Architectural Guidance


Topic 1 - BUILDING YOUR DREAM HOUSE IN KERALA

We will explain here step by step how to proceed when you want to build your dream house in Kerala

Step 1- Selection of Plot

If you do not have land of your own either inherited or acquired, you will have to purchase land for constructing your dream house. While choosing land suitable it is better to avail professional guidance to check suitability on account of

  1. Soil nature
  2. Statutory clearances and other building rules compatibility
  3. Vasthu considerations
  4. Level of land whether plain or sloped
  5. Other architectural and technical considerations including shape and dimensions of the plot

Step 2 - Legal Verification and Documentation

You have to verify the legal title of the property with the assistance of a lawyer experienced in civil cases You also have to make enquiries with local administration authorities whether the land is frozen for any public projects or any other objections in constructing a house in that land is prevailing Proper drafting of deed of purchase of property will have to be done to ensure that your title of property is clear and without any complications.

Step 3 - Preparation of Basic plan of your Building

This is the most important part in the construction of your dream house A real good plan can make your house real good with most appropriate design, effective space utilization, substantial savings in cost, good appearance An improper plan literally make you waste the money spent on construction with many inconveniences and problems which you will start realizing after you move into the house. But that will be too late to do anything to improve or correct the damages Always get your house plan prepared by an expert experienced Architect.

Step 4 - Preparation of engineering estimate for your Construction

Costing is not as simple as multiplying the square feet area of your plan with some square feet cost which a non professional builder or contractor may quote to you There is no common square feet cost for a building. Each building is different in material inputs, work involved, specifications, choices of owner and many other factors You need an engineering estimate giving detailed costing for each part of the work involved quantified in engineering terms A proper picture of the expected cost of construction along with various options to control costs should be ready before you start construction.

Step 5: - Proper selection of Woodden or other types of Joinery

Wood used for your Joinery (Doors and Windows) are going to be part of your basic structure. Care should be taken with professional assistance to select good quality wood or other type of joinery.

Step 6: - Structural Design of the Building

Steel reinforcements and concreted parts of your building are extremely vital for the stability of your building. Never leave it to a nonprofessional labour contractor to do as he pleases. It can be real harmful to your building and its long term stability. Get the design done by a qualified Structural Consultant and ensure that your builder follows it correctly.

Step 7: - Proper selection of material used for Construction

Do not go by the advice of material suppliers or traders on quality of material to be used for Construction. Get professional guidance.

Step 8: - Electrical and Plumbing works

An Architect can guide you on Electrical and Plumbing lay out for the building along with material to be used and proper installation of electrical and plumbing, fittings and equipments. Even while selecting fittings you need professional advice to choose the best within your budget among various options available.

Step 9: - Painting

Painting is now an important part of Construction. It can change the appearance and inner good feelings as well as outer appearance of a building to great extent. Colour consultants are now available to guide you on colour selection. Your architect can guide you effectively in this.

Step 10: - Flooring

We now have several options for appropriate flooring for your building. Depending upon your budget the best option for you can be selected with the assistance of a professional. Proper laying of the Flooring material is also equally important to obtain the best results

Step 11: - Interior design and Interior work

A Proper Interior design can make lot of difference to utility, appearance and even the moods and comforts of the inhabitants of the building. Get a professional Interior design and go for traditional Kerala hand carved interior woodden work if you can afford it.

Step 12: - Compound wall, gate and other outside works

Compound wall need not be just a compound wall. It can be a designer compound wall adding value and beauty to your house. Even the gate, gate pillars can add value to your house if properly designed and done. Car porch Floor and drive way can be done with designer tiles.

