Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#Kerala House Construction-Replies to your queries

Seeking Plan of House


Riju,  has left a new comment on your post "BUILDING YOUR DREAM HOUSE IN KERALA":

hello sir,My self riju we want make a home in 1200 sq.feet cost with in 8-12 lakh( including all the facilities and charges).we have 22 cent in land.can i get some models and further proceedings..

My reply

Getting a plan of house made for somebody which may suit his needs and site conditions will not help you.

Most important most critical factor for cost reduction,better utility of space and better use of your money will be to get most appropriate plan of the house.A person who has done just an ITI course can draw a plan of the house.Plan of the house thus prepared and plan prepared by a qualified experienced Architect will be totally different.

Apart from the technical training and knowledge obtained by an Architect,with each new project an Architect learn and experiment a lot on building design and construction.Each new building done will enhance his knowledge and capability to give you a better design.Do not miss the chance of getting the most appropriate design for your house from the best Architect you can find instead of  trying get a “free” plan from some one which will ultimately free you from quite a lot of your money without any benefit



Dear Mr. Thomas,
Good Morning,
Further to our discussions today I  furnish the following information :

I  have about 15 Acres Coffee Estate in Madikeri,
Recently I have constructed my Home in this very estate and have shifted here in my estate I am enjoying. The design part was my own and my friends call it a  Practical House.

Since the  view and location of my estate is very good all my friends advise ,me to start HOME STAY / ESTATE STAY business here in my estate.
In view of the above please advise me the best and the cheapest way to construct my home stay having about 4 independent units.

Madikaeri is famous for its  heavy rain as River Kaveri starts from here and a bit of  Moisture for about 6 months,
My friends who have done some BAMBOO work feel that it requires a lot of maintenance.
Please advise the best way.
Ajay Sood

My reply

Before planning to build cottages for a resort project do not simply depend upon your common sense in planning and designing the project.You need professional guidance right from conceiving project idea till completion of the project.Architect will have to visit site,assess site conditions,visualise the project and then plan the project with his mind and drawings

We can take up the project first as visualizer and designers and later possibly as  guide for project execution.I am writing in detail to your email id about how to go about the project



Hello Sir,

I am  from Trivandrum.I went through your site and I have to say that it cleared a lot of doubts in my mind.I have to say that it is very detailed and informative.

My husband and myself are planning to buy a plot in Trivandrum.We just have a few queries regarding the same which I believe with your expertise you will be able to clarify and help us out very easily.We have a budget of around 10 lakhs for buying the plot and we are thinking about a 3 or 3.5 cent one.My family includes my husbands parents and the both of us.We are thinking about a 2 storied 3 bed house.

My queries are as below

* Is it ok to build a house on a plot which is not a 'karabhoomi' ? We recently saw a good plot but that was a paddy field.What all are the things that we need to check before we buy such a  plot?I wanted to clarify this after I read one of the queries posted in your blog about a person who bought such a piece of land but now he is having difficulty in getting permits to construct a house.

Also will it be difficult to get  a loan for buying such a plot?

I read from your previous responses to queries that you have to do filling on such a land before you construct the house.For a plot in the size that I mentioned above would you be able to advise the approximate cost for filling and will a house constructed on such a land be structurally sound?

I am not sure if you will require more details of this plot to give us a sound advice.If yes, please do let me know the details you require or if you want to see any pictures of the plot and I can mail the same to you.

Looking forward to your advice.

R Thulaseedharan

My reply

Most of your doubts regarding  land purchase and bank loan for house construction can be cleared by going through relevant pages of our website

Here is the link:

If the land documents show the nature of land as “Nilam/padam” the local authority which will give sanction for construction of house may refer the matter to a committee comprising of Agricultural officer and Tahsdildar concerned.They will visit the plot and ascertain whether the land is being used for agricultural purpose and will take appropriate recommendations to the local authority.

In your case,it will be better if you  can contact concerned local authority with related land documents to check whether you will be permitted to build a house in that property and steps and procedures required for getting such a sanction




I'm Joby working in Maldives.I have  two plots of land in Kottiyoor,Kannur. One is of 30 cents and the other 10. I've a plan to build a two storied 3 bed room house at the least cost. I'd like to know if you could help me construct it from A-Z. I have browsed your web pages and found that your projects are high end and in Kerala architecture.  They all look stunning but I can't afford.
I'm interested in a small (1500sqft.) contemporary design. I also
would like to know how you are going to manage it as my plot is in
Kannur. I hope you would excuse me for such queries. Thanking you.

