Constructing a house in Bangalore or anywhere for that matter seems to pose its own challenges in terms of varying cost, lack of shared knowledge, govt approvals, risks involved etc. In this blog I try to share some of my experiences and learnings. Construction is a science and something people have been doing for ages but it is one aspect that is not documented well enough. There are books on civil construction but there aren't many books that talk about house construction from an end user perspective.
If you have any experiences and want to share, please leave a comment and I will try to incorporate your suggestions and ideas.
Stage 1: Type of house
The basic types of house people build in Bangalore are
- House for self use. - (Luxury, privacy and comfort in mind)
- House for self use + Renting out (Luxury + cost effective)
- House for renting out. (Cost and revenue generation in mind)
- House for self use + Renting out + Commercial outlet like (ATM, Shops etc)
Once you decide which category you belong you can move on to the next stage. Few people are not sure if they fit in category 1 or 2 for them I would advice to think ahead and plan their home design in such a way that they can expand if the need arises in future.
Pick a design style. There are a few house design styles that are prominent in Bangalore. The style you pick will also impact your cost.
- Contemporary designs - Boxes shapes and angles.
- Mangalore / Kerala style - Sloped roof with tiling.
- Colonial style.
- Roman style - Pantheon roof, big pillars etc.
Stage 2: Vaastu
Learn about Vaastu. Even before you think of putting a plan on paper read a few articles on vaastu so that you know how to come up with a sound plan. Vaastu has some science behind it Eg: Flow of light, Flow of wind etc. Here are a few basics on Vaastu.
- Kitchen to the south east.
- Master bedroom to the south west
- Entrance & Car parking in north east.
- Sump to be in the north east
- Pooja room not to be next to / below / above bathrooms.
This leaves out just the middle sections and the north west corner for the plot for modification. To have some cross ventilation its ideal if the rooms (Kitchen, Master bedroom) are in the corner.
A house cant be 100% vaastu complaint, so try to comply based on feasibility.
Stage 3: Self design
Chart out a layout of how you want the floor plan to look like. This will give you some idea when you go talk to the architect. I used Sweet Home 3D to draw up my floor plan. There are various other online tools available as well. If you arent well versed with a computer then paper will do. Write down some of the requirements of your houses.
For 3D modelling you can use google sketchp, look up a few tutors on youtube on architecture design using floor plan. Its very simple to use and you can visualize your house elevation.
Choices! There will be various choices each with its own pros and cons. Here I discuss about some of them.
- Serial car parking Vs Parallel car parking- Serial car parking makes it difficult to take 2 cars in and out. It can be enclosed easily. Minimum dimension should be 8'x16' to park sedan car and 8'x13 to park compact car. Parallel parking makes it easy to take 2 cars in and out. Difficult to enclose. Minimum standard dimension should be 18'x16' to park 2 sedan cars and 16'x16' to park 2 compact cars. Garages can be put in the corner and you need not leave setback on side and back, this is an advantage in terms of space utilization but if you leave the complete pathway on one side you will literally loose more space.
- Stilt Vs ground floor VS basement parking -Stilt parking based houses loose the looks aspects. Efficient in parking if there are more than 2 cars. Security risk as you will be unaware of what is happening in ground floor. Difficult to enclose on all sides. The designs are not earthquake resistant, if the pillars are not interlocked. Ground floor parking on the other hand eats up space that is getting costlier every day. Basement parking is risky in low lying areas and during rainy season the clogged drainages can reverse leading to flooding. No matter what sort of concept you use to combat rain water, its difficult to read the weather. You need to be present in the house every time it rains to monitor the flooding. Dont depend on water pumps as electricity will fail during the rain in Bangalore. This design looks to be space saving but has its own risks. Some people are using basement as gym and games rooms these days with entry provided from inside the house. Another thing to look at is the tropical climate invites roaches and rodents which will enter the basement via the basement windows. If you close the basement windows always then it leads to expansion and dampness in the wall.
- Privacy Vs Open spaces -If you need more privacy in the house when people visit you then you need to separate out the living and dining rooms. If you dont then you get a bigger area which is combined of living and dining.
- Inverted T-Beams Vs Concealed Beams - If the room dimension is bigger than 15x15 then its ideal to go in for a T-Beam. If inverted T-Beam is used then the room ceiling looks cleaner and the room looks longer. The other option to get a flatter ceiling is to go in for concealed beam which has extra steel rods and thus is slimmer, but a concealed beam is not actually a beam and care has to be taken as to not to bring heavy load on it.
- Granite Vs vitrified Vs Marble - A white floor reflects more light, brightness up the room. Granite is expensive, granite is naturally occurring stone so finding shades of white are difficult, grains without any fault line are also difficult to find. Vitrified has lot more options and cost effective but vitrified has the tendency to chip off. Granite can be polished using rock polishers, this will remove 2mm - 3 mm of the granite surface each time. This means that if you have 16 mm slab then you can polish it only 4-5 times in the life time. Vitrified can be polished using a process called crystallisation which uses a chemical to induce the gloss, this wont remove the surface layer but this approach is still not wide spread and people are unaware about it. Granite tends to get cracks at the time of laying, so make sure you work out an agreement with the dealer to replace any faulty slabs. Vitrified has the tendency of chipping and cracking when heavy objects are dropped, if the floor laying is not done correctly the tile will sit on hollow floor which will damage it easily. Check the quality of vitrified before buying. The print on vitrified tiles are deep upto 1-2 mm. So check if the gloss will last longer before purchase. Looks good in the first few years. Granite flooring is cold during winter and old people will have problems. Marble reacts chemically and is no durable.
- Ceiling height VS false ceiling - False ceiling is a craze these days in apartments, but on a long run its more difficult to maintain it. Dust will gather around the false ceiling and cause health problems. Ceiling heights are standard of 10' some go to 11' making the room look bigger. If you go in for a 11' ceiling then you will pay more in terms of air conditioning keep that in mind.
- Wood windows VS Aluminium windows Vs UPVC windows - Wood windows are costly 600 - 650 Rs /sq ft. Aluminum windows are delicate. Upvc windows range from 350 Rs/sq ft for sliding designs and 500 Rs/sq st for casement windows both without grill option.Upvc windows work out well for high rise apartments, for individual houses security is a major concern and grills are mandatory to prevent burglary. Wooden windows with 12mm hex rods are ideal for individual houses.
- Teak main doors Vs Steel main doors - Security is a big concern in Bangalore. So anyone with a teak door eventually has to go in for a grilled safety door. Teak doors provide good looks provided they are maintained and no water hits it during rainy season else a steel door with wood finish (powder coating) will be equally good. Safety doors now come with an option of single key with 3 locks. Although there are not many buyers for steel doors making the variety very less. There are more options in the north. 90% will end up putting a teak door as the main door.
- Modular Kitchen Vs Traditional Kitchen - Although modular kitchens are nice and look glamorous they are hard to clean and maintain, the corners become inaccessible and a place for roaches if not maintained properly. The metal will rust after 5-10 years of usage and will look bad if not maintained in modular kitchen. Modular kitchens are easy to setup though and the hinges are much more smooth and fluid than the ones done by a carpenter. Modular kitchens cost a ton. If you can get a traditional kitchen with slabs with the single hinge doors it will be more easy to maintain and cost effective. You can work with your carpenter to get good hinges and good veneer sheets.
- Brick Vs Cement Block - Cement block work out cheap and easy in terms of construction. Brick gives a cooling effect compared to a cement brick wall. A room built with Cement block will heat up soon. Brick outer walls are usually 9" and cement outer walls are usually 6". In terms of safety brick wall of 9" is much safer. Cement block loose its property after 10-15 years. I would suggest go with a brick wall even if you loose 3" you will benefit in terms of a cooler room in summer. The RCC columns will be quite good in 9" compared to 6" RCC column. Mud bricks come in 2 varieties one that is 6 Rs/brick with rough edges used for walls, 8 Rs/Brick which has smooth edges and used when brick work is exposed.
