Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,17/3/15

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Extension to existing house

Query-1

I am building an extension to the existing building; extension is for 267 sq m. Our soil is mostly sand (not sticky hard soil).
I have a question regarding the new forms of building foundation. Are the concrete foundations strong enough? Will the building sink if the concrete foundation is used? How can we avoid sinking?
I know the cost of the construction depends on the place and type of construction. But will you be able to give me an approx. cost of constructing this extension. I have attached the house plan here.
After waiting for a long time, we are completing the house. My parents and grandmother and our family will live there.  This is a very small matter for you, I know. I will be grateful if you get time to reply to this.
Preethy

My reply

It is not a small matter for me as every client is equally important for a professional

But you are treating the matter very lightly

When you are building an extension do not attempt to start construction without getting technical advice of an experienced professional

Foundation for a building is decided by a structural consultant considering plan of building, soil conditions and foundation required with all relevant details can be decided only by him after carefully considering every related aspects

Do not simply go by free advices you may get from every one you meet in your daily life

Cost cannot be estimated on guess basis simply by knowing possible square feet plinth area. For an extension work, normal calculations and guess estimates do not work as the building originally constructed may not be structurally stable or built under professional guidance

House design and Construction

Query-1

I am based on Mumbai and I have a plot of land of 3.5 cents in Kannur, Kerala.  Is it possible to construct a house with 3 to 4 BHK collectively ground + 1.  Please advice.  Can u suggest a ground plan for this?  The land is in square type. 

Chandran

My reply

3.5 cents land can have four bed room house attached. Our office at Cochin is such a house converted as office

But I need to get all four sides exact measurement, position of roads nearby, direction to which house will face to start working on plan of house. Without any data on plot, no one can simply fit an existing plan of house to your plot. This query shows how ignorant people are about house design and construction. Still instead of going to experienced professionals people go to nonprofessional ”square feet cost” contractors who will give false promises lies and no trace of Architecture and Engineering. For them it is just another business to make money by fooling ignorant gullible persons

Boundary wall for plot

Query

I constructed a house near PWD road after obtaining permit from Panchayath .the basement made after leaving 3meter from road .now I have to make boundary wall in road side sir please tell what is minimum distance I have to leave from road to construct boundary wall.

Sreekanth

My reply

If your plot faces a public road, you have to apply for permission to concerned local authority to construct boundary wall facing road. While issuing permission local authority will specify clearance you have to leave from road

Kerala Style Construction-study

Query

Anjali Singh as left a new comment on your post "Teak wood-use in Kerala house construction":
I am B.Arch final year student, and i want to know that what local materials i can use in a typical Kerala style house and which material use in which house area?
Thanking you and i'll wait for your reply.

My reply

If you are doing a Project work for study purpose on Kerala Architecture, first of all you have to visit Kerala and study at least a few old typical Kerala Architecture houses and study in detail about every aspect of Kerala house design and construction by meeting at least one experienced building professional in Kerala. Writing such a blog post and asking me to teach you on such a large topic by mail is simply irresponsible behavior from the part of a student
Checking Plan prepared

Query

Please check plan prepared for a 4500 sft house to be built in filled up land

Mohammed

My reply

Following are my comments on your plan

1. Vasthu aspects

For an east facing house, car porch should come at Northern half and not at Southern half which is Agni Konam ideal for Kitchen

Kitchen at North West(Second choice) and Bed rooms at South west are okay

A water body at center of house is inauspicious and can cause harm. It can only be at North east 

2. Architecture

Lots of space is wasted without proper planning or arrangement of living space. Quite a lot of living spaces are in total darkness due to lack of sufficient ventilation and lighting

Living room and Dining space are too small when considering space wasted elsewhere

Stair climbing in one stretch is not good

Toilets are too long but width insufficient. There are no proper dress areas. A toilet of length 440 cm (nearly 15 feet long) is meaningless

Store is not required in modern houses which has modular Kitchen

In my opinion, you should not proceed with this plan as it will simply waste your money and will give you a house with many defects

If you are constructing in a filled up land with filling depth of 3M, you may have to go for at least sand piling. This can be decided only after a soil test is done where the proposed house come up and after analyzing soil test results by a practicing Structural consultant

If you are willing to revise the plan, I can design it better for you

House Construction

Query

I am planning to build a home in my property. I need your advice regarding best low cost
designers for drawing my house plan. I am planning to build a house in
1000sq feet, with 2bed room in ground floor and 2 in first floor.my
budget is about 15-18 lakhs. I need your advice on this as fast as
possible.
Rizwan

My reply

You cannot build a two story house with four bed rooms with 1000 sft plinth area and with Rs.18 lakhs

May be you can build a two bed single floor house if you can cut down cost with professional guidance

Buying existing house and planning to extend

Query

I am planning to buy a house. In fact I short listed one. It is a small house, 5 years old with 750 sft total area. But it sits on an 8 cent plot. It has two small bed room, one hall, one common bathroom and a kitchen. I would like renovate the house.

