Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:25,September,2014

For faster response to your queries on house design and construction in Kerala and even outside,write to

Or call me on




Thomas Viruvelil

Nalukettu model house


My name is Rakesh am working as a professional  abroad ,while searching for some architectures in web  i found your site ,can you just tell me about the cost of a Naalukettu model house with modern infrastructure included.

My reply

Nalukettu model house has got additional features peculiar to Kerala Architecture.House construction was not so much costly in olden days.Wood was available in plenty.Labour and materials were available easily and without much cost.Naturally earlier house construction did not bother much about reducing cost by minimising use of both labour and materials

High cost of construction these days force any one who want to reduce cost to reduce unwanted or avoidable spaces in the house,by economical design while providing necessary features and facilities.Attempts to reduce use of labour and materials also form part of cost reduction

Nalukettu type house has following essential extra features which when incorporated will push up cost of construction

1.Open to sky space in the middle of house called Nadumuttom or central court yard

2.Chuttu verandah or verandah around the house:Even though verandah around entire outside walls was quite common in olden days,now this feature if adopted  restricted to front portion and /or another side of house

3.Poomukham: Connected to Chuttu verandah this portion is like a sit out in front side but bigger in dimensions to have sort of informal chat with people outside house or even family members.This place traditionally was used by head of family to relax in a reclining chair with cloth support for body portion

While Poomukham and Chuttu verandah reduced can be incorporated in houses where budget is not a constraint,providing Nadumuttom will create more problems than comfort in present day conditions as open to sky space can create security problems and nature induced problems like pests and rain water inside centre portion of house.In my opinion ,Nadumuttom can be forgotten in present day houses with Kerala architecture elements

Nalukettu or Ettu kettu type houses need be considered only for those with no budget constraints.Some one with less money  for a house should avoid such luxury features in the house

Vasthu compliance for apartments


I am interested in buying a flat which is vasthu wise good Kindly advise.


My reply

It will be practically and economically difficult for an apartment designer to design with Vasthu compliance as every apartment builder is trying to make maximum flats from available space.Positioning living spaces like Kitchen and Master bed room in a particular direction  to comply with Vasthu may not be possible.All that is possible is to get a Vasthu expert check the apartment before you buy it.If the flat meet Vasthu features,fine

Building rules


My question is .
Is it ok new plan  can submit at the time of completion?First approval is going to expire Mostly it will take another 2 more years What is the minimum requirements to get completion certificate.
Advise me .


My reply

Building permit is usually given for three years.Before date of expiry you can apply for extension.

If you have to increase plinth area from approved plan,you have to submit revised plan and get approved from local authority

You cannot wait up to completion stage

For revised plan and completion plan ,you need services of a licensed Engineer/Architect/supervisor

House Design


My name is Abhilash and my home town is in Palakkad.

I am planning to have a single storey house with 2 bedrooms Could u please send me some designs of single storey house and estimate.

My reply

I get similar mails asking me to send “few house plans” quite often.

Please understand any plan of house or Elevation taken from anywhere will not suit your needs,site,budget and Vasthu factors related to your plot

Most of the people spend  major portion of their savings in life for building a house in Kerala.I do not understand why they avoid professional Architects/Engineers who can give you better designed house which will give you more facilities at lesser cost and structural stability of building.All that non professional contractors can give you is simply a lie of some “square feet cost” which will trap you to him and will make you spend more to get  a house with lots of wastages of your money with lesser facilities

Get professional help from design stage itself.Plan of your house is the most important most critical drawing.Do not go for free plans which will drain your money.Pay for services of an experienced professional in thousands and save lakhs of your money and get a better house by design and structural stability

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:18,September,2014

For faster response to your queries on house design and construction in Kerala and even outside,write to

Or call me on




Thomas Viruvelil

Remodeling of existing house


This is Saju ,i planning to remodel my old home ,kindly sent me your mob no to contact you & what is your service charge to see my  home in Trivandrum

My reply

What I have observed during most of the remodeling cases which I attempted are the following:

1.In most cases houses are not  in a condition of remodeling or renovation as most of these houses are built by non professional contractors without any consideration for Architecture or Structural Engineering