- Borewell vs BWSSB water connection - BWSSB is supposed to provide non-potable water (recycled water) for construction but
there is still some problems with delivery and distribution. There are
no takers for recycled water, there are plans to have dual pipelines in all areas but that will take time. In areas where water scarcity is present borewell is a life saver. A borewell might cost 1.5 - 2 lakhs. Always check for the yield of water that you might get. Check with your neighbours to find out at what depth they got water. See
if you can get a common borewell by co-ordinating with your neighbours. If on the other hand you decide to use a tanker to supply water for construction you will end up paying 5,500 Rs for 65K litres / month assuming you are paying 550 Rs/ 6500 Liters. The cost difference between tanker and borewell is big. Just for 8 month usage investing 1.5 lakh extra is not justified. Most house constructions in Bangalore start of by digging a borewell since BWSSB wont provide water for construction after construction is complete they rarely use borewell in which case it is a waste to invest 1.5 lakhs for just 8 months. There are chances that you will not find water at all, water table is too low, maintenance problems, broken pump, drying up of borewell etc that can happen. Take this into account while making your decision. If you are doing RWH (Rain water harvesting) via the pit method then you are replenishing the water table but that doesn't necessarily mean you will get the same amount of water back. If everyone in your area is drawing from the same water table then your yield is impacted as well. If your neighbour has a borewell then chances that you both will draw from same table is very much a possibility.
- Fe415 TMT Vs Fe 500 TMT - Fe500 Steel is used in high rise buildings and bridges has more strength, for normal residential buildings Fe415 is sufficient. FE500D is more ductile than the FE500 used in the high seismic prone zones. Make sure there is no rust and its ISI marked. Fe 500X is a new type which promises more strength.
- Cut Lintel Vs Through Lintel - The reason for a lintel is to support the weight of the bricks on top and make sure windows done deform. RCC framed structures dont need a through lintel if interlocking is done at plint level. For earthquake resistance the benefit of having through lintel is that it wont allow the columns to twist. The cost difference between them is 20-30K which is why I have seen most houses in Bangalore go with a through lintel. The weight is equally distributed in a through lintel. Places which have longer windows are suitable for through lintel. Through lintel also gives you the liberty to do alterations to the house later on. You can move doors and windows easily if the lintels are through lintels.'My suggestion is to go for through lintels. Make sure the alignment of columns doesn’t deviate, in cut lintels the columns raise all the way upto the roof, in through lintels they raise till lintel level so extra care needs to be taken to make sure the columns dont shift from centre line.
- Sinked Vs Flat Bathroom - Usually in old houses the shower area is sunk by 6". This helps demarcate the wet and the dry areas in a bathroom. If your bathroom is small then doing this will make the bathroom look smaller. Having a flat bathroom with a slope provided towards the drain will make the bathroom look bigger. It pays if you have both the first floor and the ground floor bathrooms in the same line. That way the pipes can be shared and the roof can be sunk so that the first floor bathroom will be in level with the first floor flooring. They sink the roof by 6" to makes sure that the first floor bathroom doesn't get elevated.
- Grills Vs Hex Rods - Grills are nice to look in terms of aesthetics as compared to hex rods ,there can be various patterns done in them. However grills are easy to break into. If someone breaks the glass and unscrews the grill from the frame then its easy to break in. Hex rods are hard to break through as they run throughout the frame. Spacing of the hex rods is usually done with 3" gap and since the rods are thicks they are hard to bend.
- 43 Grade Vs 53 Grade vs PPC - For RCC columns ideally 53 Grade cement is used as it provides higher strength, it requires more water during the curing stage. 43 grade cement is used for brick work, PPC is mix of fly ash with cement this seals the minute holes in cement and requires less water to set and less cracks are seen. PPC based cements are used for inside wall plastering.
- Spiral Staircase vs Normal Staircase - Spiral staircase look grand but keep in mind that the space under it is wasted. In a normal stair case the space under it can be used as cabinets. Steps should raise between 6" and 7" for comfort in climbing anything more will hurt the knees in oldage. A single step should be at-least 10" wide (tread) to give enough footing. Use laputra finish granite for steps as it will give a rough surface.
Stage 4: Meet an architect
Once you know what you want, its time to meet an architect. There are 2 types of architects in Bangalore
- Architects who are registered with BBMP and do house plans for approval only.
- Architects who are not registered with BBMP and do house plans for construction.
If you know the details and dont require an architect you can go meet a draftsmen who will design the floor plan and structural and elevation for around 20K. Offcourse his knowledge base will be limited and you will be the person in charge.
You would need to meet the 2nd kind first. Laydown your requirements and ideas and let the architect work out few plans for you. Here is a check-list that I think will work.
- How many members in the family?
- How many floors?
- How many bedrooms?
- Attached toilet for all bedrooms or common toilets?
- Closed car parking or open parking?
- Single or multiple car parking.
- How many floor to rent out.
- Future expansion plans if any.
- New trends or ideas you have in mind?
- Space utilisation
Architect cost & Services - Bangalore
The following is the estimate I got from my Architect.
Download the Architect & Owner Agreement
Once the requirements are laid out, the architect will have something to work with. He can probably get you a working floor plan in a week which you can review.
Note: Always measure the site before the planning starts. There may be differences in dimension which when you discover later may be a problem if your plan is already drawn. Sometimes dimensions will be correct but the site wont be a perfect rectangle, this has to be taken into account.
Once you are satisfied with the design its time to move to the next phase.
Stage 5: Get your legal documents ready.
This can be done in parallel. In case of BDA layout the following are the legal documents
- Title deed / Sale deed / Parent deed / Master deed - Agreement of sale / tiltle. You get this done in your local sub-registrar office.
- Gift deed - Agreement of transfer of ownership. Not required if site is purchased. You get this done in your local sub-registrar office.
- Khata Extract - You get this done in your local BBMP office.
- Khata Certificate - You get this done in your local BBMP office.
- Emcumbrance Certificate - Shows if there are any loans on the site.You get this done in your local sub-registrar office.
Khata extract and Khata certificate will be provided within a week if the site is already in your name. - No bribe required. If you do plan to bribe then anything in range of 500 Rs - 1000 Rs should do.
Encumbrance of 13 years will take 20-25 days to get officially. No bribe required, automated process.
Gift deed - Will take a day to get done, provided all the other documents are in order. - No bribe required if all documents are in order. You may need to bribe 100 Rs or so to the office boy who stamps your documents.
Khata transfer - Will take 15-30 days to get done, provided all the other documents are in order. - No bribe required if all documents are in order. Ideal bribe range is some where between 5K for a 30x40 plot to 8K for a 40x60 plot. You will need to go meet the Revenue Inspector and show him your plot, he may give your dates and times that are odd, but be persistent.
Sale deed - <TODO: No information>
I am not in favour of bribing, the legal path usually take a bit longer and some effort on your path but its cleaner and you will feel good. Every govt department has an RTI officer who is nominated by the govt. His duties are to register any RTI applications and provide you the acknowledgement number. If the particular service is not completed within the stipulated number of days then you can file an RTI (Right to information) demanding to know the status of your application. It works like a charm.
Where do i find out what are the service time lines?
Under the "Garuntee of service for citizen system" you find all timelines under this link - http://sakala.kar.nic.in/kgsc1/ which is a govt hosted site, specifying timelines for all services. Their phone number works :) and they help you in finding the right people to escalate.
How to file an RTI in bangalore?
You can write a simple letter in English or Kannada (not sure if Hindi will do) and either post it to the concerned office or hand it over in person to the RTI officer in charge of that office. Once you hand over the RTI application they need to respond within 30 days. Once you hand over the RTI to the RTI officer he will register it a register book and provide you an acknowledgement number. Better if you could carry a photo copy of the RTI and get a govt seal and his signature along with date on that.
You will also need to carry any supporting documents. A postal order of 10 Rs which can be purchased in your post office.
Note: When dealing with govt office please carry/get acknowledgements in writing along with a seal. Without this you will end up making many rounds. Always carry a photo copy of your application to get it sealed and signed, if you filled a form then ask for an acknowledgement number or a slip.
Download the RTI Template
What to do if RTI doesnt work?
Usually thing move faster once you file an RTI, if that doesnt happen then you can reach out to lokayukta and complain against the officer who is demanding bribe. All this will work if all your legal documents are in order. If there are any loop holes then you will end up running from pillar to post.
What documents i need to submit?
To get an idea of what additional documents you need to submit you can look at http://bbmp.gov.in/ the BBMP site which will provide more information. If you think something is not clear look it up in the GSC site as well - http://sakala.kar.nic.in/kgsc1/ and call the helpline (During govt working hours/day). Make sure the photo copies are readable.
Read about my experiences with an RTI - https://sites.google.com/site/arjunwebworld/Home/blogs/The-Story-of-My-Experiments-with-RTI
Stage 6: Approvals
Find a registered architect who will draw up a plan which meets the bye laws and get it approved. Again this is a 15-30 day process officially. Without bribe the engineer who approves your plan might ask you to make some modifications, show him your site for inspection.
Read the bye laws so that you are aware of what they are talking about.
