Sunday, May 5, 2013

Free Consultation,5,May,2013

Construction Materials


Hi Thomas,
Please give me some good guideline on the below statement that I got from my contractor.
1.Living and dining will be laid with vitrified 6’x4’RAK vitrified tiles costing Rs.300 per sq. ft. or equivalent.
•Bed rooms will be provided with RAK vitrified tiles 1metre x1metre costing Rs90/- per sq.ft..
I'm totally confused. Is he is over charging with this tiles installation. Please advice. Shall I go-ahead with or need to stop?

My reply

After completing structure and plastering work, you require continuous guidance from a qualified and well-experienced Architect on each of the following works that come up

You need advice and guidance of a qualified and experienced person to know various options available to you, latest trends and ways and means to decrease cost while improving utility and appearance of the building.

Look at some of the pending works

1. Putty finish for walls and painting

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

3. Plumbing and sanitary works

4. Electrical wiring and fittings

5. Interior woodwork like modular Kitchen, cupboards and Interior lay out design

6. Furniture work with woodcarving

8. Land scape design, arrangements and much more

Basically a non professional contractor is in business simply to make profit.As most of the house building clients ask for either “square feet cost” or lump sum amount to finish work,contractors are forced to give some indication to get work.No two contractors does the work in the same manner and as most of the contractors have no professional back ground they are free to some how manage construction to make profit.In the process you miss professional guidance,proper Engineering and Architectural inputs,quality of construction.It also create/cause unnecessary work,waste of space

House building person do not bother to consult a professional.Instead they keep on asking any one they meet for free advices and they invariably misguide you

In this particular case,why should you go for costly RAK flooring materials when there are much better cheaper options available? Contact us by email for proper guidance on flooring and other works


We had installed readymade overhead water tank in our house. Could you please tell us how hygienic this is and how to clean this

My reply

There is nothing wrong with a good quality pvc water tank with inner lining even though a Ferro cement water tank will be better ,but difficult to get.Cleaning can be done by getting inside tank and cleaning as usual


Dear Sir
Kindly suggest from where we can buy good quality granite in Trivandrum or nearby areas.

My reply

I do not recommend use of Granite/Marble for flooring.There are better cheaper flooring options available.Email me if you need guidance


Dear Sir,
Can you tell me how much it will cost for Parquet my house staircase (150sq.ft) .. I'm from Pathanamthitta can you suggest me a shop or a person who can Parquet in our area..
Vysakh Sharma

My reply

Sorry.Being a professional I cannot recommend any shop or person for material supply or work.If we do the work or act as consultant we will guide you on this.Otherwise,we cannot do anything about it

Square feet cost of construction

I have written several times earlier about meaningless nature of the so called “square feet  cost of construction” But still I get phone calls and email enquiries frequently asking for square feet cost of construction.Naturally some non professional contractor might have quoted some square feet cost of construction and those contacting me must be trying to verify whether such rate given by him is right or wrong.Let me explain few aspects on this

1.No uniform  method of construction adopted by different contractors

You can compare rates given by two contractors only if they do construction in same manner with same quality of construction with proper Engineering and quality standards.

Even if you do not know or understand contractor knows that for construction of a house which involve hundreds of materials and different type of labour,cost invariably goes up almost every day.

2.Delay in getting workers

A house can be completed only after an year or more again depending upon funds available at right time and also labour available at right time.In most of the cases,contractor may find it difficult to get workers at short notice as they naturally will be working on some other projects and they cannot survive by working for only one contractor or for only one house project.So delays due to non availability of workers is a fact in Kerala conditions about which no body can do any thing about.Similarly if the contractor has to get expert workers for some type of workers he may have to wait at times as they will be busy working on another project.Just because you have given work to a contractor do not mean that he will stop all his other works and send his complete work force to your project immediately

3.How do contractor give fixed rate when cost goes up every day?

Even though cost of all inputs goes up every day,you want contractor to give fixed cost/rate.Then how can he manage work? He will have to reduce cost by compromising on quality of construction by saving both material and labour wherever possible.Luckily for him most of the house building owners do not know practically anything about construction

4.How can there be a uniform square feet cost of construction?

Design of the house will be different,location of construction will be different,soil conditions and landscape conditions will be different,cost of all inputs goes up every day.Still if the contractor do not give you lowest “square feet cost” you will not give work to him.You are trying to out smart him by denying proper profit for his work.So he in turn out smart you by compromising on work quality wherever possible to get more profit in spite of your insistence on lowest rate of construction

5.How to go about it?

Have an experienced qualified professional who have done several house construction directly.More no of houses designed and built make him more valuable and helpful to you as each experience teach him a lot.No body become an expert professional just by getting a professional degree from an Engineering college.At best the person will be familiar with some vocabulary and you cannot expect anything more.Our educational system do not produce people who can work on a job

Most of the people do not know what exactly plan of the house is and how important it is to provide you better facilities,lesser cost and better house.Lots of people think as the person who spend money,Architect should draw a plan as you draw! You should restrict your role to explaining to Architect about expressing what you want in the house and your honest budget indications/restrictions.You should leave everything else to the professional to decide.

When you select a contractor let the Architect guide you on that and not simply go for  lowest “square feet cost” contractor. If you think you can make contractor build your house by loosing his money,you can only be the fool at the end.Contractor has seen more smarter chaps than you  and he knows how to make money out of you even by compromising on quality of construction.You may not  notice defects in construction before he get his money and walk away.If at a later date if you find any problem,he will be the first person to ask you why you have not taken help of a good professional even though earlier he might have told you to get work that he knows everything!

Plan of the house is only the first drawing for house construction.You need detailed Architectural/Structural Engineering detailed drawings,regular visits by professional and proper instructions to workers

It is better to divide contract in to two parts: structural work and after structure work and enter in to contract with contractor only for structural work first.If after completion of structure work,if you and your consultant feel good about work of contractor then only give after structure work to same contractor retaining right for choice of materials to you in consultation with your consultant


Dear Sir,
is possible to make a house@7 lakhs.i want a low cost house,can you guide?


I am planning to build a 3 bed room budget is 14 lakhs....Is it possible to build a house with this budget now?...i am planning 2 story building...because, the place is not flat. please reply me your suggestion.....

My reply

A house can be built even with Rs.50,000/- But the trouble is that you need lots of facilities which will cost more than Rs.7 lakhs and still want the house to cost only Rs.7 lakhs.That is not possible

First discuss with a qualified experienced Architect on your requirements and budget constraints.Get a design of the house which can be built within your budget

Write to me for guidance to

Building rules


Outhouse constructed as a material store for the Main building construction is treated the part of the main building and area taken for luxury tax. How can be a store (a separate building) will be the part of main building for calculating the luxury tax?? please advice..
there is no connection between the two buildings.

My reply

Better  get your query clarified with your local authority office.Without knowing full details on the matter ,I cannot comment on it

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