Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation,18/6/2015

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Building Construction

Query-1

I have contacted an Engineer. He advised me to dig well upto the level of mother soil/ the layer which has sand and then fill the same with white sand. He also advised that under no circumstances the digging of wells can be terminated at a layer which contains filled up soil/ fly ash. He told that this process is called ‘Well Foundation' (with white sand filling) and it will increase the bearing capacity of soil. 

My question is- Whether this ‘Well Foundation’ is sufficient for G+1 building Further, If I want to construct one more Floor (i.e. G+2), whether I can do so or not?

Risab.

My reply

What is suggested to you by a so called Engineer is not professional method of doing it

First you have to have an Architectural plan of the building. Second if the soil is not stable, you have to conduct soil test as required by a structural consultant (someone who has done graduation in civil engineering and post-graduation in structural engineering) He will give you a foundation design and structural design for the building later

Digging soil and putting well is only a crude method used by nonprofessional contractors. If you want I can visit site, study site conditions, prepare Architectural plan of building and arrange for work till completion of house in a professional manner

Query-2

Do you know any professional team available at Calicut to do the paperwork and
all procedures of regularisation of unauthorised building?
Also one doubt, when do corporation issue the corporation number to
each room of a building? Is it after inspection and submitting
completion certificate?

Harry

My reply

I do not recommend any one for any type of work as I can be responsible only for my work

Only after completion plan is submitted signed by owner of building and licensed Engineer/Architect, corporation will initiate steps for building no. Building no is given for each dwelling unit and not to each room

Query-3

We would like to build a house in Kottayam. 35 cent plot We managed to get a floor plan of our choice  . Can you pleases assist us with an appropriate elevation?

Can you please advise the construction cost per sft ?

Suma

My reply

Floor plan of the house is not something to be managed. That is the most important most critical drawing

Send me your floor plan as pdf attachment. I can check on it

Elevation can be good only if Architectural plan is designed in a manner to get good Elevation

To my knowledge no professional body or even government has fixed a particular square feet cost of construction anywhere in the world

Nonprofessional contractor talk of a square feet cost simply to canvass business. After getting the customer in their grip, they will also forget about it

Query-4

I am a regular reader of your posts and am very impressed with your common sense and simplified explanation of issues in house construction.

I have some queries:

1. My plot is 12 meter by 15 meter with the front of planned house being on the 12 meter west facing side. I have an old pond in the front of the plot and would like to persist with that. The distance of the pond from the house is not very far. Will this affect my house structure?

2. Is solar electricity viable in central Kerala?

3. A very generic question, what is sustainable construction in Kerala's context? Your advise would be highly helpful.

Dany

My reply

You can have a pond in the front side. But you will have to take professional advice to keep it safe for the building. Only after a site visit, I can comment on it.

Solar Electricity can be used for the house. It is available. But initial investment will be little bit high

A house designed and built with professional design and close professional supervision can last longer than a house built by a nonprofessional contractor 

Query-5

I'm planning a Villa project at the outskirts of Ernakulam city.

Please help me with cost of construction and allied cost for a villa project in 1 acres of land

Shaj

My reply

Planning a villa construction cannot be done simply based on a guess cost given by me or anybody else. At first, I have to visit the plot, study site conditions, design typical villa considering type of clientele you expect

So it requires a systematic professional approach and not just bits of information you may get from different sources

Query-6

I am Anita from Palakkad. We have got a rectangular plot, we are planning to build a single floor, 1bhk, of sft of 1300.I would like to construct it very urgently. I would like to know what would be the approximate the cost of basement for this. Also if you could tell me how much approximately would be the total cost of full construction of the house. I can spend around 20 lacs for this...so is this enough or when i start the people will ask for more money?

My reply

One bed room house need not be 1300 sft. It can be from 300 sft to 800 sft in plinth area. I have designed and built in both plinth areas in single floor.Rs.20 lakhs is good enough budget

We can design the house for you and guide you on construction

Remodeling and renovation of existing house

Query-1

I am Reena.  I have seen your advertisement about renovation of houses....etc.  Please let me know about what are the procedures? .  We are planning to renovate our house. Hence we need your guidance.

My reply

Remodeling and renovation of existing house require careful inspection of existing structure by a qualified experienced expert in building design and construction.

Most of the houses in Kerala are built by nonprofessional contractors without proper Architecture or Engineering. Naturally structural stability of the building will not be safe enough for remodeling and renovation. Unless a building professional recommends it do not venture in to it

Cost of remodeling cannot be estimated using any methods properly as you go on cutting down old building portions new problems will crop up

Unless you have unavoidable reasons to work on the old building and if you are not bothered about the cost, then only you should attempt it

I have remodeled and renovated several buildings in different parts of Kerala and I can visit your existing structure, study present status of building and give appropriate suggestions

Query-2

We have a slightly old house - constructed in 1966 - in Trivandrum. It is ground + 1 floor in 33 cents of land.

