Sunday, April 21, 2013

Free Consultation,22,April,2013

Elevations for houses recently designed by us

Three dimensional Elevation for house designed by us for USA Based NRI at Angamaly ,3300 sft with four bed room attached,Office room,Home theatre and all usual common facilities.


Three Dimensional Elevation for four bed  house 2400 sft for gulf based NRI at Ettumanoor


Design and Construction of house


Dear Mr. Thomas,
My name is Muthu.I'm from Kannur district and currently working in UAE. I've read many of your blogs and online interactions and found them very informative and interesting.
I'm planning to build a house in Kannur and would like to get your architectural professional Service. Kannur being away from your office location, I presume it wouldn't be possible for you to inspect the site before the design or supervise the construction at later stage. However, I would like to check with you if you can help me get the plan/design drawings and an elevation for the house.
I can send you the site map with directions and all my requirements through email. I need to know the professional services you can offer me in this case Basic Requirement: 2 storied 4 bedroom traditional Kerala style house, approximately 2500 sq. ft..
Appreciate your time and valuable reply.

My reply

We can design a house for construction anywhere in the world.There is no harm in me visiting site at Kannur.But due to distance it will be better to restrict visits as much as possible.If you can provide me outer dimensions of all four sides of the plot clearly indicating directions,position of roads near plot and details on your requirements of house,we can design the house for you.Later we can also give detailed architectural and structural engineering drawings ,instructions and guidance through out construction of the house


I am looking to build a house of about 1500 sq. ft., 15 lakhs estimate in Calicut. ( if possible a 3 BHK house). Please send me some good plans.


My reply

Square feet plinth area of the house to be built and cost cannot be simply fixed like this by you.At first you have to discuss with a qualified experienced Architect on your house construction planned.Tell him what all you require in the house as facilities.You can also indicate your budget constraints if any.Let him decide on what can be done to meet with your requirements and budget.

House construction is not that simple to go and buy so much square feet  of house at price fixed by you.It involves hundreds of materials with increasing cost and different type of labour.Without assistance and guidance of a good professional,non professional contractors will simply cheat you to make maximum profit for them using your ignorance on quality of construction and technical details on construction technology


Dear Mr. Thomas Viruvelil
Greetings to you. My Name is Subin  and I am working in Ethiopia. Please find
herewith the House Plan of mine with Area of 1250 Sq. ft. and is in 5.5 cents. Now
I request you to give me exact figure of Construction cost in square feet in the
interiors of Trichur As I have not got enough time to enquire about the
Price and market changes as I was on leave for 20 days only. I Think the Price
varies from Rs.1000-1600 in the interiors as it was also informed by the Local
Contractor (Construction) only. It was finally agreed to construct @Rs.1500/- per
square feet. As my earnings are meager now the amount seems to me in a higher side.
You are kindly requested to advice me in this scenario that the construction cost
of RS.1500/- per square feet is admissible / justifiable or not. And if it is more
kindly advice me how to get rid of this.
Your kind consideration on my above request will be highly appreciated. Hope that
you will see in to this matter seriously and reply me soon.
Waiting for your reply.


Dear Sir ;

I was reading your expert opinion which helped me to understand the do's and don'ts in constructing a good house. I have small doubts which i need to consult with you

1) You have mentioned that we need to first estimate on the structure part , will this structure include flooring, electrical points and fittings ,kitchens initial fittings like slabs,etc.

2) I was approached by many contractors and many have a fixed cost per square feet.Will I get item wise description on the items which they are going to use.Most of them are not mentioning on the materials included in the sq feet . Can you please share the detailed format on the list of materials used so that I can ask them to fill and submit.

Appreciate if you can revert back with your views. Can you please share your number to have a quick chat with you.




My uncle's house is being constructed in Kalady . Its almost finished. When I enquired, he said that clay bricks are easily available in that area, costs about Rs. 4 to 5 per piece depending on the time of the year( during rainy season the price goes up).. I have my cousins ,uncles in the locality. My wife's house is also in Angamaly. As per conversation with all my family members, they can buy and provide the materials for construction and also monitor the progress as they live close by. Please let me know in detail about your interest in taking the contract of building the house (materials will be provided) or supervision/guidance/site visits as necessary. I would like to know the details of your fees for the services in advance. My intention is to complete the work with the minimum time possible without affecting the quality.