My reply

First and most important part of building a house is to get the most appropriate Basic Plan from the best available expert with the right experience.That will save you lakhs and provide you better facilities for house at lesser cost.
I have designed and built houses from 300 sft to 6000 sft.More of lower cost
Are you ready to go for the most important first step?
You can get construction done by your local contractor.But he cannot get you a good design

Lot of people think that a well known  Architect will do work only for big budget houses.It is not so.Once a charity organisation wanted me to design one bed,hall,Kitchen,toilet,Sit out house with the least budget possible as they were donating these houses to poor.I have done a 300 sft house design for them which could be completed about  eight years back with just Rs.50,000/- including profit for the contractor.

For an Architect each new job gives new challenges.More than the money involved satisfaction obtained by doing a work in the most appropriate manner is the greatest reward for the work.



Dear Sir,

I have seen your blogs and it is very informative for persons like me.

I would like to know about water proofing of roof slabs. In Kerala, although we have rain for about 4 months in a year all we do for water proofing is apply some coatings or lay roof tiles after concrete curing. I heard of concrete admixtures (like Fosroc or Dr. Fixit products) that will be added to the concrete during construction stage (concrete mixing stage itself to a dosage recommended by manufacturer), so that permeability of the concrete shall be reduced by about 50% therefore to prevent roof slab leakage significantly.

Can you comment on this please and advise which the best product is for the purpose.



My reply

In my personal opinion,there is absolutely no need of using such admixtures during concreting if only you can ensure proper roof slab concrete  starting with proper structural design of  reinforcement,proper and correct laying of concrete under experienced professional supervision.In any of the roof concrete done with my supervision,there is not even a single case of roof leakage even after years of roof concrete.

To add additional protection,I always suggest laying of clay tiles over concreted surface whether flat roof or slope roof.This will also reduce heat inside the house as clay tile will absorb quite a good portion of heat due to sun

Most of the construction of house in Kerala are done by so called “square feet rate contractors” who quote low “square feet cost” to get contract work.

Owner of the house is not bothered even if the roof slab do not have proper reinforcement design by a qualified experienced Engineer.Even if the contractor use not even half steel reinforcement required for roof concreting,owner of house is not bothered.

Even if contractor use aggregates for concrete in mix ratio convenient to him with more water for easy laying of concrete,owner of house is not bothered.What is the use of adding these admixtures if none of the professional requirements for concreting of roof slab is not ensured?

House owner want lowest”square feet rate”.Contractor want maximum profit without proper professional design and work.All that he will give to owner of the house is “big talk” of why Architects and Engineers are not at all required for house construction as they will “unnecessarily increase cost of construction”

There is no point in blaming concrete technology when you entrust concreting of your roof slab  to a non professional profit by any means contractor in the hope of extracting”lowest rate” from him.

Owner of the house take pride in his capability to extract “lowest rate”from contractor thereby ensuring that the contractor never make profit from his work.Contractor always have the last laugh as he knows how to make maximum profit without owner ever noticing low quality non professional work till he settles his payment for the work!



Dear Mr.Thomas,

I did speak with my father about your company and the services offered. He was of the opinion that as you are based in Ernakulum and the work site is in Calicut, there will be a lot of logistical expenses which we can avoid if we give the contract to a local architect/ contractor. He is in the process of talking to the various local architects/ contractors/ builders.

To be frank, another concern i would like to share is that you have been working for senior NRIs who can spend extensively on their dream projects! I am a junior professional and have just started my legal career in Canada.I intend to take a housing loan and initiate the construction work of my dream house. So, at this stage i need an economical, yet sturdy construction program. When a company of your reputation and experience undertakes a project so far away, you would be looking for a huge budget and the overall cost would also multiply exponentially.With my modest budget  it would be very difficult for you to complete a 5BHK house. Whereas your rates are on the higher side to say the least.and your rates are prima facie too pricy for my modest budget.

I have elaborated so much, only in appreciation of your follow up mail when you did not hear from me again. Please understand that I am indeed a novice on the subject of construction and whatever i expressed above are only my personal concerns.Thank you for the answers to my queries and i shall surely contact you in the future when required.



My reply

It is quite amusing to read your mail
First of all, no Architect with professional dedication will  prefer to do only high budget houses.I have done very few large houses with plinth area as high as 6000 sft and even much more smaller houses with plinth area as low as 300 sft.
My involvement has not at all increased cost of any house.In fact it has not only reduced cost and increased utility and better space management.Because of this reason I have directly built houses even in far away place like Ootty with cost saving and better design
Any person who can draw plan of the house in Auto CAD cannot design the best possible house.It require knowledge,experience and talent.You will be able to note and understand defects in architectural design only after house is completed and then it will be too late to do anything.Defects in structural design can be noticed only after few years when cracks and breaks occur.Then also nothing can be done about it
Basic Plan of the house is the most critical part of house design and construction.Going for some one who charge very little or nothing for it  in the hope of extracting more from you later can only be called penny wise and pound foolish
I do not want to do your work.But I thought you should simply do not brand me as some one who cause cost increase in designing and building house.A true professional bring in better quality and economy also.

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