You can download the zoking rules for Bangalore - Zoning_Regulations_RMP2015.pdf
FAQ - BBMP Automatic Plan approval - Automatic Plan Sanction.pdf
The cost of working drawing and seal from registered architect may range from 4-5K for a 30 x40 plot. 5-6K for a 60x40 plot as of 2012.
|The cost of working drawing and seal from registered architect
|The cost of working drawing and seal from registered architect
|Bribe for plan approval
|Bribe for plan approval
|Admin charges + Taxes
Also make sure the approved plan is as close to the construction plan as possible this will make sure you dont pay too much tax. The more built up area you show on the approved plan the more tax you will end up paying.
Download the House Construction Estimate
Download the Contractor & Owner Agreement
Couple of things that need to be added to the above agreement.
- Mentioning through lintel.
- Contractor to be responsible for taking the right permission for erection of construction shed and material storage at construction site. Contractor will make sure that road safety is not compromised due to materials stored at the site. Necessary precautions will be taken by contractor to avoid any road accidents.
- Mention brand of steel to be used.
- Provisioning of attic.
If plan not to bribe then make sure your plan is meeting the norms set by 2015 master plan and there are no violations, else you will pay a hefty fine or the engineer can stop construction if you are violating the norms. The building plans are valid upto 2 years after which they need to be renewed.
The Automatic building plan scrutiny system for approval of building plans is having some technical issues and as of 2012 some BBMP accept plan submission only online where as some take a physical copy. Your architect will provide 10 ammonia prints with the house plan. This will be verified by the AEE (Assistant Executive Engineer) in BBMP office and within 15 days they will let you know the DD amount that needs to be submitted towards road cutting.
If you are building a house yourself it becomes very important that
you understand the laws. Lot of times govt officials end up asking for a
bribe and threaten you of a violation and the consequences. Knowing the
violation and the consequence before hand will keep you aware of the
be fairly simple. If you dont have previous tax records or missing some
document then there is a option that things will move slowly. Bribes are usually demanded in the range of 8-10K. You can refuse to pay the bribe if you have the right documents. Check Sakala for delivery of service and timelines. If its Khata Transfer ARO visits the site and carries out inspection. You will have to meet him and direct him to your plot this will be a time consuming process. Once he complete the site survey the khata extract will be provided as per the guidelines mentioned in sakala.
believe 90% of the plan approval process involves some sort of bribe as
no one adheres to the bye laws. There is atleast some degree of
violation in the approved plan vs the actual plan. Knowing this the BBMP
engineers are very much aware of the fact that they have the upper hand
here since everyone violates to some extent. I filed an RTI for some
delayed documentation which really got the engineer pissed at me and he
started to threaten me by saying he will give me notice if there is a
deviation in construction. Then i understood that since these engineers
are never challenged by anyone they have grown accustomed to power and
can easily threaten people. So I investigated further and found out what
a deviation means.
BBMP bye law says:
Deviations during Construction
any construction is in violation/deviation of the sanctioned plan, the
Commissioner may, if he considers that the violations / deviations are
within 5% of (1) theset back to be provided around the building, (2)
plot coverage (3) floor area ratio and (4)height of the building and
that the demolition under chapter XV of the Act is not feasible without
affecting structural stability, he may regularise such
violations/deviations after recording detailed reasons for the same.ii)
Violation/deviation as at 6.0 (i) above may be regularised only after
sanctioning the modified plan recording thereon the
violations/deviations and after the levy of fee prescribed by the
Corporation from time to time.iii) Regularisation of violations /
deviations under this provision are not applicable to the buildings
which are constructed without obtaining any sanctioned plan whatsoever
and also the violations / deviations which are made inspite of the same
being specifically deleted or rejected in the sanctioned plan.
So the question is how is this 5% derived?
one doesnt leave any setback on one side would that be 100% violation
or 25% violation? If one doesnt leave any setback on any side then is
that a 400% violation or a 100%? If one leaves right setback on all side
but his FAR ratio exceeds norm then is it a 100% violation?
Based on my understanding 25% is allotted to each violation.
1. Setback - 25%
2. Coverage - 25%
3. FAR - 25%
4. Height - 25%
Assuming this if one has left no setback on one side his violation would be 1/4 of 25%.
On consulting a lawyer the following was his opinion.
Ask BBMP people to
accept for fine after issuance of notice.If they are not prepared accept
to receive fine. You have every right to prefer e appeal against the
said notice before Karnataka appellate tribunal for quashing of the
said notice.If you decide to prefer appeal: Points which you have to
bear it your mind are that the court process will take time, as an
advantage you can seek an order of stay from demolishing any violated
portion till the disposal of such appeal by BBMP officials.Try to settle amicably and keep judicial excise as last option.
approved plans come with certain instructions, one of which says -
"Laying of Foundation Concrete & Columns Should Commence Only After
Obtaining Commencement Certificate From Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara
Palike After Inspection from AEE". Now this ideally makes sense for big
constructions and apartment complexes. For small residential buildings
the trend has been that no one follows this rule. There are 2 processes
that need to be followed if you want to get the commencement
1. Submit annexure before laying foundation columns.
2. Submit annexure after plint level is complete.
the engineer will have some or the other reason why commencement
certificate cant be provided. The fine for starting construction without
obtaining commencement certificate is 100 Rs.
Road Cutting Permission / BBMP Endorsement Letter
This a painfully slow process and bribes vary from 20K - 2 Lakhs. Start this process early as it takes nearly 1-2 months for things to get rolling. BWSSB will require a white wash painted structure to issue water connection. Dont wait till the end as this will delay the project by few months. As soon as brick work is done get the front elevation plastered and white washed even if the side and back of the building are not plastered its ok. This will help you getting the application moving. BBMP engineers demand heavy bribe in the name of deviations and in the name of corporators. BWSSB and BESCOM connection will be provided only after procuring the road cutting endorsement letters from BBMP. The following are the document checklist
- Contractor letter head of Electrical + Water + Sanitary with owner and registered contractor signature.
- Khata Extract & Certificate - 6 months old. - You will have to apply for new khata extract & certificate if your copy is not latest. So plan accordingly.
- Latest Tax Paid Receipt.
- Photo Copy of Approved Plan.
- Road cutting challan / DD for amount paid to Commissioner BBMP Bangalore.
Once these documents are submitted to AE. He will visit the site and measure the road length and if there is a difference he will ask you to get DD amount for the difference. Ideally road cutting charges are taken at the time of plan approval you will need to take a second DD if and only if there is a difference in the amount.
The following is the BBMP road cutting charges. They vary based on type of surface.
Stage 7: Market survey
Find out what the price of materials are, what type of flooring you require, what is the going rate for square ft of construction. This you can either talk to people who have built a house or by talking to vendors and getting estimates.You need to do this before stage 8 because you need to be aware of what the current trend in cost estimation is. This keeps changing year on year based on market rates. Here is a checklist of things you need to enquire.
- Cost of construction for sq ft in your area.
- What type of flooring you want. What will it cost you in sq ft.
- What type of wardrobes and cost of sq ft.
- What type of windows and cost of sq ft.
- What type of doors and cost of sq ft.
- What type of sanitary and cost of individual items like EWC, sinks, shower heads.
- What type of paint? Exterior & Interior. What will be the cost associated
- What type of electrical items?
- What is current cost for steel, cement, gravel, labour etc.
Here is quick table on cost of materials
|RMC (Ready made concrete) - 3000 per cubic meter
53 grade - 340
43 grade - 320
||Tata - 51K / ton
Prime gold - 55 / ton
|20 mm jelly - 23 / cft
40 mm jelly 18 / cft
12 mm jelly 17 / cft
1 truck - 540 cft.
|Fenesta upvc white sliding - 500 / sq ft
Fenesta upvc white casement - 600-700 / sq ft
Local made upvc white sliding - 350 / sq ft
Local made upvc casement sliding - 450-500 sq/ft
Grill 12mm thick - 150 /sq ft
Aluminium - 250 / sq ft.
Steel fabricated with grill - 150-200 /sq ft
Honne Wood with sal frame with grill - 600 /sq ft.
|Vitrified 2'x2' (600 mm x 600 mm) - 150 / sq ft.
Granite - Low end black texture - 150 / sq ft.
Granite - High end white texture - 250 / sq ft.
Anti skid tiles - 1'x1' - 60 / sq ft.