I don't have a sketch of plan now.

I will grateful if you can send me an advice on the scope and also a rough estimate of the cost. I am in a dilemma whether to buy the house or not.

Joshy

My reply

Buying an existing house should never be done by trusting your judgement or that of your friends or relatives. Every aspect related to building right from Vasthu, Architectural design, Structural stability, quality of construction, legal documentation will have to be checked by an experienced building professional before you decide to buy existing house. Otherwise you will be buying trouble with your money

Building rules

Query

I have 4 cent plot in Trivandrum corporation area. I make drawing and got approved from corporation. But now the problem is lost my drawing i have the copy. What is the procedure for getting duplicate copy? Francis.

My reply

If you have a copy of approved plan and building permit, that is enough

Once the building is completed, you will have to give a completion plan to local authority duly sealed and signed by a licensed Architect/Engineer. In that you will have to simply mention building permit No .After assessment of building, local authority will issue Ownership certificate for building and that will be sufficient for all legal requirements

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Free Consultation:Kerala house Construction,13/3/2015

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Architecture services

Query-1

has left a new comment on your post "Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:25,Sep...":
You have any services in Kannur district, please let me know. I want to construct my own house in my property. 

My reply

We can take up Architecture/Structural Engineering design services for anywhere in the world and not necessarily in Kerala itself as these Engineering services need only technical knowledge, creative talent and lots of common sense which we possess in plenty

Query-2

ali has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I am a Licensed engineer but i am not much experienced in preparing a complete drawing. My doubt is that i would like to know the procedure and details to be submitted for getting a building permit for an extension work of a school, also i want to know the clearance to be provided for the building. 

My reply

There is no place where they teach you to be a licensed Engineer to submit documents/drawings for statutory authority approval. You have to learn by associating with someone working in the field in your area of operation

You have to get books on Building rules and updates on it and study to guide your clients properly

House Construction cost

Query-1

Shijin baby has left a new comment on your post "Kerala Architecture":
I want to build a 750 sft home in Kerala. Have 5 cent land, and my budget is 10.5 lakh. Can u send some plans for me?
My reply

Plinth area of the house to be constructed can be known only after an Architect transforms your needs in to a building plan. House construction is not like buying few kilos of rice from market. You go to a shop and ask for certain Kg of rice. Some people think house construction is like that. You decide sft plinth area of house to be built without assistance from a professional. You make enquiries about construction cost with any one you meet daily during course of your life activities. They give you free advises as they are not going to lose anything even if you land in trouble

Again you think any plan of house will suit your purpose and ask me to send plan. Plan of the house will have to be specifically designed to meet your needs, plot dimensions and your budget

After visiting your site, studying your needs for house, I can tell you whether Rs.10.5 lakhs will be sufficient to get a house which you are looking for

Query-2

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "#Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation,25,No...":
I need to know is Ferocement technology good in home construction. My budget is around 15 lakhs and my requirement is 2bhk in 1000 sft. Please suggest if I can go ahead with Ferro cementing or please give a positive idea. 

My reply

It is continuation of what I replied earlier. Some body talked to him about Ferro cement. Without knowing much about it, he decided that his house should be made of ferocement

Ferocement is just another form of concreting where they use steel mesh instead of steel rods for reimbursement and instead of using usual concrete; mortar specially mixed is plastered on both sides of mesh. Wall of a house if made with this almost one inch thick material cannot withstand load of a roof

Keralites try to be Architect and Engineer for the house and do not want to pay for design and supervision to building professionals as they consider such cost as avoidable cost in construction. By trying to get bits of information on construction from those who really do not know anything about these, they are in fact wasting their own money without realizing it. There is no substitute for getting assistance from qualified experienced building professional. He can save you lakhs in cost and can get you better house at lesser cost. You need more than a plan and elevation from an expert. You need advices at every stage of construction

Query-3

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Nalukettu house-features":
Very informative. Thanks for this article. Much of it makes sense. I wanted a traditional house design, and the first thing to come to mind was the Nalukettu. After reading your article now I think I’ll come up with a customized version of this design which will be more relevant to our times. 