It is quite OK, but wiring, plumbing etc has to be replaced. Also many of the new amenities have to be done up.

Do you take up such consultancy work? If so please let us know. Or you can suggest someone in this line of work in Trivandrum?

Kamath

My reply

We can take up such remodeling work with expert workers, professional design and supervision

We do not recommend any one for any type of work as we can assure quality of our work only

I will have to visit the house to be remodeled and then only we can talk of specifics

Setting up a poultry farm close to your house

Query

What is the nearest distance for building a poultry farm to a house/residential area?

Whom to complaint against environmental pollution?

One of my neighbours started poultry farm which is situated approx. 20 meters away from my house. The unpleasant smell coming from the farm is unbearable, so I made a complaint to the local authority officials.

They visited the place, but no action taken and I was told that they are warned to dispose the waste properly.

I am not satisfied by their action, so which is the next department to approach for a fair justice?

Alex

My reply

If you have given a written complaint to the Panchayath, they are supposed to give you reply in writing and inform you action taken by them. Just informing you that they have warned the nuisance maker is not enough

Now you can take legal action against the unit in consultation with a lawyer

Such a unit cannot function near residence as per existing rules

You can also give a complaint in writing to pollution control board

Building Materials

Query-1

I'm Jacob. I'm building our home at Aluva. I'm a regular reader of your site(http://kerala-architects.blogspot.com/) and I'd like to have your opinion on the flooring.

The builder is insisting on vitrified tiles all floor and ceramic tiles for bathrooms. I'm thinking of granite on the living dining and kitchen, vitrified in the rooms.

Please give your opinion on my plan with granite.

What would be the cost difference (in Kochi/Aluva) between antiskid vitrified tiles and good quality granite (how to know it is good quality?)

What in your opinion would be a good color for granite?

My reply

It is better to avoid vitrified tiles and ceramic tiles

You can use anti-skid tiles possibly of NITCO or Johnson make

Better to avoid granite also as you get good quality flooring materials much cheaper

For most part of Kerala flooring materials come from Cochin only as most of the manufacturers have their Kerala Godown at Cochin only and billing is done from Cochin

Contractor who have taken work on square feet basis will naturally insist on cheaper materials

Query-2

Myself Prajeesh from Varkala, I am planning to build a home for me. Could you please suggest me the best building material whether its bricks/Solid cement blocks/ chenkallu. Also could you please help me in which area/jobs we can use M-sand? Tell merits and drawbacks of M-sand instead of normal sand.

My reply

Do not try to act as Architect for your house

Answers to your questions will have to be given by a professional handling your construction 

Get professional assistance from beginning to end of house construction

Query-3

I am planning to have a home theater room in a spare room in my upstairs. I would like to know whether you will take up the construction of only that room. I am from Tirur, Malappuram, Kerala.

My reply

There has to be a hall suitable for installing Home theatre in the house. Without checking the house, I cannot comment on it

Query-4

I am constructing a house in Trivandrum it is almost 1600 sft please let me know the present labor cost for laying vitrified tiles and granite.  

My reply

There can be a common rate only for those items with same quality. Each contractor do the work as it suits him and hence work of two contractors cannot be compared. Rates are fixed by each contractor to suit his business and no such rates are fixed by any professional body

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kerala: How to plan building your house

What I have observed is that those who plan to construct a house in Kerala start making enquiries about “square feet cost of construction” to those whom they meet in their daily life. Based on feedback he receives he fix up square feet area of the house without compromising on his requirements. It seems he think his requirements of house can be met with square feet plinth area he fixed .Then he start looking for a contractor who offers lowest “square feet cost”

What about plan of the house? He will draw one as per his ideas and will show it to the contractor. “I want plan of my house like this” Contractor nods his head and give it to someone who can draw a plan and who will not charge much as house owner will not pay for the plan

What about Elevation? Contractor will tell owner of house that he will get him a good elevation. If he is not convinced with that promise, He will tell him to contact an Architect with the plan of the house. Common thinking is that Architect is only for giving a better Elevation for your plan of the house.

What happens to ‘square feet rate”? As building work progresses, owner will get hundreds of free suggestions and advises from relatives, friends and any one he come across in his daily life. Naturally he will ask the contractor for such changes and contractor with a smile will ask for extra charges. As the work progresses, he will learn and understand more about house construction and will start noticing defects in plan of house and everything which he has not noticed earlier. Finally he will be struggling with his funds to finish the work and contractor will go on demanding extras. When the construction finally completes, both owner and contractor might have forgotten original quoted “square feet rate”

Is this the way your major investment in life using major portion of your savings in life will have to be done?

