Most of us dream of owning a house one day, and we do not mind stretching our resources to buy one. Yet, more often than not, a majority of us hardly spend time in keeping track of the construction of our houses. Also, we hardly interact with either the architect or the builder – either of our own independent houses or the apartment where we have booked our flats – during the construction period.
Another blemish – while building our houses, we hardly notice the special needs of the left-handed members in our family.
Make it a point to meet the architect along with the engineer every week to review the progress of work. You must ask them for the work planned for the coming week. You should also ask for the requirements from your end for the next week. It goes without saying that by doing this you can avoid a lot of unplanned decisions.
“If you are lucky enough to make your own independent house, the first thing you must do is inspect your site when it is getting marked for the dimensions. Remember, any encroachment or deviation may put you in a spot and you may face litigation,” Azmal Zaheer, an architect at a Delhibased architecture firm says.
“You must see to it that the marking is as per the approved plan only. And when you reach the stage of lintel construction, give enough attention to the electrical points, and plumbing points,” he says.
Experts say that unexpected problems always emerge during the construction work. “Home-builders keep changing their mind about a particular feature or room at some point midconstruction, which can delay and escalate costs,” Sanjay Khanna, director of Kailash Nath Projects Pvt Ltd, says. “Keeping this in mind, expect the unexpected and set aside an additional 10-15% of your budget to deal with these surprise costs,” he says.
And do you know that bricks used in the construction work have to be fully wet? You have to ensure that the bricks must be kept immersed in water before they are used for construction.
And remember, when the roof is to be cast, you must get along an expert in the construction business, in order to check for the iron and steel used for centring and the bamboos used for support. The expert must be present when the concrete is being prepared to check the proportion of sand, cement, stone and water.
“Before the construction, talk to local contractors and find out how much they charge to build a house. Don’t forget that their quotation will include the labour cost. Don’t forget to ask the builders if you can see a list of prices of the materials they will be using. This will be helpful when it comes to totting up your budget,” Alimuddin Rafi Ahmed, managing director of ILD group, says.
Turning to the construction site again, when the plastering work starts, you must ask for the drawings from the architect, review it and then pass it on to the engineer. Don’t allow the architect to pass on the drawing directly to the engineer.
This is a very crucial period and several aspects like fixing of washing slab, a sink outside, a garden tap may miss your attention due to the urgency. As this is a critical time, you must remain in touch with the key members of the construction team who are involved in plumbing, carpentry, masonry and electrical fittings.
Once you reach the stage for fittings in your brand-new home, the architect and the engineer will give you many suggestions.
You are not duty-bound to accept their suggestions. At this point, you can start thinking about the furnishings and colours of the interiors. Warm yellow, muted red, or terracotta paint colour are ideal.
Another option would be to keep the existing paint intact and just accentuate one of the walls of the room.
Left-hander-friendly: Do not ignore the concerns of the left-handed members in the family, during the construction period. A Pune-based organization for southpaws is doing its bit to convince realtors in Mumbai and Pune to make left-hander-friendly buildings. They started this campaign after observing that builders are not even aware of the special needs of the left-handed fraternity.
“I feel that if builders shift the sink in kitchen to the left-hand side and also put door handles on the left side, it would make a huge difference to lefthanders. People do not realize that it is extremely difficult for southpaws to operate almost everything with their weak hand, that is, the right hand, all the time. Perhaps real estate firms are not very sensitive towards left-handers,” Sunil Jindal, the chief executive officer of SVP group, says.
If a female member in your household is a left-hander, ensure that the LPG cylinder is located on the left side inside the kitchen; this will make her task in operating the gas knob easy.
Now, your house is ready. You can shift there, but before that you must give a house-warming party!
Source – TOI