My reply

I have tried to visit many old Kerala architecture style houses in different parts of state. Nalukettu which come with an open court yard in the middle is a house style suited to those days and not for present day living

An open court yard in the middle can bring inside rain, pests and insecurity. Kerala houses of earlier days were made to suit joint families who stayed together mostly relying on agricultural produce for income. Now it does not suit to our needs of increased security due to nuclear family.

In quite a lot of present day big houses in Kerala, elderly parents live with only pictures of their children and grandchildren to look at.

If we look at old Nalukettu houses few features are worth incorporating in present days houses of affluent people. They are

1. Poomukham with a side access to car porch

2. Chuttu verandah which is an extension of Poomukham which come in front of house

3. A family living space in addition to formal living which is mainly used for interaction with guests

You can have a look at pictures of Cherthala house designed and built directly by me which incorporates this traditional goodness of Kerala houses combined with modern technology. Here is the Facebook link to pictures of Cherthala house in my FB profile: Thomas Viruvelil

https://www.facebook.com/ThomasViruvelil/media_set?set=a.10150639031648964.392476.531348963&type=3

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, March 12, 2015

Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,12/3/15

 

For queries do not post in blogs.Write to me directly to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Thomas Viruvelil

Building rules

Query-1

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I had 3.5cents of land in cochin. There is 2 meter private passage for 4 houses including me. How many meters we leave in the front area? Shall we get any concession from building rules?

My reply

If the private road is no longer than 75M, you can leave clearance of 2M instead of 3M

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Query-2
I have applied for plan approval in Panchayath, Overseer came and given the report but till date not given the approval. Already two months has passed I am waiting for the reply.
How can I move legally?
Till date they have not moving the file to higher authority 

My reply

It is better to move Building permit application through licensed Engineer/Supervisor. In Kerala conditions corruption has become part of our culture. No one is punished for taking bribes or looting public money. As you have to get your work done, go through agencies familiar with such procedures. I cannot comment on legal aspects

Query-3

Govind has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have about 30 cents of land on the banks of a tributary of Periyar near NH 47 very near to Alwaye. The Puramboke land between my property and the river is approximately 30ft. My property is almost in a rectangular shape with about 50ft facing the river bank and about 250ft length wise and perpendicular to the river. My plot is the only one in that area without any building on it whereas; the next door neighbor has a building almost on the boundary of his Puramboke land. Are there any restrictions for construction of a residential house on the property and if so, I shall feel grateful, if I am enlightened about the same.

My reply

As per CRZ rule, 50 M clearance is required from your building to river. There are certain relaxations in specific cases. Approach your local authority with your land Survey No and location sketch to get matter clarified

Query-4

Anil has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have 4.25 cent plot in rectangle shaped and two sides of my plot is Panchayath road. I wish to build a home in the same plot and i could leave 3 meter from road from front end of proposed plan. But left side also has Panchayath road. Can i get any relaxation on leaving less than 3 meter from one side ( i mean left side of the plan). This road will end in next 100 or 150 meter. 

My reply

You will get relaxation only if the road is 75M or less in length from your plot

Construction of house

Query-1

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Cost of house construction and usual queries on ho...":
Being an Engineer myself and considering the typical mentality of an average person in Kerala, I have to agree with every word that you have written in this article.
The 'Not-So-Grand' feeling (I purposefully avoided the word cheapness) that we usually get when entering villas worth Crores of Rupees is a simple result of this.
A good article and a good blog. Thank you for spending your time in this and please continue the good work.
Hashim 

My reply

Thank you for your appreciation

Query-2

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Queries and replies-House design,construction ,rem...":
We live in a 1200 sft house for last 15 years. It is not properly planned for space utilization or air passage. Now we want to add first floor to it. I want it to be built with max space utilized and with max air passage. But someone told us that if we are building first floor, it has to be exactly same as ground floor. Is it true? Cant we change plan and position of rooms according our convenience? Could you please advise
Suma 

My reply

Your first floor construction need not be exactly as in ground floor. Normally walls can be constructed in first floor only above ground floor walls except in cases where your structural Engineer allows construction considering all related aspects. Plan can be different if it meets structural engineering requirements

Query-3

George has left a new comment on your post "Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:03,Oct...":
Hi Thomas,
Out of curiosity, during the last one year how much was the range (in lakhs) that the cheaper houses you constructed came to ?
I don’t think its unreasonable to ask that.