My reply

I have made enquiries about red clay bricks.At present they are available for delivery at Angamaly at Rs.5.6.But as time passes cost will increase gradually as bricks are manufactured only during Jan Feb in every year.As brick in stock get sold they will keep on increasing cost of brick.

Solid blocks are manufactured using concrete material without reinforcement and hence manufacture goes on through out the year

When we take up construction directly we insists on arranging both material and labour for the structure part up to plastering

After plastering for Electrical,plumbing,Flooring painting wood work etc. we advise the client to buy the right material and arrange labour.In case client entrust the purchase of material at that stage we give the client both technical support and better price due to our contacts

Arranging material through your contacts during structure stage will demand presence of your person who has knowledge of building material and contacts to arrange materials at short notice at site every day as the workers who will be working on rate basis cannot wait for material to come as it suits the person concerned.

If we do not directly involve in construction we will give all detailed drawings for construction(both Architectural and structural engineering drawings) as required at each stage at charges which will be informed to you in a package offer.We will also charge for each of my visit to site for giving instructions to workers and to monitor work.

It is observed by experience that workers not directly engaged by us will not bother much to follow our drawings and instructions properly which will demand more labour costs for them as a labour contractor will always try to reduce labour inputs to save his cost.Quality of construction will only for lip service as his prime motive will be profit and nothing else.

As a reputed professional organisation ,even though we also work for profit,we ensure that the best professional practices and quality standards are ensured in quality of material used and labour practices.

If your relative have simply engaged a labour contractor and arranged material for his house construction( if the relative is not a qualified experienced building professional )the contractor might have misguided him to ensure his profit at cost of quality of construction which will start showing up in years to come.

In case you are very particular about getting work done on labour contract by your relative arranging material,there is no point in taking Engineering Estimate from us as it will have no relevance.If you are not going for Bank loan,a formal estimate from a professional is not required even for bank purpose.

When we take up construction directly we do not charge separately for all architectural/structural engineering drawings required for professional work . My site visits as required for work will also not be charged separately.

Plan of the building is only a starting point of drawings required for the house.Just by using this plan and Elevation no contractor can build house as planned by us as the design is different from usual house construction done by non professional contractors which unfortunately form more than 90% of house construction in Kerala mainly due to ignorance of house owners about need for professional design and monitoring through out construction

There is no such thing as fixed square feet cost of construction.Each contractor does construction in a manner which suits him.His only objective is to make profit.As no two contractor does construction in same manner you can never compare so called "square feet cost" given by contractors.When you construct house without plan from a qualified experienced Architect without using detailed drawings and continuous supervision and instructions from such an expert you are bound to be cheated by the contractor in every manner

No professional body or govt has fixed cost of construction as so much rupees per square feet.Cost of construction for each house will differ from place to place,depending upon design and also depending upon contractor.One contractor may use about 1000 Kg steel for concreting 1000 sft roof of a house.Another may use only 400 Kg of steel.When 400 Kg of steel is used problems will start coming up in the building after some time.I have seen contractors reducing height of house to save money as customer will only bother about square feet plinth area.Every effort will be done to use inferior quality material to increase profit of contractor.He will also try to use short cut methods to reduce labour cost which building owner may not notice.

In short entrusting construction to a contractor on square feet basis is the best way to have the worst built house for you.

If you also do not have the best professional design for the house,you will start noticing defects in design after house is completed.At that stage even the best Architect in the world cannot help you to solve defects in design which you might have obtained at “low cost “and  felt proud of your smartness about it!

Building Materials


Dear Sir,

Please suggest as I am planning to lay my flooring,what do you suggest for the entire floor to be tiled with Granite tiles or Vitrified tiles(Which is better and why?).For sit out and stairs I am planning Granite slabs.

Kindly suggest.


My reply

Granite and marble are out of trend,slippery and costly.You can use much better antiskid tiles of Nitco or Johnson at lesser cost with the latest trendy designs


Sir, can i use solid cement blocks 6'x8x12 ''for two storied building construction?is is need support by pillars.local units use chips ,quarry dust and metal sand for making blocks.



Dear sir,
I would like to build a house with 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen with
attached bathroom. Recently i came to know about a construction
company which provides solid bricks.  Is anything wrong with
building a house with these solid bricks?

