Things to Keep in Mind While Constructing Your New House!
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Query Received from – Mr. Raj Tilak Desai
I am building new house for my family of 6, so what precautions I have to take and any suggestions from your side?
Solution by – Gharpedia
Building a new house ofcourse is a cherished and emotional dream which people keeps on thinking for whole life. However following are the points you should keep in mind before staring the construction of your dream house:
01. First you must have the right team, team of consultants as well as contractors. You should never compromise on team of good, experienced and knowledgeable consultants. They in-fact can save money for you! Hire a right team of Consultants/Contractors:
02. You will need many of the following as your team members.
|Architect||General Civil works (R.C.C., Masonry & Plaster)||Loan facilitator|
|Structural Engineer||Plumbing||Tax Consultant|
|Vastu Consultant||Flooring||Brahmin/Pandit for Puja/Ceremony|
|MEP Consultant including lighting/illumination consultant||Waterproofing||–|
|Liaison Architect/Engineer for Municipal / Local Authority approval||Painting||–|
|Landscape Architect||Structural steel||–|
|Geo-technical Consultant/Soil Investigator||Metal roofing works (Prefab)||–|
|–||Insulation & Acoustics||–|
Most of the above consultants are hired by the good Architect who is normally a team leader. But now a days Project Management Consultants are assuming the role of leadership.
03. Second most important thing is to decide what is your “NEED” and what is your “DESIRE”?
What you can afford and what not? You must be able to draw a boundary line between your ‘need’ and ‘desire’. Desires can be endless but needs are always optimum and must be known to you.
04. Finalise your needs regarding your basic necessities, depending upon your budget, your life style, your culture etc.
05. Prepare your budget and remain committed to it till the end of the project.
06. Confirm that all your permissions are obtained and yes, there are no variations in design and actual construction from approved plan.
07. Think, Design & Plan in totality i.e. when you finalise the plan and elevation, don’t think that it is over. Also finalise the colour scheme. Once you will do it, you will not only finalise the exterior colour scheme but also internal room’s colours. You will also have to finalise, the colour of flooring (i.e. tiles and its type), doors and windows, roof, toilet fixtures, colour of floor-dado tiles and so on. If you think in parts and decide as and when it comes, you will keep on changing your ideas during progress of work resulting in delay, cost over run and a badly designed house, which ofcourse you never want. When you do it, you have to finalise, which type of flooring are your going to provide? i.e. marble, vitrified tiles, wooden tiles etc. This will help you in deciding colour of floor further. This is important because colour in the room has to be in harmony with floors. Similarly for doors and windows and so on.
08. The following must be finalised as a part of design process in order of priority, before actually starting physical construction work:
- All floor- plans with a layout of plot/land, terrace floor, basement if any etc.
- All Elevations including 3D views.
- Location of columns or load bearing walls as may be applicable.
- Location and size of doors and windows
- Furniture layout in all rooms
- Electrical point layout with respect to furniture layout
- Toilet layout
- Specification of all materials / Types of finishes including its basic rates.
- Review everything from Vastushastra point of view, if you believe in it.
- Finalise all the above in harmony with each other and if needed change it, say if you change the position of bed in bedroom you will naturally have to change the location of light and fan points and switchboard and also may be location of column or door or a window .
09. Then complete all the planning process. Let all the drawings be ready. Till then don’t start the construction work on the site. Don’t be in hurry. It will cost you more later and will also result in more delay dye to frequent changes due to partial thinking due to revisions. Further the contractor will get frustrated with changes and revisions in design.
Avoid any revisions, changes in plan once finalised. It not only frustrates the architect/contractor, but it delays the work and increase cost. It also weaken the already constructed work because of demolition.
10. Confirm whether your Architect and Interior designer are same or different? if they are different than have proper coordination between them and let Interior designer be on- board from day one.
Also Read: 17 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer!
11. If you believe in Vastushastra, then you should also take the opinion of Vastu consultant before freezing all plans and layouts and before starting the work. Let him also be on board from day one. But trust your architect more. Don’t get driven by blind faith.
12. Once you select and finalise your plans and start work, you should not get affected or distracted by any of your relative’s or visitor’s comments regarding your house design or work. The reason behind this is, you have finalized all the plans after pondering and long discussions with your architect and family after giving thoughts about your needs in totality. You should trust your consultant and experts and of course your own self. The visitors’ thought are generally a whisper of moment without any deep thinking (Unless he is very experienced and knowledgeable).
13. Material selection should be started from day one of work e.g. selection of tiles, furniture, sanitary and electrical fixtures, doors grills, railings, windows etc. All materials should be available on the day when they are needed.
14. Enter into a small contract agreement with the contractor. Contract conditions should be very clear before the start of construction with the contractor. Finalise in details the scope of work with different contractors and define clearly their boundary limits.
15. While preparing the budget, decide basic rates of finishing items.
16. You should ask the consultant for the estimate with basic rates of finishing items say tiles to be provided shall be of rate of Rs. 50/- per sq.ft. Once you approve this budget you should never buy tiles costing more than Rs. 50/- per sq.ft. though there may be better and attractive tiles. Normally this is how you exceed your budget. You should not select anything beyond the range so as not to exceed budget.
17. You should be aware of ‘basic rates’ of finishing items required for the project e.g. vitrified tiles, sanitary fixtures like type of kitchen platform, wash basin, sink, etc…
18. You should be ready with your funds. Money is the biggest motivation for any and all bulk and cash purchases. Further the work can also proceed fast if you pay regular and fast to labours / contractors. If contractor is trustworthy, give some advance and get some discount.
19. Also plan and prepare the budget for – furniture, Interior, Appliances, household items like utensils, bed sheets etc., Vastu, Puja (or new house opening ceremony), Legal documentation, etc.
20. Always provide for Contingency at (a reserve of money to be set aside to cover possible unforeseen future expenses) 10 to 20% of your budget and keep it as a reserve so that you don’t get trapped in debt later on.
21. Site supervisor is required for quality assurance. Hire some engineer or experienced supervisor or best option is to hire PMC, if you can afford.
22. Be aware of this general saying or a proverb, which says that “once you spend Rs. 99, then spend 100. How does additional Rs. 1/- matters” avoid this attitude. With this attitude you will not spend Rs. 1/- more but you will spend 1000/- more”. With this attitude you will go on spending more and more money on 100 different items, thereby reaching the total cost of 200/- instead of 100/-. That is how you exceed your budget and may get trapped in a debt trap.
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.