My reply

A house can be constructed with any budget if the requirement for the house can be made to meet available funds. What I observed in Kerala conditions is that people generally think that it is up to a contractor to build at any cost. They think contractor has huge margins and if pressurized he can build house as required by a person at any cost by cutting down his huge margin.

Contractor does not know or bother about Architecture, Structural Engineering or quality of material or labour. He wants the building not to crumble down before he finish his job and walk away with money. But some times that happen also in spite of his prayers as he do not know about structural engineering to ensure stability of building

None of the so called “square feet rate contractors” have completed construction with the originally accepted square feet rate. He will find excuses to ask for extras and revision of rates and house owner after getting trapped with him will go on giving extras in his desire to complete house some how

Cost reduction happen not due to any profit thirsty contractor. It can happen only if you get services of a qualified and well experienced building professional. Few years of study in Engineering college is not going to make any one an expert. Years of working with projects will make an intelligent professional quite conversant with building construction and only he can give you better value for your money with better facilities

Query-4

SIbi Mathew has left a new comment on your post "Flooring for house-options":
Which one is better for roof, Concrete Tile or Clay Tile?
Can u please tell me the advantages and disadvantages of both? 

My reply

Tile is used over concrete mainly for heat reduction and to act as protection against leakages. For that purpose clay tile is better

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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Free Consultation:Kerala House Construction,9/3/15

For queries write to my email id

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Instead of posting in blog as it will delay my reply quite a lot

Construction materials

Query-1

Vinod has left a new comment on your post "Foundation Rubble work for house construction":
Please suggest which of the following material is the best for filling rubble dry pack foundation up to ground level, and also suggest if anything else is also suitable for the same purpose.
1) Crusher dust
2) Crusher sand
3) Conveyor belt waste
4) M Sand

My reply

While filling inside rubble work after dry pack for foundation part which comes under ground level, filling material will have to be force filled using water under force. Hence material used for filling should be able to penetrate inside gaps of rubble work easily. Sand is the best option. Quarry dust and M sand have tendency to get in to a solid nature when mixed with water. If you use these materials for filling, ensure that water is forced inside till no more water will go inside rubble foundation

Query-2

Muhammed Amin has left a new comment on your post "Cost of constructing house":
sir I am working in KSA for  four years, Instant house making with concrete walls are more common. In Madras IIT also making homes, flats etc. with this kind of materials. What is your opinion about this types of homes in Kerala.

My reply

Rapid wall technology is adopted by FACT, Cochin. You can get in touch with them

Building rules

Query-1

Shanid.KS has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I am from panachery panchayath Kerala. When i construct a home 1200sqft below the electric tower line 440kv .how is its rule which is the distance kept from that electric line vertically and horizontally

My reply

Constructing house below HT line is not good even for your health as HT line will create magnetic field around it. About clearance if required, you can check with concerned local authority

Query-2

SudhaKr has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I am in possession of 1.5 cent of land in Cochin Corporation Area and in front of the land with a corporation Road. Shall I get permission to construct a house from Municipal Corporation?

My reply

Concessions on clearance space available for plots with area 3 cents and less in area. For details, contact concerned local authority

Query-3

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have taken a permit from a Municipality to construct Ist floor and given the completion report within 3 years after construction. Thereafter more than 3 years completed. So far no body came for inspection and assessed any tax since I have not seen any officials individually. Now what action I have to take?

My reply

I don’t think anybody living in Kerala will expect a Govt. official to come on his own to assess your house construction

You will have to go after Govt official and get him to assess your house construction. Unfortunately that is the situation prevailing In Kerala

Query-4

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Dear Sir,
I have purchased a plot of 4.25 cents in this north and south side have private road access, whether i have to leave 3 meter in both side pls advice.

My reply

If the side road is less than 75 M long, you need to leave only 2M

Query-5

SreenivasK has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I own a 5 cents of land in a panchayath. I need to construct a house there. When I applied for a building permit, panchayath rejected that application saying that it is agricultural land. No agricultural activities are carried out there for last many years. I do not own any other land. How can I get permit? Any exemption available? Please advice.