Wall tiles - 60-70 /sq ft
Wall cladding - 70-90 /sq ft
Supreme pvc -
||25K - 600 cft
(65K during strikes)
|10 Rs / stone
1 truck - 850, 950 stones
|6 Rs / Brick
|150 - 200 / Sq ft
Stage 8: Find a contractor
After stage 7 you are aware of the market situation and its time to find a contractor. Find out a good contractor who you can trust with your money. See his past work, talk to his customers and get a quotation. There are 3 types of contract you can work out with your contractor
- Lump sum - You release money once various stages are completed.
- Labour only - You buy the materials and hire only the labour from the contractor.
- tCost - You pay for labour and material accurately. Then you pay additional for the services of the contractor.
Make sure the agreement between you and the contractor is as crystal clear as possible to the minute detail. This will help avoiding cost deviations.
|1200 - 1400Rs / sq ft
|1500 - 1600 Rs / sq ft
|1700Rs - 2000 / sq ft
|| High End
|Vitrified 70 Rs / Sq ft
|Vitrified 100-150 Rs / Sq ft
|Granite 250 Rs / Sq ft
|Simple cabinets with Andhra Slabs
|Modular kitchen in plywood
|Box type Contemporary.
|Granite cladding on exteriors.
|Honne and sal wood frames or flush doors
|Honne and sal wood frames, UPVC sliding
|UPVC casement, Teak Wood.
This cost per sq ft doesnt include.
- Drawing and architect plan.
- Costs like plan approval.
- Road cutting charges.
- Temporary electricity connection.
- Geysers for bathrooms.
- Solar unit.
- Sump tank.
- Compound wall.
- Flagging concrete.
- Drain stone.
- Security grills
- Anti termite treatment.
- Rain water harvesting unit
- Kitchen chimney
- Water pump
You need to negotiate to some extend, so here your market survey is going to be handy. Dont reduce the price too much from market rate this will force the contractor to use sub-standard materials. There is always a profit margin which he will make, so keep that in mind, if you eat away his profit margin he will try to balance it out with sub-strandard materials.
Take quotations from multiple contractors and compare the pros & cons. 90% of the decision is based on trust, but keep a legal agreement in hand as well.
Check list of questions for contractor selection.
- Previous work done?
- Any other construction work he is doing in parallel? Will he be too occupied with the other construction. Will he share workforce between construction.
- How much deviation does he expect considering the prices
- How much aware is he about the current market prices
- Does he get aggressive when things dont work out.
- How soon will be get the work done.
- Does he look at the site and actual plan to provide an accurate estimate?
- Does he think at your level? Simple test here is to ask how much would be the basic cost of a sink he will put according to his estimate? Assuming that as baseline assume that the rough estimate he gave will have materials costs in that range. If he is thinking 3K sink and you are thinking of 5K sink then you know that the estimate he has given you is at lower end.
Cost Break up
Its difficult to break up cost for individual items, but considering an average ratio here is a sample breakup
For 2500 sqft built up area at the rate of 1600 Rs / sqft the total cost would be 40 lakhs.
|Contractor Profit Margin
Material Break up
|Cost Range in Lakhs
|2.2 - 2.8
|1.1 - 1.6
|0.8 - 1.1
||Door & Window
|1.6 - 2.2
||Shuttering / Framework
|0.5 - 1.1
||Plumbing & Sanitary
|1.6 - 2.2
|1.1 - 1.6
|0.8 - 1.9
|1.6 - 3.3
||Compound & Gate
|0.2 - 0.8
|0.2 - 0.5
|2.8 - 3.9
|1.6 - 2.8
|0.8 - 1.1
|0.2 - 0.8
|| Water Harvesting
| 19|| Wardrobe|| || |
Labour Break up
|| 500 Rs / Day
|| Mason Helper
| 250 Rs / Day
|| 500 Rs / Day
|| 1 Lakh
| Approval Costs
|| Excavation as per drawing
|| 2 Weeks
|| 2 Weeks
|| Pillars/Columns (up to plinth level)
|| 2 Weeks
|| Soil filling in trenches; compaction till ground level
|| 1 Week
|| Plinth construction
|| 2 Weeks
|| Pillars upto lintel level
|| 2 Weeks
|| 4 Weeks
|| Filling up to lintel level
|| 2 Weeks
|| Soil filling and compaction till plinth level
|| 2 Weeks
|| Roof slab
|| 5 Weeks
|| Brickwork and curing
|| 7 Weeks
|| Ducts for electrical wiring
|| 2 Weeks
|| Frames for doors and windows
|| 1 Week
|| Plastering and curing
|| 3 Weeks
|| Water treatment/heat treatment
|| 1 Week
|| 2 Weeks
|| 4 Weeks
|| Electrical wiring
|| 3 Weeks
|| Water supply, sanitary and plumbing
|| 3 Weeks
|| Doors and windows
|| 3 Weeks
|| 4 Weeks
|| Electricity and drainage connections
|| 2 Weeks
|| Inside furnishing
|| 2 Weeks
Total: 58 Weeks = 13 Months.
With some parallel activities this can be reduced to 8-9 Months.
Stage 9: Apply for loan
If you need a loan then look up a good bank and apply for a home loan. Check their history as to how happy their existing home loan customers are? The shorter the term less interest you pay. Dont look for a low EMI, look for a low interest rate. If the EMI is small you will end up paying towards the loan for a longer duration thus increasing the interest amount that you paid towards your home loan.
Some banks force you to take a insurance policy to cover your home loan. This is not mandatory but usually advised.
The processing fees also varies from bank to bank. Some banks charge 0.5% of the loan amount as processing fee, some bank charge a fixed amount of 10K. This money is not refundable if you dont get you home loan approved so think carefully before applying. Make sure you have all the documents the bank has asked for before applying. Look out for loan mela where a discount is provided.
For a home loan of 30 lakhs at the interest rate of 10.5% and a tenure of 5 years you will end up paying 77% towards principal deduction & 22% towards interest deduction. The EMI will come up to 65K / month.
Its advisable to keep the ratio at 70:30 and not go below. 70% - principal, 30% interest.
Key points to remember:
1. Look for smaller tenure and not lower EMI. The lower the EMI the more money you pay the bank.
2. If you cant get a lower tenure then try to reduce your principal by doing prepayments periodically when you have bulk cash in hand so that the interest component is low. Check with the bank if you can do pre-payment any time and there is no penalty against it.
Use the following link to calculate your home loan ratio: http://www.bankbazaar.com/finance-tools/emi-calculator.html
Question to ask the home loan officer / bank manager wrt to home loans
- Eligibility for home loan?
- What is the interest rate?
- What is the base rate?
- Is it fixed or floating and for what duration. How will the revised interest rates be calculated.
- Documents required?
- Guarantor required and his eligibility?
- How long does it take to release the loan?
- Insurance or add-on packages that might come with the loan.
- Pre-closure penalty.
- Any accident insurance covering fire, earthquake etc.
- Daily reducing balance interest.
BPLR / RPLR vs Base Rate
Document check list.
- Title deed.
- Sale deed.
- Gift deed
- Past 6 month bank statements
- Company id card
- Pan card
- Passport copy
- Address proof - Company HR letter will do.
- Employment letter
- Salary slip for last 3 months signed by employer
- Form16 & IT returns for last 2 years.
- Property tax paid receipts.
- Khata Certificate
- Khata extract
- Latest Encumbrance certificate.
- Past 13 year Encumbrance certificate.
- BBMP approved building plan.
- Estimate of construction signed by registered architect.
- Employment appointment letters and experience/relieve letters for past 5 years.
- Legal valuation charges - 1500 Rs.
- Legal charges - 1500 Rs.
- Processing fee.
Home Loan Disbursement.
Usually the banks ask for a letter from the contractor and then an engineer appointed by the bank visits the site and after 10-12 days the bank release the loan in stages. SBI Bank however asks home loan customers to produce bills for 50% of the loan allotted. This means you will end up paying 14% VAT on all materials purchased. As per them this is an RBI guideline that they follow. No other bank usually asks for bills of material purchase to be produced. Knowing this before you opt of the loan is very important. If its a turn-key project then producing material purchase bills for 50% of loan may be difficult, then you can speak to the branch manager and ask for an exception in your case by providing the agreement between you and the contractor.
Most banks say its mandatory to buy property insurance. I am not a big fan of insurance. I avoided the personal insurance which the bank tried to sell me. However they were adamant on the property insurance and sold me their in house property insurance for the exact amount of the loan. I am not sure what the RBI guideline on this is. The bank didnt take my consent on any forms to issue me thier own in house property insurance. Something about "Insurance is a matter of solicitation" they dont understand. A argument i plan to have with the bank once my home loan is over.