A house built without compliance to Engineering and Architectural standards may not last more than 30 years as  non professional contractor would have done the work purely on profit making basis with only lip service for quality

2.It is almost impossible to assess exact cost of remodeling and renovation with additions.alterations to existing building as the structural stability of the existing structure will be known only when we start breaking portions of existing building

3.Some people resort to remodeling thinking that it will be cheaper compared to new construction.It will never be the case

4.Certain inherent defects in design and construction  of existing building cannot be corrected and you should not expect remodeling to make it right

5.Some people go for remodeling simply due to sentimental attachment to existing building.In that case,you should not bother about cost

6.Wherever possible it is better to avoid addition,remodeling and go for new construction unless you are sure about Architectural excellence and Structural stability of building which is only remote possibility

Attempt to remodel/extend/alter existing structure should be done only if an experienced building professional recommend you to go ahead on proposed additions/remodeling.If the expert do not agree for such remodeling work,do not attempt to do it

We can check up existing building and give you professional advice and if found feasible can take up work with our expert workers in a professional manner with latest technology inputs

House Construction


Dear Sir,

I have around 5 cents of land and I am planning to build a house of around 1250-1500 sq ft with 3-4 bedrooms soon.  My budget is around 25 lakhs. 

First I would like to know whether you can recommend any reliable contractor to carryout the work. .Also pl.let me know whether giving the work on labour contract or on full building contract would be good.I am planning to take loan from bank for carrying out the work

Let me have your valuable comments,


My reply

House Construction in Kerala is carried out mostly by non professional contractors who do not bother about Engineering or Architecture.Most of them do not have even elementary knowledge in Engineering or Architecture

Some how they have created a wrong idea in minds of people that there is a so called fixed square feet cost of construction

People also think a contractor can reduce cost to any level.People do not realise that no two contractor do work in same manner with same quality and Engineering standards

People do not realise that a good design by an expert with enough experience in house construction can save lot of cost and provide you better facilities at house at low cost.Cost reduction can be given to you without compromising quality of construction only by an experienced building professional

Square feet cost is a term much misunderstood by almost all. But you can understand how it is simply a term used to cheat you by looking at what it means

Take the case of house construction. Hundreds of material is used and different types of labour are used. Construction normally takes about an year or more. Cost of all these inputs goes up with no predictable nature. Still contractor who need business quote a so called “square feet cost” not because he like the idea but simply because you as customer or owner of house to be built will give work only to those who quote lowest “square feet rate”. You are not bothered whether the contractor is technically qualified or not. Most of them do not know anything about Architecture or Structural Engineering. Still you allow them to build as he pleases. You do not want a qualified experienced person to provide detailed execution drawings during construction and to check at every stage whether work is being carried out properly as per drawings. You are not bothered even if contractor uses only 400 Kg of steel for roof concreting which may require 1000 Kg of steel as per Engineering standards

Contractor will advise you not to spend money on an Engineer for continuous monitoring of quality of construction as he has done “several such buildings without any help from Engineer. He may even boast off saying “these Engineers do not know even half of what he knows” To save consultation and drawing charges of a professional, you allow free rein to contractor and contractor try hard to increase his profit by reducing both labour and material. Who is bothered about quality problems which may start showing after three or four years.

Your craze for getting lowest “square feet cost” make contractor richer and quality of construction suffers

How can there be a uniform rate applicable anywhere irrespective of specifications and quality of construction? Two contractors never do the work in same manner. Without a qualified professional to design and monitor work, you tend to waste lot of your money by improper advise by contractor and you loose better facilities you could have got in the house with professional design .

A professional experienced in house design and building can save you lakhs of your hard earned money and you can get you better facilities in the house at lesser cost.

All these arguments hold well in the case of Interior work also. When you go for lower rate, contractor goes for lower quality materials and less labour content work to increase his profit. Unless there is a professional to design and supervise work, contractor will take you for a ride. He is there in business to make profit and he always try to make you believe that what he gives you is the “best quality” .You think of you as smart for saving design cost and professional fees. Only the contractor turns out to be smarter than you