I had a client request for inspection of existing house at Kozhencherry.House built about three years back in rock solid laterite soil is developing cracks .Owner of the house,Mr.Murali Nair who is an NRI on leave to his native place requested me to come and inspect house and find out why cracks are developing on walls . Everyday he get bad dreams of his house built about three years back with plinth area about 2800 sft crumbling down with cracks developing on walls.
While building house at Ranni and also at Thiruvalla,I have faced hostile local people assembled in large numbers for not following their generally accepted foundation construction methods.
Even if the soil is very strong laterite,they dig about six feet depth for foundation.Then on bottom of it they put concrete without reinforcement and lower mix ratio about 1:5:10 for a thickness of about 10 cm.Then they simply dumb rubble without proper packing in to that almost six feet depth and without force filling with water and sand,they build basement with rubble using cement mortar at a ratio of 1:10.Deeper the excavation for foundation,they think foundation is stronger.If you go against this generally accepted practice,you will not be allowed to build in any other manner reducing depth of foundation.Almost every person staying at a radius about 5 Km will come to the building site and will check and supervise the work being done.
At Ranni I had to threaten to leave the work to build foundation in the proper technically correct manner.At Thiruvalla,they were more strict.I had to leave the work for not following their practices.Later when the house was completed at Ranni,all those who were against our method of work agreed that our method of work is correct and started ridiculing others following their old practices.
When I checked up cracking walls of 2800 sft house built by Mr.Murali Nair about three years back with close supervision of a local builder who is also a close relative of him,spending about Rs.35 lakhs,I noticed that the foundation was sinking and cracks developed due to this.Naturally their generally accepted method of foundation which actually do not give proper strength to foundation is the reason behind development of these cracks.
Having reached the place,I also did a Vasthu evaluation of the house and suggested some modifications possible without spending extra money.
Look at the amount of money spent by him about three years back.He could have constructed the house with better design and better quality saving about Rs.10 lakhs had he taken care to obtain professional assistance and guidance in design and construction of that house.This house has several design drawbacks and lot of wastage of size,improper planning etc.But all those Mr.Nair will have to suffer through out life of that building.If only he could spend few thousands initially for a professional Architect,he could have obtained a better design for the house.A professional if involved during construction could have ensured proper engineering and quality of construction and finally with all these benefits,he could have saved lakhs of money
On my way back ,I passed through Aranmula famous for Aranmula mirror about which I have only heard about earlier.I found out a place where they made these special and unique mirror without use of glass.They actually use an alloy and rub it continuously using different sizes of sand paper progressively till you get mirror finish or in fact mirror quality.Major component of this alloy is brass and because of this when you touch the Aranmula mirror with your fingers,salt from your sweat will adversely affect the visibility of the mirror.So the craftsman gave me red oxide and tissue paper to clean surface of mirror after touching by hand.
I purchased a medium type Aranmula mirror costing about Rs.2000/-You can see the craft man holding that river with a smile in the picture.Bigger variety shown in picture without glass inside will cost about Rs.35,000/- with Aranmula glass inside.
They get mostly export orders as people abroad are more fascinated by this special mirror manufactured only at Aranmula and according to him this Aranmula mirror is likely to have a silent death within few years as not many are interested to learn the art of making Aranmula mirror as other jobs are more lucrative for youth of present day Aranmula.
He also told me that the belief is that if you keep an Aranmula mirror in your house,you will become more prosperous.So I am keeping the mirror in my office.Let us see whether more prosperity will come my way.
Now look at pictures