Saturday, June 25, 2011

Design and construction of house-Queries and replies

Review of plan prepared


Dear Mr.Thomas,

Please find the floor plan, site plan and electrical markups and vasthu corrections (not much changes, except few sizing and over all area) ..

Hope and believe this will help you to review and give your valuable suggestions and guidance on the attached plans .Based on this we will proceed further to next stage of scheduling a site visit and further steps..

FYI – We like follow cost effective, natural/eco friendly but classic-traditional-elegant- approaches with innovative and modern techniques.


My reply

On Vasthu,you seem to have consulted typical Kerala ashari who go by wrong ideas and Chuttalavu which has no mention in any of the authentic Vasthu books

Even positions of rooms they follow are different and wrong

For example South east is Agnikonam ideal place for Kitchen.North east is Esaana Konam ideal for Pooja room and well and definitely not good for Kitchen or Bed room

You have bed rooms at south west and North west which are good

For an East facing house,gate and car porch should come at North half.Here car porch comes at South.I do not understand why a passage is given from car porch to house

Even though bed room sizes are quite big,two bed rooms sharing one toilet with two separate doors  is simply foolish and ridiculous.You could have added Dress and Toilet even by reducing Bed room dimensions thereby giving more utility to bed space

Lot of space is simply wasted and there is not enough space where it really require

I do not know why you require a stair from inside for a single floor house

Rest of the comments I can make after a site visit.

Clay tiles  for floor and Hollow Blocks


Dear Thomas:

Happened to read your excellent informative blog and had questions -  Clay Tiles and Clay hollow bricks.
I am yet to start my house construction. I live in Tripunithura.

Clay Tile Flooring
I was thinking about clay tiles for flooring and many folks discouraged me(same story - fungus, slippery etc). But after reading your blog, have some confidence.
In this page, I liked the 2nd picture flooring. Is that clay tiles too? 

Hollow bricks:

Planned to do hollow bricks for my walls. Got discouraged when my  contractor said anyone, especially robbers, can easily slit through exposed hollow bricks. Is this true?
Actually I was thinking of using hollow bricks and then plastering both sides. Would I still get the benefit of heat reduction if I use plastering ?
Also can I can cut down time as well as cement usage if I use clay hollow bricks instead of traditional bricks?

If you can please give more details on following or provide a contact person and number, that would be helpful.

I would like to get more details on pricing and transportation etc..
I live in Tripunithura and from where can I get these tiles and hollow bricks?  From Trichur, I guess?

What is cost per sf? What could be final cost(approximate) per s f including additional works required (acid wash, urethane etc.).
Also are skilled workers available? where are they located?

Hollow bricks:
My engineer says I need 20 inch walls. That said, what type of hollow bricks do I need? I also need roofing bricks.
Please give an idea of cost per block, transportation cost and details, availability, how soon you can ship to Tripunithura etc. After how many days can I get the bricks?

Please provide details or a contact person with number.


My reply

Clay tiles do not get fungus after proper polishing.Clay tiles laid on my office  flat roof eight years back are still without any fungus.Clay tiles are not slippery like ceramic or vitrified tiles

What you have indicated are Kurudy clay tiles used for  construction of walls and even as filler for roof concrete.There is no harm in it having hollow inside and no thief can open it easily.You can use these blocks or solid /hollow concrete blocks for construction of wall.Semi wire cut bricks though costly are better for construction of walls from the point of strength

Heat inside house can be reduced by better design by a well qualified experienced Architect who can design a house with better ventilation and easy flow of light and wind

Cost of tiles will have to be checked up with manufacturer/supplier

No body uses 20 inches wall for house construction.For load bearing walls 20 cm thickness is sufficient.For partition walls,10 cm walls can be used

Building Permit


Hello Mr. Thomas.

Thanks for allowing me to post a question. I am constructing a home in Kothamangalam that comes under Panchayat area. My home is just less than 3000 sq.ft. I am building only one floor and has some plans to build upstairs for rental in the future. So my questions are -

1) Do I get a separate building number for my upstairs unit? The stair case has direct access from outside as well as from the ground floor unit.

2) My Architect says that I need to leave 4 ft width for my stair case as per new regulations in cochin area (he is from cochin) when I make that as a passage to the rental unit. so he think it might get extended to panchayat sooner. But I am not happy giving almost 8 ft for stair case room. Do you think this will be an issue for me in the future?

3) If I don't get a separate number, then I don't need to worry about the staircase width rite? I don't need to give any approvals to rent out my upstairs unit if its part of same building number. Does it has any difficulty in getting a separate electricity connection and all?

4) If I get 2 building number for the same building, will I be avoiding the luxury tax (3000 sq.ft+)? <3000 for first unit and ~1000 sq.ft. for upstairs unit.

Please provide your valuable suggestions.


My reply

1.You can get a separate building no for upstairs if that is an independent dwelling unit.You will have to show ground and upper floors as separate dwelling units in completion plan or simply inform Panchayath accordingly if your house s under construction are in panchayath area

2.Outside stair can be kept in clearance space as per building rules and hence you do not have to leave extra space for it.

3.If you get a separate building no for both floors,you can get separate Electric connections

4.When you have two building no's panchayath tax will be less for both house units

House construction work after plastering(Interior works)


Dear Sir,

My house construction is going on in Changanacherry,Kottayam( dist.)now the plastering of walls is going on,this is a 2 storey building,I would like you to do interior design including kitchen and bed room cabinets,wardrobes etc.,please clarify the details you need from my side

hope to see an early reply


Krishna Kumar

My reply

We can take complete Interior work for the house which include following

1.Plumbing work with expert workers from Cochin with latest technology inputs

2.Electrical wiring again with our expert workers

3.Putty work before painting

4.Enamel painting/polishing/wall painting

5.Interior wood work like modular Kitchen,cupboards etc.

6.Furniture work with hand carving if required

7.Flooring and toilet wall/floor tile laying with latest trend designs/patterns

8.Landscaping work and any other related work

It will be beneficial to you if I can visit site,take measurements,assess work already done and suggest improvements and check vasthu compliance

Please send me plan of your house in pdf  clearly marking directions and positions of roads

Right now we are doing similar work for another house at Changanassery for which work up to plastering was done by somebody else.Plumbing work is in progress there

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