Definitely, NO. Taking assistance of professionals with knowledge and experience is not going to cost more as contractors go on telling you to save their business and get them more profit. Professional assistance will get you better facilities in house at lesser cost.

To start with, discuss with your family members what they hope to have in their future house. Make up a wish list and meet a professional and discuss with him about your plan to build a house.Be frank with him about how much money you can mobilise with own sources and through bank finance.

You cannot draw plan of the house. It requires not only professional training but also wealth of experience in designing and building houses. In any case you will have to spend several lakhs in building your house. Why should you be reluctant to spend few thousands to get professional design for your house which will get you better facilities and can save you lakhs in construction cost?

A good Architectural plan, proper structural engineering for the building parts, right materials, construction work under close professional supervision all these are essential to save your money and to get you a better house. Do not leave everything to a nonprofessional contractor

Your queries on anything related to house design and construction can be mailed to me at

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

I will reply to each and every query

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation:8/6/2015

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Building Construction

Query-1

I am constructing a residential G+1 building on my own land at Kolkata. I have given the work of construction to a contractor. Due to soil having lower bearing capacity, my contractor advised me to bore well upto 10 to 12 ft. and then fill the same with white sand. He told that this process is called ‘sand piling’ and it will increase the bearing capacity of soil.

My question is- Whether this ‘sand pilling’ is sufficient for G+1 building

My reply

Your contractor seems to be ignorant about Engineering

Do not waste your money believing words of a nonprofessional contractor. What he intends to do is not sand piling. It is some crude method of him

Consult a qualified experienced structural Engineer and Architect in your area and proceed with construction only with their suggestions and designs

Even when you have a contractor to do construction for you always get professional help for design and detailed architectural and structural engineering drawings required at each stage of construction and you should get periodic inspection of work being done by the contractor. Contractor is not bothered about Engineering, Architecture or quality of work. He is only bothered about his profit

Query-2

We need to construct a boundary wall for approx. 45 cent square plot. Can you suggest a most economical way?  One of our relatives advised basement with bricks and then wall with hole bricks / sticks (readymade) will costs us around Rs.6.5 lakhs. Is that the better option?

As we are living out of Kerala, don't have any idea. Your opinion will be highly appreciated.

Jayakumar

My reply

Without visiting site assessing site conditions and taking measurements from site, I cannot give an estimate

Method suggested by your relative seems to be crude and nonprofessional. Estimate given seems to exorbitant for that kind of work

Most probably you will require rubble foundation with a damp proof concrete over it and wall of 4 inches solid block

Where is the location? I can visit the plot and give you right suggestions and approximate cost indication

Query-3

Hi Thomas,

We will be building the house in Indonesia.

We are looking for someone with ferocement design experience (so we can build cost effectively).

Requirements

3 bedroom 1 x ensuite with large terrace on1st floor, 1 second bedroom 1st floor and 1 ground floor.

1 car garage with room for a small work bench located on right side of the house.

Large kitchen I plan to cast in situ the counter tops and acid stain.

Large glass doors and windows at the back side of house.

We are interested in a proven ferocement design that we can tweak to suite our needs.

David 

My reply

Ferocement method of construction is only a method of making walls and it has nothing to do with design of house. You can get your house designed and use any of the construction methods including that using ferocement

Are you interested in going ahead with design of house?

Query-4

I am planning to construct a house in Kuttanadu. As you know our land is not so strong for concrete buildings. I have plan to build a house. I have consulted one civil engineer near to my house; he suggested column footing for better stability of my house. In our area most of the houses are going gradually down after 05-10 years. Can you please suggest is this idea a good one or I have to adapt some other. In case of column footing our basement will be again loose sand, so will it be successful. Near to my house people are constructing houses after putting rock powder.Tthey make a good base with concrete and make building on top that . is it a good way.?

Please help me.

Dany

My reply

Engineering is not based on opinion of someone and experimenting based on guesses

For building your house at first you need to have a plan and Elevation of the house

Foundation of building can be designed by a Structural consultant only after he has plan, elevation and soil test data conducted at proposed building site

Do not go by guesses and assumptions

If you want a professional design and professional advises on construction of house, please get back to me

Query-5

Manjima has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation,23,October,2013":
My home is under construction, it is a paddy land, there is no piling in the land.and 2.5 feet depth ., 4 pillar laid on corners, is there any problem in strength of my house, please help me, how many pillar should be strengthen the structure ?