Stage 10: Start construction
The best season to start construction is during the month of April when the annual budget is announced and you know what the new prices are. At the same time the rainy season will do natural curing to all the outer walls.
ACC Home Construction guide - ACC-Dream-House.pdf
TATA Home Construction guide - TATA House Construction Guide.pdf
Seismic Design Philosophy - Seismic Design Philosophy.pdf
Stage 11: Materials selection
Once construction beings you will have to pick various materials be it wood or granite or wall tiles. Here I try to narrow down some of my choices and the reason behind picking them.
1. Water for construction
The approved plan also mentions that drinking water cant be used for construction. However it doesn’t clearly say what is the alternative. There are 2 types of water
1. Potable water - Drinking water.
2. Non - Potable water - Recycled water (
Tertiary treated water )
For construction non-potable water has to be used. However not every layout has dual line for water supply. BWSSB has stopped giving non-domestic water connection for construction which means everyone has to buy water from tankers. It looks bad but is not. You will require water during the initial stages of construction till the super structure is built and for curing. After 4-5 months your water usage will be pretty minimal. Tankers are now providing water at 550 Rs / 6500 Litres. As i have mentioned in the section above when everyone goes for private borewell then they have nothing to gain as they all tap into same water table.
2. Temporary Electricity Connection
Usually the temporary connection is provided for 28 days.
Granite comes in various shades and colors, since its naturally formed finding the right shade is difficult.
Check list for granite buying
- Buy from a good retailer.
- Put water on the unpolished side of the granite to reveal its true colour.
- Lookout for hair line cracks, If there is one chances are they will increase during laying time.
- Look at the side of the granite slabs to see if cracks are present.
- Avoid buying granites that are cracked from the side
- Granites also are categorized into hard or soft stone. Buy hard stones.
- Avoid too much clouds in the stone else there will be no continuity.
- Look out for iron content in granite, they rust or turn yellow over a period of time.
- Avoid granites treated with chemicals to induce artificial colour. All red granites usual undergo this treatment.
- Epoxy resin can be seen on the side of granite slab. Epoxy give granite the gloss.
- Granite comes in 3-4 types of polish.
- Gang saw rates are 140 - 200+ Rs / SqFt.
- 3x11 slabs - 80-90 Rs / SqFt.
- 4x11 slabs - 110-120 Rs / SqFt.
- Some shops use fancy names to bump up the price so watch out.
Places in Bangalore where granite can be purchased are
- Jigni - Found some nice varieties here, stock is continuously moving.
- Sarjapur Road - No good varieties, a bit costly, not much customers seen.
- Bannergatta - Good collection, bit costly, compared to Jigni 5-15 Rs price difference is seen.
- Magadi road - Havent checked out.
| Name || Description |
| Cat eye|| |
| Juprana || |
| Hassan Green|| |
| Himalaya Blue||Has lot of hair line cracks.|
| Raw Silk||Quarry has been closed is what most said.|
| Imperial White|| |
| Kashmir White||Turns yellow|
| Kuppam Green|| |
| Lavendar Blue|| |
| Sira Grey|| |
| Tan Brown|| |
| Tiger Skin|| |
| Multi Red||Induced color|
| Galaxy Black||Ideal for kitchen counters.|
| Steel Grey|| |
| Strawberry pink ||Looked beautiful, turned out to be soft stone with lots of cracks on the side.|
| Royal pink|| |
| Lakha Red||Havent seen anyone use it for flooring.|
| Coffee Brown||Looked good.|
| Viscon white|| |
| Shiva Gold|| |
| Amba white||Turns yellow|
| Blue Pearl||Costly|
| Sadarahalli||Cheapest of the lot.|
Laying charges - 20-25 Rs for Gang saw slab. 15-20 Rs for smaller slabs. 15 Rs for wall tiles. 40-45 Rs for skirting. 55-60 Rs for nosing.
In vitrified range RAK has a nano pix vitrified tiles which is around
120 Rs/Sq.Ft. which has a the marble texture. Johnson tiles has digital
prints which are good. Kajaria has some good options as well.
new approach would be to use a single good looking tile for the entire
house that way you avoid wastage and give the entire house a uniform
look. With this approach the focus of the house shifts to the walls
which you can decorate and highlight.
Window frames and window shutters come in various types of materials.
- Steel - Low cost.
- Aluminium - Not sturdy
- Wood - Costly
- UPVC - Weather proof.
upvc windows are weather proof, finding a frame integrated with grills
was difficult, fennesta provides villa windows which come with grills
but are not sturdy enough to prevent a break in. The usual upvc windows
are fit using glue and the grills go inside or outside this upvc frame.
Casement windows are costly in upvc, sliding windows accumulate dirt in
the slide grooves. You cant get mosquito nets if you go for upvc
casement. All these disadvantages made me sway my vote towards wooden
In wooden windows there are various options
- Burma Teak. 3100 Rs / cft as on Sep 2012
- Ghana Teak. 1900 Rs / cft as on Sep 2012
- Columbia Teak. 1850 Rs / cft as on Sep 2012
- Honne. 1850 Rs / cft as on Sep 2012
- Red Sal. 900-1000 Rs/cft as on Sep 2012
- White Sal. 1000-1200 Rs/cft as on Sep 2012
- Jungle/Hard wood.
teak turned out too expensive and since the outer area is going to be
painted to endure the harsh weather, it was not economical. Burma teak
doesnt deform and the wood grains are visible this is the reason people
go for teak windows. Wood polish is expensive if you want to highlight
the wood texture. Ghana teak has many knots and white in color compared
to burma teak which is brown. From what i heard Ghana teak deforms
slightly compared to Columbia teak, Columbia teak is supposed to be
harder and deforms less. Honne comes under the hard wood category and
doesnt deform. Honne has not grain texture so needs to be painted upon.
Red sal and white sal usually have hairline cracks which can be covered
during polishing. Honne turns yellow when exposed to water so painting
it is mandatory. Some pain the outside and polish the inside of the
frames. Red sal is the most moving wood for people who build rented
The main things to check while selecting wood.
- Are you buying log or cut pieces.
- What will be the wastage
- How can you be sure that the wood is what the timer merchant says it is. (Better take your carpenter or someone experienced)
- Watch out for defective pieces.
- How long has the wood been seasoned.
- Do you want to do artificial seasoning or natural seasoning.
carpenters better go with the ones available at the timer yard, as they
have the machines needed to complete the work and will get the work
done quickly than preparing the frames on site.
Charges of carpenter
- 30 Rs / Sq Ft - Window frames
- 18 Rs / Sq Ft - Doors frames
- Nails extra
- Plaining extra
- 90 Rs / Sq Ft - Door shutter
- 120 Rs / Sq Ft - Main door shutter
- 600 Rs - Flush door fixing
- 80 Rs / Sq Ft - Window shutter plain
- 100 Rs / Sq Ft - Window french shutter
There are artificial seasoning plants near mysore road which get the seasoning done in 1-2 weeks. Havent tried it though.
Wood for wardrobes need to be picked with caution. There are 3 types of boards that can be used for wardrobes
- Plywood - Sheets compressed together
- Block Board - Pieces of wood assembled together and sheet laid on top.
- MDF - Wood dust is compressed and made to a board.
Dont use MDF for wardrobes as its not durable. Plywood is stronger than block board. Block board is difficult to cut and can leave hollow sections if its cut in the wrong place. Some carpenters suggest that block board needs to be used for wardrobe shutters and ply for internal partitions. If the wardrobe shutter is greater than 7' then this is true and one needs to use block board if you use a plywood board for a shutter greater than 7' in length it will bend and deform. Plywood and block board are are manufactured by local brands and well known brands. Carpenters say that there is not much difference between a local brand and a well know brand. The well known brands have a premium cost attached to it.
Block boards in local brand are cheap and plywood in local brand is costly compared to its local block board counter part. The cost difference between them is 10 Rs. If you go for well know brand there the block boards are costly compared to their counter part plywoods.
- Green ply - Commercial - Grade A - 105 Rs
- Green ply - Commercial - Grade B - 85 Rs.
- Green ply - Commercial - Grade C - 74 Rs.
- Green ply block board - Grade B - 95 Rs.
- Green ply block board - Grade C - 88 Rs.
- Pine ply - 56 Rs.
- Alpine ply - 66 Rs.
- Alpine Block board - 56 Rs.
- Kit Ply - 75 Rs.
- Century Ply - 75 Rs.
- Century Ply Block board - 80 Rs.
Plywood boards usually come in 18 mm thickness and block board comes in 19 mm thickness. Although most vendors say both as 19 mm boards.