My reply

If you got rejection of your application in writing, you can appeal to Agricultural committee comprising of Tahsildhar, Agricultural officer and Panchayath Engineer

Query-6

Nithin Peter has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Please help me to find a proper solution for my issue.
I have applied for the building permit for extension & reconstruction of my old house.
After the inspection from the local authority they have said that construction is not possible because of CRZ Act. The reason they said that the plot near to my plot is covered with water in some of the portions. Because of that it should be treated as canal so it is not possible to construct. My plot is located at a 162 m difference from the river. But water portion on the other plot is very near to me. Its just only around 3-4 m. Is there any option to get the permission to construct the building.
Please post the information known to you

My reply

I think you will have to approach local authority through licensed Building permit handling persons as I do not see any violation of CRZ act as indicated by you. A site visit will be required for me to assess the case

Construction cost

Gopinathan Nair has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation,3/12/12":
Dear Sir - Is it possible to construct a house of 800 sft with 10 lakhs in Alappuzha 

My reply

No professional body or Govt. authority has declared a so called “square feet cost of construction” for any area. This is a term used by nonprofessional contractors to cheat their prospective customers. Anyone with little intelligence can make out that no one can exactly predict cost of hundreds of materials and different type of labour after about an year. Still people believe lies of contractors who construct without any engineering standards and quality to increase their profit and keep on demanding extras. By the time construction nears finish point, both house owner and contractor will forget that original promised “square feet cost”

Contractor will advise house owner not to get any Architect or experienced Engineering professional involved in work as they will create problems by giving detailed engineering/architectural drawings and monitor quality of work

Only option to reduce cost without sacrificing quality of construction is to get professional involvement from beginning to end of house construction if you value your money and do not want to be cheated by a contractor

Parking space in apartment

Query

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have recently purchased a residential apartment in Kerala. The builder had send a layout of the parking and we had chosen one slot. the layout did not contain any details of the area of the slot. Now we find that the slot is small and not sufficient for parking a big car. We took this up with the builder and they have replied that it cannot be changed now as it is mentioned in registration deed. Could you pls advise on this

My reply

Matter referred is legal in nature .I cannot comment on it without visiting site and going through relevant records

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation,3,Dec,14

For faster response to your queries, please write to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

You can call me on

9388701702

9388701700

9388701707

Building Design

Query-1

Who need to consult either Architect Engineer. Or designer to construct my house

Jabir

My reply

Preferably a professional organisation like us who have all expertise and experts in all fields related to house design and construction

Query-2

Can I ask you; whether you have any affiliate/branch in Trivandrum?

Rajan 

My reply

Architectural/construction firm do not need branches everywhere as the Principal Architect guides and inspires all work. He can only sit at one office while he can travel to different locations

Query-3

I am Biju and working Dubai. But don’t think that I am a multi milliner

My home place is in VENMONY. May I request you to assist me to build a low cost single story house 

My reply

Only those who have lesser money need services of a building professional more than others to save money and to get better facilities at lesser cost

Query-4

Is it possible to build within 2000 Sq. Ft four bed room house?. I got a quote from another one designer but not yet finalized. Waiting for your reply. 

Siju

My reply

Designing four bed attached house in 2000 sft will make rooms congested and small

You may have to go near 2500 sft

Cost is not directly proportional to square feet area. At best it is only one of the factors contributing to cost

There is no point in comparing one designer with other as no two designers have same qualifications and experience in designing and building houses

My experience in building directly more than 200 houses in different parts of Kerala make lots of difference and I do not want to be compared to somebody else in rates or charges

Three dimensional photo like view is only for your curiosity to see how house may appear. If I draw an Elevation, somebody else cannot build as per that Elevation without my assistance and guidance.

Query-5

I am intending to build a new home in Kerala. I am in need to get some valuable advices in order to proceed the drafting of the plan. I have already approached an architect to whom can prepare a plan of my dream home and I am planning to proceed the construction under labor contract 

So can you kindly advise me what kind of details that I must ask to an architect while he will hand over the draft of my home? Just to be more clear, is there something else which I need to ask him to provide me?

Varghese

My reply

Collecting drawings together before construction will only make Architect richer as site inputs will make changes in all these drawings making Architect more richer

Just get most important Basic Plan before you start construction

It is better to get other drawings at each stage of construction provided your contractor has got enough Engineering knowledge to follow drawings properly

It is essential to have continuous involvement and guidance of a qualified experienced building professional from beginning to end of house construction

Building rules

Query-1

Do I need to apply for NOC from panchayat for building two rooms upstairs in my existing house.

Rajesh

My reply

You will have to get NOC from concerned local authority before construction as building rules are applicable even in Panchayath areas

House Renovation/Remodeling

Query-1

I would like to renovate my old house to new .Please send me some of the snap shot of houses before and after which your team has done and approximate cost for doing that project.

Sharath.