My reply

There is no harm in using concrete blocks properly manufactured with proper curing.quality of construction is more important

Building rules ,Real Estate Assistance and guidance


I was reading on your website about Legal Verification and Documentation when selling/buying a house. I would like to speak with you in regards to a house my mother is trying to sell in Trivandrum. I currently reside in USA so there is an issue with time difference but I would really like to get more information on the formalities and possibly hiring a lawyer.

My reply

Reply me with specific queries.We have our Real assistance team which can take care of verification of legal documents of properties,preparation of legal documents and follow up with related govt offices.You can expect professional reliable services from us








My reply

It will be better to check with concerned official at your local authority office.I do not think it is a big issue in house construction as you seem to get frightened about

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Free Consultation,11 April,2013

Clearance space and Building rules


Hi Sir,

I am writing from Trivandrum, planning to build a 3 floor house in my 3.75cent.the private road is covering 2 side of the plot and it is ending in 20meter, can you please tell how much setback i have to give in both side adjacent to road and also the other 2 side..


Jay has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
In our residential area, there is a commercial building that is currently has ongoing construction, in the neighboring plot of our family home.
This has been a nuisance as debris and dust from the constructions fall into our compound. Despite having spoken to the site engineer the workers are not careful. Our compound wall and wall fencing has been damaged and we have concrete debris damaging our building A/C unit.
Is there any legal action that we can take to ensure, they pay for damages or repair damages?


Hi sir,
I have a 10 cent land which is a farm land. For about 15 to 20 years there has been no farming activity and have few coconut trees. There is a tar road in front of the land. The surrounding land were converted to plots and mine is the only unfilled land left. Please guide me how i can convert it to a plot. Recently heard that govt had put an order against land filling etc. Your guidance is very much appreciated



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Dear Sir,
I am planning to do extension work of my existing house which was built 20 years back. At that time there was no building rules. As you mentioned above my house has a main road frontage and it is just 2 m away from my sit out. Because of modification I want to modify my existing sit out by keeping the 2 m as it is and widen to the existing car porch which lies on the same line of my sit out with continue roof slab.
Now what i want to do is to extent the sit out up to the car porch which is already having slab. All i just want to build a foundation in the car porch and a pillar. And of course I want to demolish the existing sunshade and arch in the same.
Please tell me whether I could get permission for the extension. I heard that 10% modification we can do at site which is not mentioned in the approved drawing..
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated


My replies

1.It is better to contact concerned official of your local authority with specific details of your plot like Survey No and location details to know applicable clearance required

2.You can complain in writing to your local authority office about disturbance by nearby construction,if they are not willing to avoid disturbance to you while constructing.As a neighbour you may have to adjust with some disturbance as you also may require their co operation in future for your construction work

3.You will have to contact your local authority office with specific details of your plot.They will guide you on this

4.There is no such 10% modification/deviation from approved plan possible.Before construction you normally will have to obtain approval of building plan in areas where prior approval of plan is required.Every where in Kerala,you will have to construct as per building rules.Deviations from approved plan which are within building rules provisions are possible and will have to be regularised with a Revised plan or completion plan duly signed by a Licensed Engineer/Architect

Building Materials and Construction methods


I intend to start construction of my residential house in few months time.I am from West Bengal .My house has being designed by a qualified architect.This house will be of RCC columns and beams.In this part of country everybody construct walls with clay bricks .There is hardly any user for concrete hollow bricks.With lot of difficulty I have a found a manufacturer who makes concrete hollow bricks.When I proposed my architect with the proposal of using these type of bricks , he didn't object but was very passive in his approving my idea.
Since I don't have any way to seek the help or feedback in this part of country, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this bricks .
Please help me with the answers of following query.2.) The mason seems to suggest , I will need to cut the bricks where the length and height will not match the brick size.If they are cut, will not the strength of the bricks reduce. Similarly I will need to cut the bricks on the face to make concealed wiring possible.Also plumbing may require making holes across the bricks.
3.) Is there any chances of water seepage possible through these bricks.
I hope you will enlighten me with your knowledge .I will be eagerly waiting for your reply


My name is Libin and I am a Mech. Engineer working in UAE. Now I am planning to build a two story home in Muvattupuzha. After checking my land the engineer advised me to conduct a soil test. In the test report they recommended me single bulb pile.

