Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#Kerala-House Design and Construction–Replies to your queries



Raveendran   has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":

we are a group of government employees. we want to construct a 6 storied flat project having 20 units within 5-10 kms of Ernakulum town. what are the requirements for access roads and floor area ratio.

My reply

I cannot give a general reply to this question.First of all you have to identify a specific plot or plots where you think you can build such an apartment complex.Then you will have to get both technical and legal evaluation of the plot.A professional agency may also help you  checking documents status of the plot.Probably you can refer to following link in our website


which will give more necessary information for you.




Hello sir,
I want to build small farm (cost effective and sustainable.) at sawantwadi ( sindhudurg,Maharashtra)
Place falls in same region as Kerala..Here you will find more or less same kind of construction since it is in Konkan region.
My architect/contractor is working on project.I have attached preliminary drawings given by him and BOQ.
In BOQ,He has not included roof trusses and roofing material since we are still looking for various options.
I have following queries
1) He has tried to develop plot according to Vasthu principle.Is it proper accordingly and kept plot 2 vacant either for sell/future expansion.
2)I have very limited budget.How much will be cost of this house?
3)Will you be able to provide me rate of items to cross check it with my contractor.
4)Since we are looking for roof truss which is preferable to build timber/metal? What is cost of building it?
5)We are also looking for MCR roofing tile .Contractor said that it is sustainable and long lasting but cost is bit high.Is he correct?
6)We are going for exposed laterite construction.He said skilled workman take 22 Rs to place one stone of laterite.what is exact labour rate?
I found your blog very informative.
Thank you.

My reply

Please understand that job of an Architect is not simply guess expected cost of construction without any data or decide rates for work by any contractor for any type of job at any place.A professional Architect operating near your place may guide you on these provided he handles the job from design stage itself and you proceed on his advice/instructions from the beginning of construction



Dear Mr.Thomas,
I have gone through your website and very much impressed on your attitude towards constructions.  I am planning to construct a traditional home in Ottappalam, Palakkad.
I have already appointed an engineer for design works and its under final stage (he will not any other works other than designing works).  My question, will you be able to provide me the following services?
Preparing estimates for A-Z works.
Supervising the construction works.
Look forward to your response at the earliest.
Best regards,

My reply

Yes to your questions.But the plan will have to be acceptable to me.I cannot work with a non professional plan.


Dear Mr.Thomas,
Thank you for your prompt response.  The design part being done by a reputed professional (a qualified civil Engineer with 15yrs experience) whose several homes were telecasted in Kairali TV & Amirta TV.  But, his service will be available for designing part only. He will not do any constructions or supervision. So, I don't see any chances for rejection of his designs  by you.  I do not want major changes in the design, as design was made according to my idea & concept.
If it is acceptable to you I can forward you the designs & drawings as soon as they are ready.  The basic design only prepared now. He has to prepare the elevation, electrical & plumbing drawings, 3D elevation etc. As you said in the blog, I have given his own time to do the job.  I am planning to start construction in August 2012 only.  Before that I have to complete necessary requirements, legal formalities and of course, my home works also.
Please give me an idea about your service charges.
Look forward to your response.
Best regards,

My reply

Telecasting of interviews in channels is not an indication on capability of an Architect.Even I get several such calls.But they always put a condition that I should pay so much as advertisement charges.Charges goes up for more popular channels.I always refuses such paid telecasting which will appear to viewers as genuine promotion of "good work"..Any one who is willing to pay continuously to channels can get  frequent  telecasting!

Unless I see the plan,I cannot comment on merit of the plan

If the plan prepared is found lacking on verification of Vasthu,Architectural and structural Engineering aspects,I will have to revise it.Plan prepared for a house by any one will not be the same.More qualified and more experienced in executing work directly will be able to give you better design as  each work done will make the professional more knowledgeable.

I have directly built more than 200 houses in different parts of Kerala and outside . Designed ,acted as consultant for many more buildings.Still I encounter new problems with new projects and I realise with each new projects that my knowledge is limited.

I will never claim that plan prepared by me or my design is the best possible.Some body else may be able to do a better design.



Anonymous   has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":

Hi Thomas,

The person in front of my house, has re-constructed his house and has put up a new bathroom which is in front of my main door. And over that he  is using the old styled pit(newly dug out) instead of a septic tank which again is near my front boundary wall. Can I take any action against him, please advice.
PS: The plot is in a municipality area.

My reply

Your neighbour should use a proper septic tank and not a simple pit to dump human waste and that septic tank should be located 15M away from your water source.If he  construct violating this or any other building rules conditions,you have every right to complain to local authority concerned in writing  and they will take appropriate action.



Dear Mr. Thomas,

I have been going through your website and blogs recently. I really appreciate your point of view regarding Sq. Ft cost of construction.

Let me come to my point first.

I have seen your residential projects work for individuals in your site, but almost of them are big houses/villas, floor area ranging from 2500- 4500 sq. ft. I would like to construct a house with 1350-1400 CARPET area. I plan to build a decent villa with good works like kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, good elevation, interior work etc. Do you undertake construction for said area??? If answer is Yes then I will give you rest details.

Hope to get a reply.


My reply

In fact large houses designed and built by me are not even 40% of my total work.For a professional, large or small houses do not matter much.We are here to provide services to those who need it.In fact I have designed and built  nearly  90 houses with plinth area as little as 300 sft consisting of sit out,Hall,Toilet,one bed room and Kitchen for a charity organisation for free allotment to poor people of course with least possible cost employing all cost reduction techniques without compromising on quality of construction.


Dear Sir,

I have just gone through the question and answers related to house tax. While answering one question regarding luxury tax, you have answered that you have not come across with anyone paying continuous luxury tax. Could you kindly clarify . Please let me know how long we have to pay luxury tax for houses having area more than 3,000 sq. ft. ?

I shall be thankful if you would reply to me.

Kind Regards


My reply

I am regularly building houses above plinth area of 3000 sft in different parts of Kerala and I have never heard that any of my clients are paying so called Luxury tax even though some people keep on talking about it.

After the building construction is completed,concerned local authority will fix up yearly Building tax for the building.Naturally for a higher plinth area house ,higher building tax will have to be paid.This is the only continuous tax applicable for the building

Concerned Village Office charges a one time tax on the building.In places like Cochin most of the house owners have not received notice for such a tax even though in interior village areas such a tax is collected.

For clarifying your doubt and check on the matter,please check with concerned local authority in your area.




I have a 2.5 cent  plot  near railway station, its more than 70M    away from the railway line, but  one side of the property is    railway's property. Is there any issue in developing a house in the    plot. I got the permit from the corporation, is there any issue occurs while TC numbering the house?


My reply

My understanding is that there is restrictions for Building house within 30 M of Railway property.

If the local authority has already issued Building permit to you considering all related matters,there cannot be problem for you in future

In any case it is the concerned official of the local authority who can give a clear answer to your query.Please check with concerned official of the local authority

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