Step 13: - Landscaping

Landscaping deal with designing your outer space around the house in the most appropriate manner giving utility and appearance adding value to your house

Step 14: - Other services

You have to keep the services of an Electrician and Plumber on call basis to meet any emergency requirement. It is preferable to have the same professional agency who have done your building as they alone will know details of the connections

Topic 2 - Buying land in Kerala for house construction

 

When you want to buy land in Kerala for the purpose of constructing a house, several aspects has to be considered and verified before you make a decision on land purchase

Technical aspects

First of all, try to buy original land without any filling during the last ten years. Construction cost especially foundation cost can go high with concrete piling even for two storied building if you buy filled up land which was originally marshy land with clay . When you buy land in Cochin most places of Cochin are filled up land without even a trace of sand for several meters depth
Plot should have free access to road with at least seven feet width and preferably not less than 10 feet width. If you buy land without road wide enough for easy passage of truck, transporting construction materials to site will become very costly

As per building rules you have to leave 3M from front road and from sides 1 or 1.2 M if the side of the plot does not have any road or even private passage. In the case of passages ending with dead end coming in sides, you will have to leave minimum 2 M in that side. Otherwise for a regular road on sides, you will have to again leave 3M on the sides also. Thus a plot having roads on all sides will have much less space for building when you have to comply with Kerala Building rules. In the case of a normal two storied building you will have to leave 1.5 M on the rear side also

Plot should preferably have larger length in the side where it faces road. Do not simply go by area of the land usually referred in Kerala as cents. One cent is an area of the land which is equal to 435 square feet. A plot with lesser dimension in the side facing road with larger depth will be inconvenient for construction of the house and due to lesser frontage your Architect will not be able to design a house with better front appearance for such a plot

A plot should preferably have not less than 12 M frontage for small plots. But for bigger plots frontage length of about 25 M will be better. Even though too much depth will not be of much use, for smaller plots again 12 to 15M depth is preferred when you have an almost equal or nearer frontage length. For bigger plots again depth of about 20 M is preferred

You have to check up with local authority whether the plot is included in any of the government schemes. If so you may not get building permit after buying the land for construction of house

As you may not be fully aware of all aspects it is better to get the plot inspected by a technically qualified person experienced in construction of houses before you decide to buy the plot

Vasthu aspects

As per Vasthu plot with road facing the following directions in that order is best suited for construction of house

  1. East
  2. North
  3. West
  4. South

However Vasthu stipulates ideal positions for rooms for houses facing each direction. Even for house s facing south, there is no problems expected if you follow instructions for South facing house as per Vasthu while preparing Plan of the house by properly placing each type of room of the house
You should avoid buying plot where a road or passage ends. This plot is expected to bring all sorts of problems and misery to those who live there
There are several other aspects to be considered as Per Vasthu before you buy a plot of land. Hence it is better to get the land inspected by a Vasthu consultant before you decide to buy the plot

Legal aspects

You have to get all documents related to the land verified by a lawyer experienced in civil cases. The following documents will have to be obtained in original before making payment for the land in addition to what additional documents a lawyer may call for after examining documents related to the land which you plan to buy

  1. Original deed
  2. Original previous deed if the property was not divided earlier and copy of previous deed if the property was divided prior to earlier transaction
  3. Land tax receipt in the name of seller issued by concerned Village office
  4. Possession certificate issued by concerned village Office in the name of seller
  5. Location certificate issued by concerned Village office in the name of seller
  6. Non encumbrance certificate for 14 years issued by concerned Registrar office

You will also have to get services of a reliable document writer for carrying out all formalities related to purchase of property. If you can get the services of a professional agency like ours who will arrange and coordinate all the above by various agencies together, it will be better and less troublesome for you as a buyer of land

Topic 3-DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSE

I keep getting mails from Keralites living in different parts of world saying that he/she intend to construct house in Kerala. Most of them simply ask me how much it will cost to construct a house without even bothering to tell even the place for construction. Most of them simply think that construction of a house is as simple as going and buying something from the market. It is definitely not that simple


1. Prepare a list of what you need in the house


Starting point for construction of a house is preparing a list of what all rooms, facilities you need in the house. Try to make this list after detailed discussions and obtaining inputs from all members of the family. Of course later while discussing with an Architect he may suggest changes and improvements on this wish list based on his knowledge and experience in designing and building houses for many


