Monday, January 30, 2012

#Kerala House Construction-Replies to client queries

House cum clinic for Homeopath doctor


Hello Mr. Thomas,

I am a homoeopath from Trivandrum. I would like to build a house cum clinic in Kazhakuttom, Trivandrum. I was quite impressed by your way in which you present your strategy and i am a person who does my system also in a different way. So, coming to the point, my plot is situated near the NH and MC road but there is only a small panchayath road to the plot only 50 meters from NH at present.   So i intend to keep about half of the space of my 6.9 cents plot for the approach of vehicles and their parking. Hope you got the idea. Actually, i was working out my plan myself in this pattern in the floor planner site. My family comprises of me,my wife and 2 children and also my mother. So, i intend to have only one bedroom cum bath, a clinic room and a waiting room, small mini kitchen and a drawing cum dining on the first floor( you can suggest me changes regarding anything) and plans to have 2 bedrooms cum bathroom and a common space for ironing and washing and 2 open terraces in the first floor. I intend to have one bedroom cum bath alone in the 3rd floor and leave the rest as open terrace. I am attaching the sketch of the property also along with this. I have a budget of 20 lakhs for the same. I am expecting a detailed answer from your part regarding the same.


My reply

You want so many features.But do not want to spend more than Rs.20 lakhs?

Does the Architect or building contractor has a magic wand with him? House or building construction is a bit of complicated affair.First and most important step is to get a good design for the building.All that you can do in that case is to provide complete details on your dreams,needs and plot details to the Architect.If you think you can on your own prepare plan of the building,it is wrong.It require professional training,software tools like Auto CAD and a wealth of resources obtained by Architect through years of training,practice,experiments and observations.

When you get the best possible design from the best professional you can get,during construction, cost of all inputs will keep going up and labour will get costlier and difficult to get.These are realities of our land.If you think a contractor will suffer losses just to keep his promise of a certain amount quotation in tact,you are highly mistaken.No one is going to loose money to give you a building at promised low cost.Unless he get comfortable profit,contractor will walk away if quality compromises even at risk of structural stability of building do not give him profit.So get professional assistance in both design and implementation of the building project.

Position of house in a plot


Thanks Most Valuable Articles , a question that In a plot which corner is the best and second option ?

My reply

It is for the Architect to decide location of house in a plot after careful study of site and environment conditions during a Site visit prior to design of the building.

Going by Vasthu considerations alone,it will be better if the house can be closer to North eastern part of the plot

Locating house plot,arranging documentation of purchase of land ,design and building house


Hi Thomas,

I stumbled upon your blog whilst searching for information on building permits for Kerala. You had mentioned that there are some restrictions on building near rivers and lakes. Could I trouble you to elaborate on what these restrictions might be as I am in the process of looking for a waterfront plot on which to construct a house.

Furthermore, do you know of any reputable companies who could provide me with valuation services to ensure I'm not paying more for a plot than I need to?

And the last thing, could you please send me more information on the type of services you offer?

Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards and best wishes,

My reply

Yes.This is what we can do unlike others:A comprehensive package of locating land for building your house,arranging legal ,technical evaluation,land registration, documentation and follow up.Finally designing and building your house.

We have done this for a Delhi based Director of a MNC who wanted a retirement house in a peaceful Kerala village even though he has no close relative to take care of anything in Kerala.

Details on type of services we do are available at our website

More info on buying land in Kerala is available at “Architectural Guidance “ link of our website

Cost effective Plan


Dear Sir,

Good Afternoon.

Hope you are fine!

I'm working in Dubai, and am planning to construct a 4 BHK house at my native place in Alleppey next year. I want to construct a house with prayer, study & storeroom.

Can you please suggest me a cost effective plan.

Please note I have 22 cents of land for use.

Prompt response is appreciated.

John Daniel

My reply

Just any plan I have in my computer will not be suitable for you.Architect will have to visit your plot,take measurements,study features of land and also study your requirements in detail.

A plan suited for you and suited to your budget limitations if any will have to be specifically designed for you.Then with that plan as base for discussions,a series of discussions with you may lead to revisions in the plan and finally we arrive at a plan specifically designed for you.