My land was filled with soil 12 years before at a height of around 3 meter. To meet the existing road level I filled an additional height of around 2.5 meter. After talking to one of the engineer in my company he designed a raft type foundation. Attached you can find the detailed plan with column details,Soil test report and the foundation we designed. When I calculated the pile foundation cost I found out that It is too expensive. One of my friend told that sand Piling will be an option you can adopt.

Please advice me on this issue.



White space has left a new comment on your post "Teak wood-use in Kerala house construction":
What about the readymade wooden doors available in the market. Are they comparable with teak in terms of strength & durability


I have got the plan of my House ,elevation and submissions drawings done by a local architect in Trivandrum and I am waiting for Engineering estimate which will be prepared by their approved contractors. Can you provide your services to review the engineering estimate and advice if I should go ahead to establish a Building contract based on the estimate. Also I would like you to review the Building contact and caution me for inclusions and exclusions.

Please accept my apologies for not approaching you for the plan. The only reason for that was there was a mutual reference in between.

Now I want to take a consultation before signing the contract.



Dear Thomas Sir,

I am Constructing my Dream Home in Trivandrum. Basement is Finished. Total Sq.ft. is 1938.

its a Contemporary Style, Single Store, 3 bed room house. Now i am confusing to select which type of Wood is better for Doors  & Windows (what is your opinion for selection of "Violet wood"? is there any problem to select "Plavu" ? what is the Difference between "Anjily" & "Plavu"? I dont have any Own Tree of "Plavu & Anjily".

I am Very Thankful to your Valuable Reply.

Ajith Nair.

My Replies

1.There is nothing wrong with solid blocks.Every building material used can be good or bad depending upon how the manufacturing is done.If manufacturing is carried out by adhering to quality standards as per desired technical specifications,building material will be of good quality.While designing and constructing a house try to consult same Architect/Engineer from beginning to end instead of conducting a survey with any one you come across and following  “free advices” given by any body.

2.Here again even though the person who builds the house is a qualified Engineer(May not be familiar with construction field) just like any one without proper educational back ground he goes on collecting bits of information from any one he come across.

Building design and construction should not be done by conducting such public opinion surveys.First of all most important part of house construction is to get appropriate design for the house from a qualified and experienced professional.Just by passing a course in an Engineering college that too with out dated syllabus without any reference to current technology used,one do not become an Engineering professional.At best the person get familiar with some vocabulary and introduction to some topics.Architect/Engineer experienced in building design and construction studies every day through out his career facing new problems and solving it.Wealth of such experience will have to be used by you for design and construction of only house which you may construct.

I have come across several cases where the client seems to think that being the person who spends money Architect should simply draw plan as he says and agree to whatever he says.In fact such people treat a professional Architect as a mere technician to do whatever he says.You can always express your views /desires for the house to the designer.But after understanding your needs and budget constraints if any a professional Architect will guide you on all aspects of building design and construction from beginning to end.

Lots of people think that Plan of the house is not important and any one who can draw in Auto Cad is good enough to draw plan as he says.Less fees for plan makes it more attractive! By refusing to pay few thousands to a good professional you are in fact wasting lakhs of your money and by the time you understand defects of the plan,structure of the building will be completed leaving with a house about which you can never feel proud of.A professional architect can visualise every bit of your completed house during plan stage itself.Of course minor changes can take place during execution.But you will not be able to understand importance of plan of the house till structure of house is completed.So even though money is yours,allow a professional to decide on how the house has to be designed and have continuous guidance from him through out construction instead of trying to get public opinion on every aspect of house design and construction

3.Like any other building material,you will have to be careful about Door and window frames and wood used for construction.There are very few commercial agencies who give importance to quality.In fact it is our own mind set/nature which result in low quality product/services.Every body would like to cheat other person and make profit.Even a buyer wants cheapest rate/cost and simple talk of quality is enough.For better quality product/services better price will have to be paid.When you insists on getting low price/rates quality will have to suffer even though supplier will talk of his non existing quality just to please you.