My reply

It is not that simple as you think. House construction requires Architectural and structural design and careful monitoring of design and engineering standards by a qualified expert. You seem to have ventured in to construction without obtaining professional design, guidance or periodic inspection during progress of construction. At this stage, try to get the construction checked by an experienced building professional and take his advice

Query-6

Ajmal has left a new comment on your post "Cost expected for house construction-Analysis give...":
I have 3.5 cents land.Is it possible to construct low cost two storied building in that plot?

My reply

Yes. Write to me for more details on how to proceed

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Checking and correcting plan prepared by any one

Query-1

Please find attached herewith the layout & building plan of my colleague for your reference. Kindly advice these attached plan is suite as considering the environmental & Vasthu aspects.

Subhash

My reply

With over 200 houses directly built by us in different parts of Kerala and designs much more than that we have a treasure of experience in designing and building houses. This expertise can be used by you for design of your house which will get you a better house at lesser cost as design is the most important factor reducing cost and getting better use for every bit of built up space. In case you have a design done by somebody else we can check it on following aspects:

1. Information provided by you on your needs, desires and hopes for the house.

2. Vasthu aspects

3. Traditional Kerala Architecture features

4. Modern architecture features

5. Structural engineering aspects to reduce cost of construction

6. Kerala Building Rules

7. Features of site and surroundings

We give a report on merits and defects of your plan for a nominal fee of Rs.1000/- only

Building rules

Query-1

EM has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Thank you very much for this update on building rules.. I have some doubts to clear up.
1. All these distances are measured from the outer side of boundary wall?
3. Is it allowed for the edge of the roofing slab to exceed or go further beyond like 50 or 75 cm further towards the boundary wall.
4. How the rule affects the walls of first floor wall?
My queries are related to a residential building in a 5 cent plot in a corporation area

My reply

Clearances required are from outside of boundary wall (if that wall is in your property) to your building wall outside. First floor wall should come above ground floor wall only

Projections of any nature are allowed only for 60 cms

Query-2

This is for information regarding the concession in construction of building.

If a person has three adjacent plots, 2 cents,3 cents and 4 cents

May he get the concession in each plot?

Joy

My reply

Building rules are applicable and concessions are not given based on ownership.

For less than 3 cents concessions on clearance available

Please contact concerned local authority with your land survey nos and location sketch issued by concerned village office

Query-3

Kiran Kumar has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit": 

Can I check some basic rule with u. I have my ancestral property in Trivandrum. My neighbour also my relative has extended their property but has demolished the separation wall between our property without our consent. He told he will be building their extended property wall in place of the one instead. This would mean that the the space between their property n ours will be now reduced. Can I check how much space is legally allowed between 2 properties in cities  This property is within 3 cents and is in a street not facing public road.

My reply

Minimum of 1M clearance required as per Building rules between two properties. Your neighbor has no right to demolish your compound wall. You can make complaints to local authority as well as Police

Query-4

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have 18 cents of land .as per aadharam it is nilam. this land was converted to garden land in 1975 and has coconut and arecanut trees of aged39 years. Can I fill the this land with earth to improve the coconut and arecanet plants for more crops? 

My reply

Check with local authority concerned

Query-5

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Do I need to get the permission or permit from municipality, for constructing a temporary shed for parking vehicles inside my plot adjacent to my house?

My reply

For any type of construction in your property, you are supposed to comply as per Building permit

Query-6

Binuraj has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
A two floor building is owned by a Father. He give the first floor to his son for residing and register a document give him full authority to use it and get a separate number and building tax from Panchayat. The son applied for separate number and Panchayat authorities denied to give the number by saying that he has no possession in land in the document. Whether he gets a number? 

My reply

Consult a lawyer and get ownership documents legally correct

Remodeling or altering existing structure

Query-1

Aswathi has left a new comment on your post "Kerala House Construction :Free Consultation,28/4/...":
Hi, I have villas in east Kerala. Roof of villa is sealed with plastered brick. Now I want to take 2 rooms in upstairs there is any problem in cutting the concrete plastered brick while taking staircase from inside whether it cause any problem to rest of villa. 

My reply

I cannot comment on it without visiting villa concerned and checking the matter. In any case you should not attempt to break or make alterations in existing structure without supervision and advice of a qualified experienced building professional

Flooring

Query

I am Bineesh from Perumbavoor.Now my new house work is going on, next step is flooring. I want to do flooring at high quality, something variety, moderate rate. I heard about clay tiles from your blog, I want to know more Why it is not popular? What are the disadvantages of clay tiles?