Laminates for wardrobe come in 4 thickness types
- 0.72 mm - Basic and very thin. - 400 Rs per sheet.
- 0.80 mm - Inner partitions or shutter doors. 500-600 Rs per sheet.
- 1.0 mm - Shutter door laminates. (Better resistance against wrapping) 950 - 1400 Rs per sheet.
- 1.5 mm - Rarely used.
You can opt for brands like silicon, optus, national, merino, greenlam. Its sometimes confusing with so many brands. I have categorized them into these types
- Plain finish
- Textured finish - Attracts dirt.
- Gloss finish - May get dull after 4-5 years. Looks great during the initial years. Most interior designer pick laminates with gloss finish to give the vow look.
Among these finishes you can pick the following colors
- Plain Color
- Digital Prints
Glass for windows can be of 3 types
- Plain Glass - Allows more light into the house.
- Black Glass - 32 Rs/Sq.ft 4mm sheet. Saint Gobain. Gives privacy but makes the room dark during day.
- Tinted Glass - Mirror Finish. 44 Rs/Sq.ft 4 mm sheet. Saint Gobain. Gives privacy but makes the room dark during day.
Hinges & Handles
Hinges for wardrobes are of 2 types
- Butt hinges - Old style
- European Cup Hinges - Spring action. Hettich and Ebco are well known Brands - 0 degree hinges 55-60 Rs per pair. 8 degree hinges - 65 Rs per pair. 16 degree hinges 70 Rs per pair.
Doors for bedroom can be of following types
- Flush doors - Light weight & Cheap. 80 - 90 Rs / Sq.Ft.
- Skin doors - Need to be painted. 100-120 Rs/Sq.Ft. The intersection between the panels is hollow in nature.
- Moulded Doors - The entire door is made of block board and laminate is pressed on top of it to give contours. Resistant against water and can be used in bathroom.
- Laminate Doors - The entire door is made of block board and laminate is stuck on top. Since the type of lamination can vary you will have a wide variety of choice.
- Veener Doors - The entire door is made of block board and venner sheet is stuck on top. Polish needs to be applied to veener sheet. If water falls on the veneer tendency to peel off is more.
When picking a door make sure the inside is block board and not MDF board. MDF board will have less life if exposed to moisture.
If you plan to install security doors here are some of the things to look out for.
- Security doors come with GI sheets on both side and foam/wood padding in between to provide damping effect for noise.
- Ask for GI sheet of thickness 0.8 mm
- The frame can be made in wood or MS sheet. The MS frame will then be filled with concrete and kept to cure for 2-3 days. Appropriate support needs to be provided during curing period to avoid MS frame from bending due to weight of concrete.
- You can get panel laminate on both sides for better looks.
- There are ready made imported steel doors in the market which are priced at around 15,000 - 18,000 Rs. They are imported from china and are priced on the higher side. They original price is around 6-8K. These doors come with multi locking feature which is an added advantage.
- Make sure you check which side the door opens if you buy ready made doors. All doors open and rest against a wall. 90 degree opening is common.
- If you plan to have teak or hardwood doors (solid doors) then you can go with a 2nd safety door made from grills.
Door carving for main door and Pooja room doors depend on the design. The usual rate is around 1100 - 1500 Rs / Rft. If there are more face carvings the cost is on the higher side.
There are 2 types of switches. Modular box
(Metal boxes) and wooden boxes. Wooden are cheap and metal boxes are
preferred. Based on the switch brand you select you need to select the
the modular box. There are various brands in the market.
32-40 Rs per switch is good price range. Legrand has has some high end
switches which have metal plates in the switches, didnt really get an
answer from anyone as to why its better compared to a pure plastic body
Things to look out for in a switch
- Easy operation. (Smooth operation, I usually prefer the ones that dont make a sound when switched on)
- Avoid the led light indicators in the switch. They have a self life of 5-7 years.
- Colour fades away after sometime giving a dull look.
- No sparks when its turned on.
- Check if the company guarantees 1 lakh operations.
of the switch after some years. If you can find replacement after a few
years it will be difficult to replace any broken ones.
Wiring options are many, based on the vendor and the pricing the following is the ranking order.
can be charged via solar panel which reduces electricity bills. There
is a separate type of UPS that needs to be installed and the Solar panel
generates DC power which needs to be converted to AC power prior to
charging the UPS. Better to have a manual switch to turn on UPS when
power cut happens. Ideally I prefer the space under the stairs for these
electrical components. LED lights run out of DC current so can be
directly used with Solar panels. Have separate lines for Heating,
lighting and AC. That way you can tie only the light circuit with the
Always buy electrical products that have 5 star energy efficiency rating.
Calculation the Kwh requirement for your house.
|Type||Qty||Watt||Hours Per Day||Days In Year||KWH|
|Split AC - 1.5 Ton||2||2000||8||100||3200|
6. Safety Lockers
There is more harm than good that comes with a safety locker. If one
decides to put a safety locker in the house they have to make sure not
all the workers know about it. If it becomes a known fact that the house
has a locker burglars tend to think that is something valueable stored.
Doesnt really matter if the locker is empty. So keeping the knowledge
of the lockers existence a secret is a prime concern. Ideally lockers
need to be welded or fixed firmly to a RCC column else it can be
detached and taken away.
Came across lot of digital high end
lockers which are really not that good. The keypads were made of rubber
which will make the numbers disappear after long usage. Swipe cards dont
really work considering human ergonomics. Electronics safes need
battery which is another problem during usage. So the old key enabled
lockers are the best option.
Godrej has a couple of Mechanical Safes - Citadel- L, Ceres- L, Premium Coffer- L
7. Power Backup & UPS
There are 4 options for power generation
- UPS inverters - Silent, increases electricity bills.
- Solar panels tied with UPS inverters. - Cost saving but initial setup is costly.
- Diesel Generators - Noisy and produce smoke. Need to be kept outside the house.
- LPG Generators - Need to be kept outside.
8. Water Purifier
9. Security System & Home automation
- Alarm system
- Home automation - Turning lights on/off, turning water heaters, closing curtains.
alarm system relies on sensors that detect movement and trigger a
hooter alarm and then a call centre calls you confirm if everything is
ok. The call centre option you need to pay yearly subscription which is like 1000 Rs. Make sure the telephone
lines dont get disconnected during a burglary so keeping them high or concealed will always be a good option. There are 5-10 numbers you can provide the call centre in case you are unreachable.
The CCTV monitoring lets you monitor your house, there are options where you can remotely monitor your house as well. Ideally no on puts cameras inside the house and its always put on the outside.
Things to know about security system
- Servicing is important so pick a vendor with good service.
- Provide separate conduits for wiring of sensors, although you can run the wire via electrical conduit its not advisable as it can cause some false alarms. This has to be done in the early stages of construction. If you have not provided conduits for security system then choose wireless sensors, you need to change battery of wireless sensor once in a while.
- Avoid placing a motion sensor facing windows. If someone walks outside the window it might trigger the alarm. Ideal places for motion sensor - Staircase area, living room corners.
- Plan in advance where the security console panel needs to go, ideally under the stairs is better.
- Some vendors provide a panic button which can ideally be placed in old family members room in case of medical emergency.
- CCTV cameras need to be high above so that they cant be stolen or damaged.
- CCTV recording unit needs a tv to display the video. You can direct this to the primary tv in your house or choose to have a smaller lcd dedicated for security unit.
- Since security systems and home automation trend is yet to pick up in India there arent many vendors.
- 90% of exterior doors are heavily reinforced in India, so having a door break sensor is not needed.
- Gas leak detector can be life saving. Sometimes India cooking emits enough smoke to trigger the alarm so plan the placement strategically. Most of the home owners are placing their gas cylinders outside the house and this also helps in avoiding gas leak.
- Home automation costs a ton - 1 lakh and above. Does it really bring it value for that money? May be not. Although its nice to be able to turn lights on/off remotely but how often would one do it?
- Eureka Forbes - Very good sales team, All equipment is manufactured by Honeywell.
- Zicom - With Schneider purchasing zicom there are big plans for India. However couldn't find a sales team.
- You can also hire a third-party consultant and ask him to purchase the products and install it for you. You can also configure your own security system using http://www.ispyconnect.com/ if you are techie enough.
Things to know about dishwasher.
- If you plan to use dishwasher then you need to plan early. Most dishwasher have a height of 34 inches. Most kitchen slabs have a max height of 32 inches so you need to make provision to place you dishwasher.
- You will need to provide a electricity point & drain point.