2. Site visit by Architect


Site visit by an Architect is essential for him to properly visualize your dream home. An experienced Architect can see in his mind how the house should look when completed. If the Architect is well versed in Vasthu, he can also decide on appropriate positions for each room as per Vasthu requirements. A well designed plan is the most important aspect of construction of a house. Even if you pay more for a good design by obtaining a better qualified and experienced Architect, you will save lakhs of rupees and can avoid inconveniences and wastage of space that can occur due to improper design


3. Finalising the Plan


Based on initial requirement details given by you, Architect will prepare a plan showing positions and dimensions of rooms, doors and windows. From the plan drawing you may not be able to understand properly features of the Plan. Hence it is better to get a detailed briefing from the Architect on features of the plan, advantages and disadvantages of the Plan. It will also be better if you obtain a second opinion on the plan from an equally qualified and experienced Architect and try to discuss points raised by second consultant with the first consultant so that you can be sure that the plan prepared is the best considering your site conditions, requirements and financial arrangements


4. Engineering Estimate


Before finalising on the plan try to get an Engineering estimate giving item wise costing at least for the structural part of the building as interior and finishing works can be estimated after completion of structural part of the building depending upon your financial condition at that stage. On the finishing work to be done you will get a clearer picture after the structural work as you can visualize better works required at that stage. If structural costing is not within your reach you can revise the plan at that drawing stage itself rather than waiting for changes after commencement of work


5. Selecting a contractor for the work


While a selecting someone to carry out the work you should try to get someone associated with a professional Architect who will follow procedures of work strictly as per quality standards of an Architect/Engineer with proper structural design for each steel and concrete parts of the building. You should not simply go for the lowest quotation as it can be costly for proper construction of your building in the long run
Like above points there are several matters to be carefully implemented during design and construction of house. You can mail me for free consultation on any stage of construction of your building by writing to


[email protected]
You will get a prompt reply from me

Topic 4-HOUSE LOAN

Building a house is the greatest investment for any one especially Keralites. While venturing into the greatest investment of life, most of them do not plan it properly, do not collect information and study about how to go about building your house. Many simply think it is like buying a commodity from the market and hence simply go on enquiring from contractor to contractor looking for that contractor who will quote lowest rate without bothering much about small writing in the bottom of the offer-Conditions apply
As i have written many times earlier, once you decide to build your house or even feel the need to build your house, you should straight away go for it with careful study and preparations. You need a true professional who has not only qualifications in designing and building houses, but a wealth of experience in designing and building houses with an open eye for acquiring knowledge on new developments in the field as technology developments come faster in this area.
Cost of construction even with professional Engineering Estimates can only give approximate indications as all input costs for building a house keep increasing in Kerala conditions. You need professional guidance to avoid unwanted expenses and to choose right material and workmen to get best appropriate and most economical results.
In my opinion even if you have sufficient funds with you,it will be better to avail house loan which give you repayment period from five to twenty years depending on your age when you apply for housing loan. The simple reason is that you get money now to build your house at cost prevailing today. Tomorrow cost will definitely reach unreachable levels for you if you simply postpone your house construction. When you avail housing loan you will have to make installments of payments after few years when real value for money used by you for construction has come down much in terms of the purchase capability of the money. So when you avail of Housing loan you get higher value money and as years pass you repay money with much lower value.
There is no point in searching for that bank which offers 0.5 or 0.25% fewer rates for loan. Whatever may be the rate of interest banks tend to collect over a period of years almost double the money you have taken as loan of course with lesser and lesser value for repayment money as years pass.
Let us see what all the documents bank will ask for processing your housing loan in Kerala
1. Original deed which shows that you have absolute ownership for the land
2. Encumbrance certificate to be obtained from concerned Registrar office where you registered your land purchase deed for the past 13 or 14 years(it may vary from bank to bank).This will show history of ownership of your land for the past 14 years and will show if there is any liabilities on the land duly registered with concerned Registrar office.
3. Land tax receipt in your name clearly showing you as the possessor of the land as per the deed issued by concerned Village office paid up to date.
4. Possession certificate in your name issued by Village office for the land
5. Location certificate for the land issued by Village office
6. Original or copies of all previous land deeds for the land at least for the past 14 years
7. Copy of Building permit issued for construction of building by the concerned Panchayath.
8. Copy of approved Plan duly approved and sealed by concerned Panchayath prepared and signed by your Architect or licensed Engineer and you.
9. Original of Estimate for construction of the building preferably signed by a Chartered Engineer.( Banks will pay only 70 to 80% of the cost indicated in this Estimate. So you have to give suitably prepared Estimate in consultation with bank officials)
10. Building tax paid receipt (up to date) if the land has any other existing building .
 
