Monday, 6 January 2014



To own a shelter is everyone’s ambition. Some may own a home when they are very young, many when they are young, and a few when they are not so young. There are numerous people who do not have their own shelter. They pass their lives in rented premises. Through proper planning anyone can achieve the ambition of owning a comfortable house.

The concept of construction is a little complicated one. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the basics of house construction before embarking on your dream project.

When you decide that you need a house, you then need to find a good plot of land. Always remember three important points. They are Location, good location and best location. Before deciding on the plot, you have to make a survey of various plots and then select a suitable of your choice. If you do not like the position or shape of a land, do not buy it. If you exert a little more, you will definitely find a suitable piece of land at a convenient location.

It is always advisable to engage professionals to get quality work and its timely completion. Architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, real estate agents, banks, plumbers, electricians and building contractors contribute a lot in shaping your dream house. You have to select the right people to carry out the work. Engaging professionals will be a little bit expensive, but it will ensure that you do not have to face problems in the long run. If you do not wish to spend money on the professional, you may save a portion of the project cost but in the long run you might face problems.

Purchase of Land
Once you have selected a piece of land and decided to purchase it, your advocate will take care of all the legal aspects of the land as to its title and genuineness, and prepare a document called Agreement to Sell to be entered in to between the purchaser and the seller. Agreement to Sell is a very important document particularly for buying a property. The period between the Agreement to Sell and the Sale Deed is a crucial period for the purchaser. An eminent advocate, who has long experience in property matters, must deal with such important matters. Most importantly you should not follow a ready-made model agreement or sale deed, or engage a real estate agent or a job typist, as some people do. You may save some money but in the long run particularly when you plan to sell the property; chances of facing acute problems cannot be ruled out.

Vaastu Shastra
The concept of building a house on Vaastu principles has become very popular. Vaastu Shastra is the science of construction. In the present times it has assumed a distorted meaning. People attribute Vaastu to good luck and bad luck.
Whether you believe in Vaastu or not, it is advisable to construct the house on Vaastu principles, since an adverse remark on the location of the rooms might psychologically affect the owner if something untoward happens in the future. The main door, pooja room, kitchen, bath room, toilet, storage space, bed rooms, overhead and underground water tanks and septic tanks must be according to Vaastu Shastra, particularly so when you put up the house for sale at a future date.

House Plan
Making a plan is very important. It is the first step in the entire process before the construction work starts. Once you settle on a budget and spell out exactly what you want, the professionals can take over. The architects will assist you in designing your home, right from the hall, kitchen and bathrooms of the house. The rooms are so designed that they are proportionate to the area available for construction. From the design you can see how each room will look. You may change the plan as many times as you like before making the final drawing. Once the final drawing is prepared it should not be changed. The architect makes the plan with the future in mind. You may do the construction work in stages depending on your budget. If you have money to construct only the ground floor you may do so. You may or may not construct additional floors but it is a must to have a total plan for two or three floors as per the floor area ratio (FAR). Constructing a house without a plan will cause many problems in various stages of construction. Do not take the advice of illiterate ‘maistries’ who do not know the problems that might arise in the future.

While planning the house you have to make certain provisions for exterior elevation and interior decoration and furnishing work. These add value to your house for ever.

Sanction Plan
Before taking up the construction work the final drawing must be submitted well in advance to the competent authority for approval. The building construction work must be based on the plan sanctioned by the authority. A minor deviation from the sanctioned plan may be done if required. A copy of the sanctioned plan must be handy at the job site for inspection by the competent authority while the job is under execution.

Housing Finance
Before starting the construction work, you have to mobilize adequate funds for smooth and uninterrupted execution. You have to decide on the budget and raise it from your own sources or from a housing finance institution. Whatever be the estimate you have to provide for an extra ten percent to take care of cost of escalation of building materials and unexpected additional work. If you intend to avail home loan, you will have to approach a finance company well in advance with the sanctioned plan etc., and get the loan sanctioned.

The structural engineer does the foundation drawing. Though foundation work is a little expensive you must not compromise with it. A building rests safely on a strong foundation. It is the base on which you construct additional floors at a future date.

From the Floor Area Ratio, the plot coverage area must be worked out. Plinth Area is the total area of construction. This includes all the floors as well as the wall thickness. Carpet area is the area inside the constructed building between the walls and the area actually used. Super built area is generally applicable to apartments. This includes the wall thickness, projected area and the common area.

Solar Heater
Whether you are providing a solar heater or not, there must be a provision for it and you must atleast give pipeline connections to the bath rooms, kitchen and other places from the heater location so that you need not have to spend extra money when you install a solar water heater.

Bath Room 
For bathroom the bolting arrangement must be such that when it is bolted from the inside the door can be opened from the outside by applying a little force in case of an emergency. The bath room must be laid with anti-skid tiles. The fixtures in the bathrooms must be such that they do not interfere with free movement. Also there shall be no projections from the walls.

Though teak wood is preferred, by using other woods and wood substitutes you can save up to 50% on the wood cost. If adequate funds are not available for making built-in cupboards, you may make the provisions for putting up at a future date.

Periodic Inspection
Civil, structural, plumbing, sanitary electrical, carpentry and tiles laying are inter related works which call for proper co-ordination, with periodic inspection and repair. When the construction work is in progress a representative of yours must be on the job site. The architect, civil engineer, and the structural engineer must do periodic inspection. This is a must.

Electrical Wiring and Plumbing
The architect prepares the drawing for electrical, plumbing, sanitary and pipe laying works and pipe laying works and it must be carried out as per the drawing. In case of any deviation it must be incorporated in the drawing. The drawing must be kept safely so that if any leakage or short circuit occurs after some years, the drawing will come in handy to locate the faulty areas.

This is the last stage. Painting work is done in five phases. After primer coating is given it is allowed to dry. Thereafter the full putty and then the first coating of painting are given. This work must never be rushed. After the first coat you may perform pooja. Thereafter touch up putty work is done and then the final coating. Adequate time must be given for the final coating, which makes the interior visually appealing.

Do not compromise on the material quality. Always use BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certified materials. Electrical wiring materials must be of a well-known and reliable brand. Without proper co-ordination timely execution of work is not possible. For each work phase, a timetable must be drawn up and strictly adhered to. When one phase is over, workers for the next stage of work must step in. There shall be no financial constraints at any stage. If all these are attended to promptly, you can have your dream house without hassles, and peacefully.

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