My reply

Clay tiles are healthier as most of the artificial flooring materials may adversely affect our health in the long run. But due to non-availability of clay, clay tiles for flooring are now difficult to get. But if you make enquiries you may be able to locate a manufacturer of clay tiles for flooring. Even imported clay tiles with strength of vitrified tiles are also available giving strength and environment friendly nature of clay tiles

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

We can undertake these after structure work by providing professional guidance and expert workers

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kerala House Construction :Free Consultation,28/4/2015

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

1880 sft three bed room house designed by us for client at Kattoor,near Arthungal

MARTIN KATTOOR 17-4-15

 

Building rules

Query

Abhishek has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,17/3/1...":
Once the a house plan is approved by gram panchayat, can I then change the plan slightly ? I mean minor changes like changing the location of bedrooms or bathrooms, without making any change in the total floor area. In this way, my completion plan may not be similar to the approved plan. Is that allowed legally?

My reply

Changes in house plan without creating any violation of building rules are allowed. In case you are increasing plinth area of building, you will have to submit a revised plan. Otherwise changes made in accordance with building rules can be ratified by submitting completion plan which any way you will have to submit after completion of work

Query

Ajmal Benn has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have a backwater frontage plot at Ernakulam, my plan is to construct flat with the frontage view, it's around 1acre 60cent with backwater frontage, what are the legal problem that I might face, as you said in your post, construction near to lakes n rivers are prohibited by central government, so is my plan wrong.?? is there any other remedy .. or should I drop the plan?

My reply

CRZ rules call for 50M clearance from rivers and lakes and 100m clearance from sea. But there relaxations in certain cases. Better contact concerned local authority office with specific survey No and Location sketch issued by Village office

Query

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
My friend's brother made a house on his father plot which is not legally shared to sons. So in this case, plot is still owned by father. So my friend's brother house is considered illegal?
As per my understanding, proof of ownership is a must to get building permit.
If it is an illegal building, where can give complaint to remove illegal building?

Mohammed

My reply

If the building is constructed after obtaining building permit and approval of plan from concerned local authority, they would have allowed construction only in the name of present owner of plot as per established documents

Even if prior approval is not obtained, if building satisfies building rules, construction can be regularized and even in that case building owner will be plot owner. So, if your brother built house without changing ownership of land in his name, building will be in the name of the person who owns the plot

Building modification

Query

Daphne has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,17/3/1...":
Hi I am modifying my present house .
Second issue is that there is a dangerous loss of mud from under the North corner of the structure because of a rain water drain running adjacent to the structure. What is your opinion as the north room is sounding empty when anyone walks on to the room...Your valuable opinions appreciated

My reply

Re modeling and renovation of house is always a tricky affair. A lot depends on whether the original structure is built with professional design and construction with involvement and guidance of a qualified experienced building professional.

In almost all cases, original building might have got done by a nonprofessional contractor with absolutely no consideration for proper Engineering or quality of construction. Working on such a building for renovation or remodeling will be like opening of box of Pandora. It will bring up problems which you or your building contractor never anticipated. Unless remodeling or extension is recommended by an expert building professional (not by a profit motivated nonprofessional contractor) you should not venture in to it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,17/3/15

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Extension to existing house

Query-1

I am building an extension to the existing building; extension is for 267 sq m. Our soil is mostly sand (not sticky hard soil).
I have a question regarding the new forms of building foundation. Are the concrete foundations strong enough? Will the building sink if the concrete foundation is used? How can we avoid sinking?
I know the cost of the construction depends on the place and type of construction. But will you be able to give me an approx. cost of constructing this extension. I have attached the house plan here.
After waiting for a long time, we are completing the house. My parents and grandmother and our family will live there.  This is a very small matter for you, I know. I will be grateful if you get time to reply to this.
Preethy

My reply

It is not a small matter for me as every client is equally important for a professional

But you are treating the matter very lightly

When you are building an extension do not attempt to start construction without getting technical advice of an experienced professional

Foundation for a building is decided by a structural consultant considering plan of building, soil conditions and foundation required with all relevant details can be decided only by him after carefully considering every related aspects

Do not simply go by free advices you may get from every one you meet in your daily life

Cost cannot be estimated on guess basis simply by knowing possible square feet plinth area. For an extension work, normal calculations and guess estimates do not work as the building originally constructed may not be structurally stable or built under professional guidance

House design and Construction

Query-1

I am based on Mumbai and I have a plot of land of 3.5 cents in Kannur, Kerala.  Is it possible to construct a house with 3 to 4 BHK collectively ground + 1.  Please advice.  Can u suggest a ground plan for this?  The land is in square type. 