 Topic-5. Complete service package for building your dream house when you are away


If you are a nonresident Indian dreaming to build your dream house in Kerala, major constraint you will be facing is, “Who will do it for me in my absence?”
This is where a professional agency like ours comes. If you are looking for land purchase in and around Cochin, we can start from locating land for you to build your dream house. After finalising or rather choosing plot to be purchased, you need to go through following essential steps
1.Technical and Vasthu evaluation of land to be purchased
2.Legal verification of title of land and related documents to ensure that you buy land without any legal hurdles and problems.
3. Land measurement prior to purchase
4.Documentation for land purchase and related legal activities at Registrar office, Taluk Office and Village office.
Once the land is purchased, you need to get boundaries safe guarded. For that boundary wall will have to be made.
Then a Plan of the house to be prepared followed by an Engineering Estimate to check whether you can build your dream house with funds available with you. If you require additional funds for purchase of land and construction of house, we can arrange it without any hassles as we are authorised service agents for HDFC Housing Finance Ltd.
Then you will have to obtain building permit and plan approval from local authority. Obtain electrical connection for construction work and then proceed with work with complete transparent accounting available through email and monitoring of work in progress through pictures of work progress posted in specific blog created for your work site.
In case, you plan to construct house away from Cochin except locating suitable plot for you, we can do everything else indicated above for you.
See how easy it is to build your dream house living and working in any part of the world. We have built many houses like this for many NRIs without even a relative or friend to monitor matters in Kerala.
Why don't you start thinking of making your dream of a house in Kerala a reality, using our professional services, guidance and assistance?
We are here to make your dream turn into reality without any head ache as we take care of all troublesome matters for you.


TOPIC-6.SQUARE FEET COST OF CONSTRUCTION


Lot of people think that there is a uniform square feet cost of construction wherever you build house and whatever may be site conditions or work involved. They think just by knowing possible square feet area of house to be built cost can be predicted
Without any data, without studying site conditions, without at least a Basic Plan, how anyone can simply predict cost of the building?
Constructing a house is not like going and buying something from the market. Even in such a case you cannot tell what will be the cost of 1 Kg rice after a year. Even if you start construction immediately, it may take about a year or more for the building to get completed
If someone has told you that there is a fixed square feet cost of construction anywhere in Kerala, you have to understand that it is a lie.
Even flat sellers who have every parameters of building in their choice and discretion keep increasing price from beginning to completion stage gradually.
Term square feet cost is coined by nonprofessional contractors simply to get unsuspecting client to start work with them .After the client starts with them they know how to get increases and revisions in cost and by the time project reaches finishing stage, client will be simply anxious to complete the work and at that time he might have become wiser to know that the so called square feet cost has no meaning. I have built more than 200 houses directly in Kerala and designed much more. Each of these houses when completed have different square feet cost. So I simply do not understand the meaning of this ridiculous prediction of cost.
After the plan is finalised a professional agency can prepare an engineering estimate for structural work and after the structure is completed an estimate for balance work can be prepared
These are more reliable cost indicators as costing is done using Engineering methods.
To tell possible cost of construction, my knowledge in architecture, engineering and Vasthu will not be enough. I also will have to study Astrology.
To tell you frankly, one should start construction of house the moment you feel the need for a house in Kerala without waiting for someone to tell a lie about how much it will cost simply to make you happy.
As cost is going up every day when you postpone construction, your dream of a house may fly away from you as tomorrow will be too late for you to afford..

 

 


 

 

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