You need such a plan and not just any plan from me,from anybody else or from any websites, magazines offering free plans

Interlock bricks


Dear Mr. Thomas,
Apropos your opinion on Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block (ISSB), I would like to add a bit on the technology. In recent times, the technology is gaining immense popularity in many parts of the world including Asia, Latin America, US, Europe etc. Giving due respect to your experience in the field of construction and architecture, let me disagree with your comment that ISSB is suitable for compound walls. The reasons for the disagreement are many. Nevertheless, the primary argument is that during my several years of professional experience in Europe especially Denmark and Germany, I have seen aplenty durable buildings constructed with interlock technology. Secondly, your argument on Kerala's climate is rather blunt as I have seen interlock brick houses without outside plaster in Brazil, a country with humid tropical climate and rains similar to Kerala. Only thing of my concern is the quality of the interlock bricks produced in Kerala. Interlock bricks are durable and comparable even without plastering provided good quality clay and cement in right proportion and compression is used in production

Sreejith Aravindakshan (Denmark)

My reply

I was talking about interlock bricks manufactured in Kerala.In Kerala and even in other parts of India we specialise,in finding out how bad any product can be made but still appear to be good for eyes of customer.Inferior quality manufacturing,cheating people in any manner are considered to be credit worthy capabilities in our country.People take pride in doing so!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

# Kerala Architecture- Replies to client queries

House Construction in Kerala without any one to look after work progress


My name is Swaroop and i am working as third Engineer . I have been reading your blogs and it had been very informative.

Myself is planning to build a house in Calicut around June 2011. i have been having problem in purchasing land until now, but that problem will be resolved by June 2012.

The problem is that i don't have anyone to run after all the constructional matters as there is only my mother and sister from my side. i had consulted one construction company , who said their consultancy fee will be 225 Rs per sq. ft. and the construction charges extra that will come around 2000 Rs per sq. ft., so total for a 2800 sq. ft. house its coming around 62.5 lacs for construction only which seems very expensive for me.

I was planning to construct a modern architect designed house around 2800 sq. ft., in around 8 cents of land. i can spend around 50 lakhs on the house, majority will be from bank loan from SBI for construction excluding the land charges.

please advice whether i should go ahead with the same construction company or whether you have any acquaintance in Calicut or whether you and your team can help me directly

Hoping you will clear my doubts

My reply

Each construction company has it’s own policies,terms and conditions for providing architectural and construction services and hence there is no point in me commenting on merits or demerits of a particular construction company.

Most important factor to be considered is that you should go for qualified and experienced professional in designing and acting as consultant during construction of your house.Better qualifications and treasure of experience in designing and building houses  of the consultant will definitely reflect in every aspect of your house construction.With each new building construction,an expert encounters new problems and technology advances bring new materials and construction methods.

Initial drawing called  Plan of the house is the most important document as far as your house construction is concerned.Some people have a feeling that Plan of the house prepared by any one will be the same.So they opt for those who offer to give a plan free of charges or very low charges.By saving those thousands,they land up in a mess by loosing lakhs of rupees in construction ,avoid better utilisation of limited space for construction  and better facilities for the house which only an expert can provide.

We offer professional services for both design and construction of house anywhere in Kerala and outside also.Our charges are much less than the usual but we never offer any service free of charges as all “free offers” come with hidden costs and traps which will finally extract money from you and exploit you.By the time you realise it,it will be too late.

I still cant understand why people are unwilling to pay for design and consultancy services of expert professionals in house design and construction..Instead they get trapped by free offers of non professional contractors who knows how expertly an ignorant client can be exploited to their advantage.

House design and  cost estimate by mail


Hello Sir,

I am planning to build a double story 2000 sq. ft. house with 4 bed rooms and 3/5 bath rooms in Kalamassery, Cochin. Can you send me some house designs and cost estimate?


My reply

I get quite a lot of mails like this.It shows how ignorant our people are about house design and construction and a complex process of designing and building a house which can be the most important investment/financial decision in the life of a Keralite is treated so casually!

A house has to be designed suited to your plot measurements,surroundings,your requirements,budget limitations if any,Architectural,structural engineering aspects,Vasthu factors,Kerala Building rules etc.A house design prepared for somebody else suited to his land features and conditions will not fit in to your plot and requirements.

Architect will have to study your site conditions  and your requirements closely before he can design a house exactly suited to your site and requirements.Only after initial design is finalised,you can know exact sft plinth area of the house.

Cost can be calculated using Engineering Estimate methods only by a qualified Engineer and not by any body else.Whatever cost indications you get even from an expert is only a cost indication.In Kerala conditions cost of hundreds of different type of materials used and different kind of labour used will be going up continuously and no one can exactly predict cost of construction of your house which may get completed after an year or more of commencement of work.

Constructing a house with Rs.5 lakhs


Dear Sir,

I have a land of 10 cents in Vaikom and I want to build a house there.  I have only 5 lakh Rupees in my hand and I do not to want to take any loan for it.  So can you advice me, if I can build a house (not modern one) in my above cost.  Your early reply will be grateful to you.


