do not realise that no two contractor do work in same manner with same quality and Engineering standards

People do not realise that a good design by an expert with enough experience in house construction can save lot of cost and provide you better facilities at house at low cost.Cost reduction can be given to you without compromising quality of construction only by an experienced building professional

Square feet cost is a term much misunderstood by almost all. But you can understand how it is simply a term used to cheat you by looking at what it means

Take the case of house construction. Hundreds of material is used and different types of labour are used. Construction normally takes about an year or more. Cost of all these inputs goes up with no predictable nature. Still contractor who need business quote a so called “square feet cost” not because he like the idea but simply because you as customer or owner of house to be built will give work only to those who quote lowest “square feet rate”. You are not bothered whether the contractor is technically qualified or not. Most of them do not know anything about Architecture or Structural Engineering. Still you allow them to build as he pleases. You do not want a qualified experienced person to provide detailed execution drawings during construction and to check at every stage whether work is being carried out properly as per drawings. You are not bothered even if contractor uses only 400 Kg of steel for roof concreting which may require 1000 Kg of steel as per Engineering standards

Contractor will advise you not to spend money on an Engineer for continuous monitoring of quality of construction as he has done “several such buildings without any help from Engineer. He may even boast off saying “these Engineers do not know even half of what he knows” To save consultation and drawing charges of a professional, you allow free rein to contractor and contractor try hard to increase his profit by reducing both labour and material. Who is bothered about quality problems which may start showing after three or four years.

Your craze for getting lowest “square feet cost” make contractor richer and quality of construction suffers

How can there be a uniform rate applicable anywhere irrespective of specifications and quality of construction? Two contractors never do the work in same manner. Without a qualified professional to design and monitor work, you tend to waste lot of your money by improper advise by contractor and you loose better facilities you could have got in the house with professional design .

A professional experienced in house design and building can save you lakhs of your hard earned money and you can get you better facilities in the house at lesser cost.

All these arguments hold well in the case of Interior work also. When you go for lower rate, contractor goes for lower quality materials and less labour content work to increase his profit. Unless there is a professional to design and supervise work, contractor will take you for a ride. He is there in business to make profit and he always try to make you believe that what he gives you is the “best quality” .You think of you as smart for saving design cost and professional fees. Only the contractor turns out to be smarter than you