4.Once you have got the design and Estimate done by some body else,if we review it,we may ask for total revision of plan.Engineering Estimate obtained by you may not meet with our design or standards.Unless you are willing to pay for revised design/Estimate there is no point in wasting our time on it as we cannot do design or estimate free of charges just because you have paid for it to some other agency

Construction contract terms are some thing which you enter with some body else as per agreement reached between you.There is no standard terms of contract acceptable to all.In fact if you have 100 contractors ,method of construction followed by each will be different.Quality standards will be different and hence there is no pint in comparing rates and terms of one contractor with the other.As the building owner try to get lowest rate,contractor also tries to get maximum profit from whatever payment he gets from you.Quality and proper Engineering are only for lip service of the contractor.Contractor will have to compromise on quality to ensure his profit as building owner will not be willing to compensate for him for continuous cost increase during construction and to provide better quality construction with professional design/drawings and guidance

5.Local wood like Anjali and Plavu are good for use for door window frames and Mahogany can be used for shutters

Labour charges and labour issues


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation #Kerala House Construction":
I am building a house of around 3000 sq ft in Calicut. I bought all the tiles for the house (80cm X 80cm). Could you please provide me a quote on how much will be the usual rate per square feet to lay the tiles. As I am away from India, I don't know much about the present wage.
Thanks in anticipation

My reply

There is no such standard rate as each tile laying person will be doing it in his own method of doing.Each area has got differing demand and supply of workers doing a particular type of work.If you are abroad it will be better to have an experienced professional to guide you on construction from beginning to end of construction

Construction cost


Soumya has left a new comment on your post "Queries and replies-House design,construction ,rem...":
I wants to add one simple attached bedroom to my house and i have 1 lakh rupees. Is it possible.


Dear Mr. Thomas,

Quote your Lump-sum price for the Constriction of the building/home as per the reference of attached drawings. Your Quote have to cover all the area of buildings which is mentioned in the drawings and exclude all wood works. (All Doors & Windows only).

1. Material Qualifications: As per the standard. (Looking for your suitable Proposal)

2. Scope of Work: Construct entire home without wood work.

Quote your best price as per the attachment and revert as soon as possible. If you have any more further clarifications feel free to contact me.



Hello Sir,

I have seen your blog.. The info you provide is extremely useful.

I would like to know about the cost of boundary wall construction cost in Kerala for 30cent land. Only three sides needs to be constructed,one side wall is existing.

Is id advisable to give on contract basis or on daily wages.

I would like to get your valuable reply on my house plan attached.

Please note the kannimoola portion is vacant as per plan. The room near kannimoola is guest bedroom. On first floor,top of this guest bedroom ,is a toilet of the first floor bedroom.

Pls advice, can i keep the southwest portion vacant as it is ?



Soja has left a new comment on your post "Flooring for house-options":
I am planning build a house with maximum low budget. I need your suggestion on it. Following are my specifications.
1. Cheap 2. Good looking 3. Cooling effect 4. Less maintenance
Please suggest me

My replies

1.Without preparing a plan of the proposed house and deciding on what all material to be used,there is no way of simply guessing cost.If some one says so,it is not correct.

2.Here again he is asking for a quote.Building construction involves hundreds of materials and  different type of labour.Without a site study and detailed discussions on material labour specifications discussions even Engineering Estimate cannot be prepared.As different contractors will follow different standards how can you simply collect quote  from different persons and compare? House construction will have to be given more serious thought than buying a product from market.

3.Boundary wall construction cost can be worked out only after visiting site and taking measurements.Cents is only area of land and do not give information on length width and height required for foundation and wall above

It is better to have your Master bed room at South West corner of the house.Engaging laborers on contract basis or daily wages depends upon specific case.

4.First of all,you have to get professional design for the house and then follow professional advice on construction.There is no other way to get what you want

Building Design


Dear Thomas,
I am happy to see your free consultation program and appreciate your mentality for a proper guidance.

In fact, I am in plan for building a house. Please find the house plan attachments.

Kindly advise me on the positioning of rooms/kitchens are okay based on Vasthu.

It will be grateful to have your valuable guidance.

Kindly find my plan attachments for your reference.

My reply

There is not much possible to do by commenting on a plan.May be direct discussion with the owner of house and the person who prepared the drawing can help if you really need my advice.Otherwise allow us to redesign the plan if we find it not up to the mark