My reply

Constructing a house with Rs.5 lakhs or even lesser amount is possible.But without knowing site conditions and what exactly you need for the house,how can an Architect tell you whether it is possible to construct a house for you with Rs.5 lakhs?

An Architect can advise you on ways to reduce cost.But you should be willing to accept his suggestions and your requirements for the house will have to be toned down to meet your budget constraints.But without sufficient data an expert cannot give any comment or advice.

Problem with roof tile laying


Hi Mr Thomas

Appreciate if you could help me with my query and doubts.

I am making a house in Perintalmanna and I am stuck with the roof tiles.We initially used the old tiles of our house by washing,painting and making it look new as per our elders in the family.But now when we have put on the roof its not equally getting adjusted and so we feel it has got us a huge loss as we had bought some new tiles also to fill up the area.

I went through your blog and found it interesting.Can you please provide me with the details as to where I can get really good tiles at a affordable price as per the new trend….whether clay tile or the glazed one.

Ms. Noorain Noushad

My Reply

There are several clay tile manufacturers in Kerala and you will have to select roof tiles in consultation with your Architect.Problem encountered by you during laying can be understood by me or by any other professional only after physically studying the situation at site and hence I cannot comment on it with the information provided by you.

This problem faced by you or similar problems faced by any one during house construction/remodeling is mainly due to reluctance of people in availing professional service/advice/consultation and due to listening to non professional contractors/workers.

Consultation with an expert if avoided will land you in problems which cannot be solved that easily during construction process.

Housing Loan


Hi Thomas,

i have collect your id from Kerala architecture..thanks for your initiative in this regard...

am started thinking about a new home..we have land  for the concerned plan...problem is obviously money..this letter is particularly for knowing some information about loan ...project amount not more than 10 lac(can u tell me minimum cost?) monthly salary is 30k and by hand me...

Thanks for your time and consideration


My Reply

As we are authorised agents for M/s HDFC limited for providing Housing loan,we can assist you in obtaining financial assistance for house construction.Please call me on 9388701702.

To build house for parents and do not know what to do


Hi sir,

My parents want to build a house in a village in Kollam dist...Its a new plot i have no idea how it looks and all other demographic...Do you visit the place and give suggestions and plans too? Just wondering how you can help us...

Looking for a 2 storey building with total of 4 bedrooms and other rooms.

how much is your charges and any other formalities we have to do?

can you please email me....Then i can talk to my parents.

Anita joseph

My reply

We can design and build your house from concept to finish with professional care and assistance.

During construction,we can either construct directly with our workers or can act as consultants if you have own work force by providing complete drawings,instructions to workers and occasional site visits.

We will provide professional care,guidance and assistance in making your dream house a reality.

Reluctance to pay fees to Consultant


Thanks for your follow up.
However, I am still evaluating the builders and have not yet finalised.

Only because you have asked for a reason on why I did not peruse your offer further, I must say that what put me off was the fact that you require a fee to enable you to quote for the work. I have not come across a firm that is selling a product requiring a fee to tender for a project. I am looking for someone more approachable, as for something as personal as a house it would have to be more than a 'take it or leave it' attitude.

Thanks anyway.



My reply

With my experience in dealing with thousands of clients over many years,I can tell you that very few have a clear picture  of how to go about building a house.

Most important part of building a house is to get the most appropriate Basic Plan for the house suited to your plot,environment,requirements and budget restrictions if any.
Even after designing thousands of houses and directly building more than 200 houses in different parts of Kerala,I am still learning new aspects of house design and construction with new problems encountered every day.Qualifications and hands on experience make a lot of difference in designing a house.Most appropriate design you may get from the best Architect you can find can make a lot of difference not only in getting you best features and facilities but in saving lakhs of your rupees.

Compared to the saving you get ,the initial Site visit fee and Basic Plan fee are almost negligible.If you consider spending those meager amount as waste of money,I will have to say that you are being penny wise and pound foolish.

I do not travel to a site spending my time and money in the hope of getting business without any payment from client.Engineering Estimate prepared after finalising Design is a detailed item wise costing and not a simple quotation.That requires careful working by quantity costing Engineers and it will be useful for you both for planning your fund flow and also with your bankers for house loan processing.Naturally we charge very little for that also.

If some body does all these for free,his services will not be of best quality and he may be facing problem of no or less business.Even with our procedures of charging for our technical services,we still have lot of business except from people like you who are not aware of what they loose in trying to save few thousands.

Anyway thank you for sharing your concern.Such feed back help us to understand our clientele better as I am also a qualified and experienced marketing professional