Chandran

My reply

3.5 cents land can have four bed room house attached. Our office at Cochin is such a house converted as office

But I need to get all four sides exact measurement, position of roads nearby, direction to which house will face to start working on plan of house. Without any data on plot, no one can simply fit an existing plan of house to your plot. This query shows how ignorant people are about house design and construction. Still instead of going to experienced professionals people go to nonprofessional ”square feet cost” contractors who will give false promises lies and no trace of Architecture and Engineering. For them it is just another business to make money by fooling ignorant gullible persons

Boundary wall for plot

Query

I constructed a house near PWD road after obtaining permit from Panchayath .the basement made after leaving 3meter from road .now I have to make boundary wall in road side sir please tell what is minimum distance I have to leave from road to construct boundary wall.

Sreekanth

My reply

If your plot faces a public road, you have to apply for permission to concerned local authority to construct boundary wall facing road. While issuing permission local authority will specify clearance you have to leave from road

Kerala Style Construction-study

Query

Anjali Singh as left a new comment on your post "Teak wood-use in Kerala house construction":
I am B.Arch final year student, and i want to know that what local materials i can use in a typical Kerala style house and which material use in which house area?
Thanking you and i'll wait for your reply.

My reply

If you are doing a Project work for study purpose on Kerala Architecture, first of all you have to visit Kerala and study at least a few old typical Kerala Architecture houses and study in detail about every aspect of Kerala house design and construction by meeting at least one experienced building professional in Kerala. Writing such a blog post and asking me to teach you on such a large topic by mail is simply irresponsible behavior from the part of a student
Checking Plan prepared

Query

Please check plan prepared for a 4500 sft house to be built in filled up land

Mohammed

My reply

Following are my comments on your plan

1. Vasthu aspects

For an east facing house, car porch should come at Northern half and not at Southern half which is Agni Konam ideal for Kitchen

Kitchen at North West(Second choice) and Bed rooms at South west are okay

A water body at center of house is inauspicious and can cause harm. It can only be at North east 

2. Architecture

Lots of space is wasted without proper planning or arrangement of living space. Quite a lot of living spaces are in total darkness due to lack of sufficient ventilation and lighting

Living room and Dining space are too small when considering space wasted elsewhere

Stair climbing in one stretch is not good

Toilets are too long but width insufficient. There are no proper dress areas. A toilet of length 440 cm (nearly 15 feet long) is meaningless

Store is not required in modern houses which has modular Kitchen

In my opinion, you should not proceed with this plan as it will simply waste your money and will give you a house with many defects

If you are constructing in a filled up land with filling depth of 3M, you may have to go for at least sand piling. This can be decided only after a soil test is done where the proposed house come up and after analyzing soil test results by a practicing Structural consultant

If you are willing to revise the plan, I can design it better for you

House Construction

Query

I am planning to build a home in my property. I need your advice regarding best low cost
designers for drawing my house plan. I am planning to build a house in
1000sq feet, with 2bed room in ground floor and 2 in first floor.my
budget is about 15-18 lakhs. I need your advice on this as fast as
possible.
Rizwan

My reply

You cannot build a two story house with four bed rooms with 1000 sft plinth area and with Rs.18 lakhs

May be you can build a two bed single floor house if you can cut down cost with professional guidance

Buying existing house and planning to extend

Query

I am planning to buy a house. In fact I short listed one. It is a small house, 5 years old with 750 sft total area. But it sits on an 8 cent plot. It has two small bed room, one hall, one common bathroom and a kitchen. I would like renovate the house.

I don't have a sketch of plan now.

I will grateful if you can send me an advice on the scope and also a rough estimate of the cost. I am in a dilemma whether to buy the house or not.

Joshy

My reply

Buying an existing house should never be done by trusting your judgement or that of your friends or relatives. Every aspect related to building right from Vasthu, Architectural design, Structural stability, quality of construction, legal documentation will have to be checked by an experienced building professional before you decide to buy existing house. Otherwise you will be buying trouble with your money

Building rules

Query

I have 4 cent plot in Trivandrum corporation area. I make drawing and got approved from corporation. But now the problem is lost my drawing i have the copy. What is the procedure for getting duplicate copy? Francis.

My reply

If you have a copy of approved plan and building permit, that is enough

Once the building is completed, you will have to give a completion plan to local authority duly sealed and signed by a licensed Architect/Engineer. In that you will have to simply mention building permit No .After assessment of building, local authority will issue Ownership certificate for building and that will be sufficient for all legal requirements

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Friday, March 13, 2015

Free Consultation:Kerala house Construction,13/3/2015

Queries for free consultation on Kerala House construction, Kerala Architecture may be sent to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

and not by posting in blogs as your reply will be delayed quite long

Architecture services

Query-1

has left a new comment on your post "Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:25,Sep...":
You have any services in Kannur district, please let me know. I want to construct my own house in my property. 