My reply

Re modelling and renovation of house is always a tricky affair. A lot depends on whether the original structure is built with professional design and construction with involvement and guidance of a qualified experienced building professional.

In almost all cases, original building might have got done by a non-professional contractor with absolutely no consideration for proper Engineering or quality of construction. Working on such a building for renovation or remodeling will be like opening of box of Pandora. It will bring up problems which you or your new building contractor never anticipated. Unless remodeling or extension is recommended by an expert building professional (not by a profit motivated nonprofessional contractor) you should not venture in to it.

Cost of remodeling/ extension cannot be correctly estimated by any one properly and you will end up spending more than what you hoped for. Still you will have all problems and defects of an old building

Query-2

I have 40 cent land with an old house on the banks of river Pamba. I bought it.Now the old house is not in good condition. It is terraced in the front and tiled in the back areas. I received a quote to convert it in to a terraced with existing structure and over all maintain  and convert it to 4 bedroom 3 bathroom  for around 14 lakhs. What do you think? Will it be a good idea to renovate it with that money?
Or will I be able to make  a 4 bedroom  3 bathroom house ,around 1650 to 1800 sq feet (with medium quality flooring (tiles ) and painting  and electrical ) with around 25lakhs . I am eagerly waiting for your reply. Do you undertake jobs that part of Kerala. Look forward to hear from you soon.
Johnson

My reply

Even though I cannot comment properly without visiting site and evaluating old building, most probably it will not be worthwhile to spend money on old building. No contractor will be able to correctly guess work involved for an old building and your contractor in his eagerness to get work and make profit might have given you a quote

It will definitely be better to spend whatever you can on designing and building a new house with professional involvement and guidance instead of letting you to be cheated by a nonprofessional contractor who do not bother about Architecture, Engineering or quality of construction

We take up work all over Kerala and even outside. I can commit on your work only after visiting site.

My reply

Purchase of ready made Villas/Flats

Query-1

Myself, Biju, working in U.A.E. I chanced upon your blog and site, I read your comments dated three years back regarding purchasing readymade villa / flats in Kerala from reputed builders.

I am planning to buy a villa in Thrissur, from one of the reputed builder. Could you please advise what are the precautions to be taken before buying such property and also regarding construction quality etc.

My reply

No builder in Kerala is a professional agency. They are just traders trying to make profit. None of the so called reputed builders have even one professionally qualified building professional in their team. They just hire services as and when they feel like having. None of them do construction directly. Then where is the question of construction quality? Work gets subcontracted several times looking at only profit angle. Naturally quality of construction and engineering aspects suffer

If you have no other option, you can go for buying a villa from so called reputed builder whom you think reputed simply due to their high advertising budget. In almost all cases, you pay very higher than what you get in return. Legal problems also crop up as these builders get into many ways to raise funds for construction

Building materials

Query-1

Sir my uncle is going to Bangalore for purchasing Granite; i would request you to guide us while buying granites. Do you have any particular recommendation of granite (Name of the granite) we need our room to look bigger, a premium look. Kindly tell us with good granites to buy and also the precautions while buying, i hope you will help us by giving valuable information.

Radhika

My reply

I will not recommend using granite or marble for flooring. It has more disadvantages than advantages.

There are much more cheaper but elegant looking tiles these days

Basically you need complete guidance on finishing of house and not just information and guidance on flooring

Query-2

I am following your blog from long time and I thank you for sharing good ideas and tips on house construction have a small concern on the process of building my home. I recently gave a contract work to construct First floor for my present house which is made with good foundation and no pillars. The contractor started the work by using 6 inch Solid Cement bricks to construct the structure....by using this type of bricks will there is a possibility of overweight on the structure. Is there any chances of risk of crack or damage in the future..

Would like to know your suggestion

RK

My reply

Leaving structural aspects of building to be decided by a nonprofessional contractor for whom only profit matters can only put you at risk .It is better to get involvement of an experienced building professional from beginning to end of construction to guide you and to check on work done by your contractor. If I have to do this for you, a visit to the site is required to advise you on the problem faced by you/advice /suggestion required by you related to your building/plot

During the visit, I can study your problem in detail, take measurements from site and check on following aspects related to building/plot

1. Vasthu compliance

2. Architectural defects if any and improvements/modifications possible

3. Structural Engineering defects if any and improvements/modifications possible

4. Advice on future works related to building /plot

5. Building rules compliance

6. Verification of documents related to building and plot

7. What our company can do to improve your construction work by quality, cost reduction and value addition of space

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/websitein 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..