- Most dishwasher have a heating coil to heat the water so need of a separate hot water line.
- Look for SS inner body and crome finish on the outside.
- Adjustable tray is a must if you need to place cooker or kadai.
- Manual filter is where you need to clean the filter. Auto clean filter are expensive.
- Buy dishwasher than can be run in half load mode.
10. Water Heaters
11. Sanitary & Tiles
There are various brands in sanitary-ware, the plumber usually recommends jaquar taps and hindware for ewc units. Based on survey Jaquar taps seems to be the clear winner.
- Jaquar Sanitryware - Value for money.
- Hindware - Lot of collection. Finish is better. Gloss of product is higher than jaquar.
- Parryware - Finishing was average. Gloss is average.
- Roca - Imported. Expensive.
- American Standard - Imported. Looked good. Highest gloss finish. Sturdy lids compared to others which had a plastic feel.
- Cera - Looked good.
- Toto - Imported. Unique circular flush design. Had the 2 models elongated and circular lids. None of the other brands had them.
- Gohre - Expensive.
- Kholer - Expensive.
Among these value for money and servicing taken into account Jaquar is better. Jaquar provides 7 year warranty on EWC units as well along with taps. Some dealers are not aware of it. When i spoke to Jaquar customer care they informed me that the dealer has to collect the latest warranty certificate which covers EWC units as well under warranty.
Things to look out when buying EWC units.
- Gloss - More gloss costlier the product is.
- Finish on the body - Some low end ceramics have rugged body and you can see / feel the uneveness.
- Warranty on product - Necessary if you run into trouble with the product later on.
- Discount. Jaquar - 15% on MRP is what most shops quote. Hindware was 20% on MRP. 15% discount is on MRP (before VAT). Some retailers give 18% discount on Net (After adding VAT) which makes you feel that you got a bigger discount but in reality you just paid higher price.
- Types of EWC - There are 2 types based on bowl shape. Elongated and Circular. Always go for elongated design. The lid dimension for elongated models will be 11" x 8" and circular models will be 10" x 7". Jaquar Kubix lid dimension is 12" x 8".
- Water consumption.
- Anti bacteria lid - Some lids are a plastic feel to it, other feel heavy and durable. Checkout the different bettween a Jaquar Kubix lid vs Jaquar Oval lid.
- Flush type - Circular flush where the water drains in a circular fashion, normal flush where water gushes straight down.
- Avoid EWC units with ceramic tanks. They have a small inlet valve and it takes too long to fill up the tank and you need to wait 3-4 mins for the second flush. Either go for concealed cisterns, direct flush from pipes or plastic external mounted flush tanks.
- Avoid direct flush from pipes even though it looks nice and you dont need a flush tank the problem arises when there is trouble with the flush valve and you cant turnoff the valve. This will empty out your entire water tank till the issue is fixed.
- Dry and wet area separations are catching up in Indian bathrooms. However do keep in mind that the EWC units belong in the wet area section and not the dry area section due the hand fosset. In western countries the area around EWC units is carpeted as there is no hand fosset concept.
There are various brands that sell Tiles for kitchen and bathroom walls. Things to look out when buying wall tiles
- Wall tiles dont get subjected to weight and stress, the only that that one needs to look out for is fading of color over a period of time. Pick colors and keep in mind that it might fade about 5-10% in a good brand and 20-25% in an average brand.
- Wall tiles come 2 types - Matt finish, gloss finish. Matt is hard to clean, gloss tiles will loose gloss over a period of 5-10 years.
- Avoid picking brands that charge big for highlighter. Its absolutely day light robbery when some brands charge 10x more for highlighter. There are lot of brands that sell highlighter and wall tiles at same price you just need to search.
- Wall tiles run the risk of cracking while transporting and laying. During this period extra caution has to be taken.
- Wall tiles come in various sizes, bigger the tile less number of joins.
- Do keep some quantity as backup in case some tiles crack after a few years. It might be hard to find the exact match then.
- Bathroom floor tiles usually come in ceramic body didnt find any vitrified body tiles for bathroom. Anti - skid tiles is a must in bathrooms.
- Car parking area tiles usually come in vitrified body.
Shower panels work well only in an enclosure. Putting a shower panel in a open bathroom is not advised. Shower panels need a pressure booster so plan accordingly. Some people find the experience of using a shower panel as getting hit with a hose pipe (uncomfortable), a shower panel can be considered as a poor mans jacuzzi. Jaquar glass enclosures are what most showrooms have on display haven't seen other brands in that segment. Go for frame less glass partitions as they look nice compared to aluminum framed partitions. Avoid railing as the grooves can accumulate dirt quickly.
Rain showers are nice and fun to use. However do keep in mind that you will end up with a head bath every time you use it whether you like it or not unless you use a shower cap.
Hot tubs come in many shapes and have air jets and water jets. You need to make sure you provide the extra 15 amp connection for the hot tub pump and a separate water inlet and water outlet. The hot tub are usually placed on finished flooring and covered with panels on the front and side. You can choose to enclose it via brick but then if there is any maintenance then you will have to demolish the brick work. So keep a open-able panel at-least on one side.
Hot tub brands are
Sinks come in various types
- Under the counter sinks - Should be combined with a granite counter top. Easy to clean and maintain.
- Over the counter sinks - Usually seen in hotels.
- Sinks with full pedestal - Old style.
- Sinks with half pedestal - Looks cleaner.
12. Water Pump
Water pumps for open well /sump can be of 2 types
- Submersible - 90% use submersible. 1HP is most preferred.
- Mono block.
They come in single phase and 3 phase. For domestic single phase motor is enough. Things to look out for when buying pump
- If submersible look out for SS body and shaft to avoid rusting.
- Look for 5 Star energy efficiency rating.
- Servicing and warranty offered.
- Self priming if mono block.
- Proper sealing to avoid oil leakage.
Brands of water pumps
- Grundfos - Costly, long lasting, ideally used for borewell.
- Crompton and greaves - 5 star rating.
- Sharp / Ventura - 5 star rating. SS body.
- Vgaurd - SS body.
- Usha pumps
There are 2 types of solar water heater systems.
| ETC || FPC|
|Evacuated Tube Collector||Flat Plate Collector|
|Easy to replace||Costly to Replace |
|Directionality of sunlight is not that important||Directionality of sunlight is important|
|Works in cold weather conditions. Performs well even during cloudy, foggy and rainy days. ||Doesn't work in cold weather conditions.|
|Due to the smoothness of the glass tube, the surface is not easily susceptible to scaling which happens due to hard water. Scaling is less as pipe diameter is 35+mm||Scaling chokes the system as pipe diameter is 12mm.|
|Due to high vacuum of our vacuum tubes and the thick PUF insulation of the water tank, the water stays hot through the night||Loss of heat possibility|
|ETC based solar water heaters do not need significant maintenance. The collector tubes may need annual cleaning to remove accumulated scale and sediment deposits at the bottom. This is cheap in terms of maintenance as you may need to replace a tube if its tube broken other than replacing the full shell(flat collector).||Expensive to replace panel.|
|Life span 10-15 years.||Life span 15-20 years.|
|The glass used to make these tubes is not ordinary glass but very strong boro-silicate glass, which enables the tubes to resist hail stones as big as 25 mm (1 inch) diameter size.|
|Small in dimension||Large in dimension.|
|15 evacuated glass tubes for 100 LPD system||No. of collectors for 9 or 10 fins for 100 LPD system|
|Integrated design eliminates interconnecting pipes ||More connections that might cause heat loss.|
Backup electric boosters which are activated only if the hot water drops below your specified temperature. Insulation:
PUF Insulation (Poly Urethane Foam) Insulation between inner and outer tanks is better than glass wool insulation as glass wool can accumulate moisture. PUF keeps the water hot and heat doesnt escape easily. PUF Insulation used in the system. This is generally called as R-Value. It starts from R4.0 to R24.Pipe:
The distance between solar water heater and tap point should be less, else you will get cold water that is there in the pipe before you start getting hot water. Some plumbers link the solar hot water line to the electric storage water heater and this means that each time you need to empty out the cold water in the water heater before you start getting hot water. Instead of this you can use a diverter valve which you will need to operate to get hot water directly from the solar water heater. You can also use a instant electric water heater but then the limit of hot water is only 3-5 litres if the solar water heater is not working.Types:
Pressurised systems are also available if you are using a pressure pump & heat exchanger model are also available.Size:
3-4 people. 100-150 ltrs. By thumb rule, one solar panel supports up to 100 ltrs.Tank:
Tank is made of Stainless steel or Copper or Plastic. SS is common. tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is good. Steel is of 2 types.