My reply

We can take up Architecture/Structural Engineering design services for anywhere in the world and not necessarily in Kerala itself as these Engineering services need only technical knowledge, creative talent and lots of common sense which we possess in plenty

Query-2

ali has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I am a Licensed engineer but i am not much experienced in preparing a complete drawing. My doubt is that i would like to know the procedure and details to be submitted for getting a building permit for an extension work of a school, also i want to know the clearance to be provided for the building. 

My reply

There is no place where they teach you to be a licensed Engineer to submit documents/drawings for statutory authority approval. You have to learn by associating with someone working in the field in your area of operation

You have to get books on Building rules and updates on it and study to guide your clients properly

House Construction cost

Query-1

Shijin baby has left a new comment on your post "Kerala Architecture":
I want to build a 750 sft home in Kerala. Have 5 cent land, and my budget is 10.5 lakh. Can u send some plans for me?
My reply

Plinth area of the house to be constructed can be known only after an Architect transforms your needs in to a building plan. House construction is not like buying few kilos of rice from market. You go to a shop and ask for certain Kg of rice. Some people think house construction is like that. You decide sft plinth area of house to be built without assistance from a professional. You make enquiries about construction cost with any one you meet daily during course of your life activities. They give you free advises as they are not going to lose anything even if you land in trouble

Again you think any plan of house will suit your purpose and ask me to send plan. Plan of the house will have to be specifically designed to meet your needs, plot dimensions and your budget

After visiting your site, studying your needs for house, I can tell you whether Rs.10.5 lakhs will be sufficient to get a house which you are looking for

Query-2

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "#Kerala House Construction:Free Consultation,25,No...":
I need to know is Ferocement technology good in home construction. My budget is around 15 lakhs and my requirement is 2bhk in 1000 sft. Please suggest if I can go ahead with Ferro cementing or please give a positive idea. 

My reply

It is continuation of what I replied earlier. Some body talked to him about Ferro cement. Without knowing much about it, he decided that his house should be made of ferocement

Ferocement is just another form of concreting where they use steel mesh instead of steel rods for reimbursement and instead of using usual concrete; mortar specially mixed is plastered on both sides of mesh. Wall of a house if made with this almost one inch thick material cannot withstand load of a roof

Keralites try to be Architect and Engineer for the house and do not want to pay for design and supervision to building professionals as they consider such cost as avoidable cost in construction. By trying to get bits of information on construction from those who really do not know anything about these, they are in fact wasting their own money without realizing it. There is no substitute for getting assistance from qualified experienced building professional. He can save you lakhs in cost and can get you better house at lesser cost. You need more than a plan and elevation from an expert. You need advices at every stage of construction

Query-3

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Nalukettu house-features":
Very informative. Thanks for this article. Much of it makes sense. I wanted a traditional house design, and the first thing to come to mind was the Nalukettu. After reading your article now I think I’ll come up with a customized version of this design which will be more relevant to our times. 

My reply

I have tried to visit many old Kerala architecture style houses in different parts of state. Nalukettu which come with an open court yard in the middle is a house style suited to those days and not for present day living

An open court yard in the middle can bring inside rain, pests and insecurity. Kerala houses of earlier days were made to suit joint families who stayed together mostly relying on agricultural produce for income. Now it does not suit to our needs of increased security due to nuclear family.

In quite a lot of present day big houses in Kerala, elderly parents live with only pictures of their children and grandchildren to look at.

If we look at old Nalukettu houses few features are worth incorporating in present days houses of affluent people. They are

1. Poomukham with a side access to car porch

2. Chuttu verandah which is an extension of Poomukham which come in front of house

3. A family living space in addition to formal living which is mainly used for interaction with guests

You can have a look at pictures of Cherthala house designed and built directly by me which incorporates this traditional goodness of Kerala houses combined with modern technology. Here is the Facebook link to pictures of Cherthala house in my FB profile: Thomas Viruvelil

https://www.facebook.com/ThomasViruvelil/media_set?set=a.10150639031648964.392476.531348963&type=3

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Free Consultation,Kerala House Construction,12/3/15

 

For queries do not post in blogs.Write to me directly to

vhthomas@viruvelil.com

Thomas Viruvelil

Building rules

Query-1

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I had 3.5cents of land in cochin. There is 2 meter private passage for 4 houses including me. How many meters we leave in the front area? Shall we get any concession from building rules?

My reply

If the private road is no longer than 75M, you can leave clearance of 2M instead of 3M

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Query-2
I have applied for plan approval in Panchayath, Overseer came and given the report but till date not given the approval. Already two months has passed I am waiting for the reply.
How can I move legally?
Till date they have not moving the file to higher authority 

My reply

It is better to move Building permit application through licensed Engineer/Supervisor. In Kerala conditions corruption has become part of our culture. No one is punished for taking bribes or looting public money. As you have to get your work done, go through agencies familiar with such procedures. I cannot comment on legal aspects

Query-3

Govind has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have about 30 cents of land on the banks of a tributary of Periyar near NH 47 very near to Alwaye. The Puramboke land between my property and the river is approximately 30ft. My property is almost in a rectangular shape with about 50ft facing the river bank and about 250ft length wise and perpendicular to the river. My plot is the only one in that area without any building on it whereas; the next door neighbor has a building almost on the boundary of his Puramboke land. Are there any restrictions for construction of a residential house on the property and if so, I shall feel grateful, if I am enlightened about the same.

My reply

As per CRZ rule, 50 M clearance is required from your building to river. There are certain relaxations in specific cases. Approach your local authority with your land Survey No and location sketch to get matter clarified

Query-4

Anil has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
I have 4.25 cent plot in rectangle shaped and two sides of my plot is Panchayath road. I wish to build a home in the same plot and i could leave 3 meter from road from front end of proposed plan. But left side also has Panchayath road. Can i get any relaxation on leaving less than 3 meter from one side ( i mean left side of the plan). This road will end in next 100 or 150 meter. 

My reply

You will get relaxation only if the road is 75M or less in length from your plot

Construction of house

Query-1

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Cost of house construction and usual queries on ho...":
Being an Engineer myself and considering the typical mentality of an average person in Kerala, I have to agree with every word that you have written in this article.
The 'Not-So-Grand' feeling (I purposefully avoided the word cheapness) that we usually get when entering villas worth Crores of Rupees is a simple result of this.
A good article and a good blog. Thank you for spending your time in this and please continue the good work.
Hashim 

My reply

Thank you for your appreciation

Query-2

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Queries and replies-House design,construction ,rem...":
We live in a 1200 sft house for last 15 years. It is not properly planned for space utilization or air passage. Now we want to add first floor to it. I want it to be built with max space utilized and with max air passage. But someone told us that if we are building first floor, it has to be exactly same as ground floor. Is it true? Cant we change plan and position of rooms according our convenience? Could you please advise
Suma 

My reply

Your first floor construction need not be exactly as in ground floor. Normally walls can be constructed in first floor only above ground floor walls except in cases where your structural Engineer allows construction considering all related aspects. Plan can be different if it meets structural engineering requirements

Query-3

George has left a new comment on your post "Kerala House Construction-Free Consultation:03,Oct...":
Hi Thomas,
Out of curiosity, during the last one year how much was the range (in lakhs) that the cheaper houses you constructed came to ?
I don’t think its unreasonable to ask that.

My reply

A house can be constructed with any budget if the requirement for the house can be made to meet available funds. What I observed in Kerala conditions is that people generally think that it is up to a contractor to build at any cost. They think contractor has huge margins and if pressurized he can build house as required by a person at any cost by cutting down his huge margin.

Contractor does not know or bother about Architecture, Structural Engineering or quality of material or labour. He wants the building not to crumble down before he finish his job and walk away with money. But some times that happen also in spite of his prayers as he do not know about structural engineering to ensure stability of building

None of the so called “square feet rate contractors” have completed construction with the originally accepted square feet rate. He will find excuses to ask for extras and revision of rates and house owner after getting trapped with him will go on giving extras in his desire to complete house some how

Cost reduction happen not due to any profit thirsty contractor. It can happen only if you get services of a qualified and well experienced building professional. Few years of study in Engineering college is not going to make any one an expert. Years of working with projects will make an intelligent professional quite conversant with building construction and only he can give you better value for your money with better facilities

Query-4

SIbi Mathew has left a new comment on your post "Flooring for house-options":
Which one is better for roof, Concrete Tile or Clay Tile?
Can u please tell me the advantages and disadvantages of both? 

My reply

Tile is used over concrete mainly for heat reduction and to act as protection against leakages. For that purpose clay tile is better

DISCLAIMER

Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of this blog message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of the information which may be creative work/technical data (which are solely owned by us and protected by copy right acts) without our consent/involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil Group of companies is not responsible or liable for correctness of information provided through this blog. Any technical /legal activity as per advice given in this blog should be carried out only with our involvement and guidance. Thomas Viruvelil or Viruvelil group of companies will not be liable for any damages/losses/consequences/implications or any other effects of any nature by following advices given through this blog without our involvement/guidance and consent in writing