- SS304L - Low carbon steel, slightly better and reduces corrosion.
- SS304 - Standard.
- SS316L - Used for hardwater. Not readily available.
Other things to look out for are - Vinyl based external cover for the Tank, it would be double good in order to maintain the Water temperature in variable environmental conditions for longer duration. Two variants with colorful powder coated and glossy stainless steel finish outer tank cladding. Indium activated Sacrificial anode to protect tank from bimetallic corrosion
Connecting tubes between collector and tank shall be hydraulically tested tubes. Rubber tubes are OK but durability is less. Cost difference between these two varieties of tubes is about 500 rupees, the hydraulic ones costing higher.Brands:
- Tata BP Solar
- Solarizer Plus - Only FPC models.
- Racold Solar
- Gilma haute
- Anu Solar
14. Washing machine
Most washing machines sold these days are front loading, since they are efficient in washing and water wastage is less. There are only few brands to consider for front loading washing machines.
Things to consider while buying a washing machine
- Drum capacity - Based on the chart below 8 kg should be enough for 3-4 people.
- Most Indians are accustomed to wash their clothes daily. Western countries laundry is a weekly job. The larger the drum size, the more clothes you can wash at once. It can
work out cheaper, in terms of how much water and electricity are used,
to do a couple of big washes a week, rather than doing a little wash
every day. On the other hand, small wash loads can be quicker and better
suited to particular types of fabric. Better to go with a 8 Kg drum and a weekly wash cycle.
- Diamond drum - Is where the drum has grooves and bumps that can help in washing. Samsung boasts of diamond drum. Most other washing machine too have some bumps in the drum.
- Direct drive - No belt from motor to drum. Energy efficient and less noise. LG boasts of this feature. The unique LG Direct Drive Motor ensures Minimal Noise & Vibration, More durability & Energy Saving.
- Ceramic heating unit - Scaling doesnt happen. Samsung has ceramic heating unit.
- Warranty - LG provides 10 year warranty on motor. Samsung provides 5 years. Bosch provides 2 years.
- Load sensing - Automatically adjust washing based on load of clothes. A built in load sensor automatically detects the laundry load and a microprocessor optimizes washing conditions such as ideal water level and washing time. You can set the Wash Program at Fuzzy and it would sense the appropriate washing method required. LG and Bosch both have this feature.
- Motor RPM - 1200 is sufficient for most washing cycles. Bosch has 1200 rpm. LG goes upto 1400 rpm.
- Chrome door - Provides good looks.
- 6 Motion Technology with 6 different types of motions- Scrubbing, Rolling, Stepping, Swing,Tumbling and Filtration, combines the force of water and the rhythm of motion to cater to all kinds of washing needs. Depending on the type of cloth & dirt level, clothes are washed changing the motions. It also provides you less damaged, less tangled and cleaner clothes. A feature in LG.
- After the spin cycle the tub tumbles,this does not allow the clothes to stick to the walls of the tub.The clothes due to the tumbling action fall on the, avoiding the formation of wrinkles on the clothes. A feature in LG.
- After sales service varies from region to region, so dont avoid a product if its after sales is not good in one region. Look for a better product.
15. Overhead Water Tank & Sump
Sump tank can be done in 3 ways
- Brick wall / Cement block wall. - Most common practice. Mesh is provided to make sure there are no cracks that develop during plastering. Thickness of wall must be 9" min.
- RCC - Costly and long lasting.
- Burying an existing plastic tank - Easy to construct, load on surface should be less else it can cave in.
Things to know about sump tank.
- To decide on the sump tank capacity the calculation
is 100 - 150 liters (4-5 buckets of water per person) of water per
person per day. So considering 4 people in the house 4 x 100 = 400
liters per day * 7 days a week * 4 weeks a month = 11,200 Liters. So once the sump tank is filled it can sustain your water needs for a month. You can also reduce the number of weeks if you feel 1 months supply is too much. Considering the water shortage that will arise in the future planning for larger sump tank is always better.
- Some people put a partition wall in the sump tank to separate out rented house water and self owned house water. Partition wall in sump tank also contribute a bit in reducing the pressure that develops on the walls. 1000 liters of water weighs 1 ton. So 11,000 liters of water is 11 tonnes which is huge weight on the sump tank walls, corners are usually rounded, mesh is provided to avoid cracks from developing.1 cubic feet of water that is 1x1x1 = 28 liters of water.
- Keep the sump tank closer to the road so that tankers can refill in case of emergency.
- User water proofing compound to avoid water leakage.
Overhead water tanks come in 4 types.
- FDA quality plastic - Best, but doesnt come in large size. 750 liters is max. Food grade plastic approved by US food and drug administration body.
- Triple layer - Good.
- Double Layer - Little better than ISI grade.
- Reno quality / ISI - Basic tank.
Things to know about over head tank:
- FDA quality tanks have food grade plastic but don't
come in large sizes. Sintex is quite popular, Kaveri is also well known
brand. Ganga brand offers 20 years warranty but since its new to the
market didn't want to take risk so opted for Kaveri Triple layer tank
- To decide on the over head tank capacity the calculation
is 100 - 150 liters (4-5 buckets of water per person) of water per
person per day. So considering 4 people in the house 4 x 100 = 400
liters per day * 5 days capacity = 2000 liter capacity tank. The
overhead tank needs to empty out in short durations to avoid stagnant of
overhead tank needs to empty out in short durations to avoid stagnant of
- Triple layer qualities of sintex tanks are durable and strong. It is the first grade with ISI mark.
- The benefits of triple layer which are not found in double layer are:-
- A white layer which is in between the two layer acts as a protection to
the water which does not allow quick algae production.
- It also keeps the water free from PVC odour.
- The first outer layer acts a sun protection; hence this quality is more durable than double layer.
16. Doors & Wardrobes
Front doors are usually teak doors. Steel door are now available in various designs that replicate the wood finish. They come with single lock with multiple bolt systems. There arent many buyers so the choices is less and retailers usually try to sell the once they have in stock.
Wardrobe can be done with the following materials
- Plywood - Costly but elegant. Risk of termites and powdering.
- Andhra Slab - Cheap, Can be covered with Veneer sheets to give the extra elegant look.
- Kadpa slab / Granite slab - Difficult to create vertical partitions, drawers are difficult in this type.
Here is a sample layout for wardrobe design for a 3 door wardrobe.
C - Hanger section
D - Drawer section
L - Loft section
Things to know about wardrobe designs.
- The drawer has to always be below 3' height else you cant see what is inside it.
- You can dedicate a single cupboard for hangers instead of having hanger section in each cupboard. That way you get more space.
- The loft wardrobe doors need to align with the main wardrobe doors to give a even look.
- For kitchens & bathroom wardrobes pick marine plywood.
15. Hob / Cook-top & Chimney
Here are some of the brands
- Elica - Only hob with brass burner.
Things to look out when buying a cooktop or a hob.
- Built in Hobs come in
Glass (tempered) and Stainless Steel Finish. There two typologies in Built in Hobs,one with European Burners
and other MFC Brass burners.MFC Brass Burner Built in Hobs are designed
to suit Indian cooking. Indian cooking is very peculiar where the
temperature of oil is very important to make a perfect Tadka.To make a
perfect Roti / Phulka/ Paratha requires the right temperature and right
flame. MFC burners are highly efficient
and hence save energy. European burners dont reach high temperatures and thus slow in heating. Dont buy hob with European burner unless you like to spend more time standing in front of the hob.
- Hobs with FFD (Flame Failure Device ) add
safety. If the flame is off then the gas gets cut off.
- Hobs have electric start knob so make sure you provide a socket under the counter.
- Hobs require granite to be cut and this means you can change models once you buy it.
- If you buy a hob ensure its sealed correctly.
- Some cook-tops also have switches on the side so you can place them like built-in hobs and they lie low to the counter giving the look and feel of a hob.
- Hobs need more maintenance than a Cook-top.
- Cook-top also come with auto start (battery).
Things to look out when buying a chimney
- The longer the distance to your duct outlet,
higher is the suction capacity required in the chimney. Another
influential factor would be the number of bends in the duct. For example for upto 5-8 feet of ducting length and
a maximum of 2 bends, a chimney with a suction capacity of 500-700 m3/h
should suffice. Similarly if your duct is more than 12 feet, or
if you have more number of bends(maximum 4) then you definitely require a
chimney with suction capacity of 1000-1200 m3/h. For any chimney to function effectively, it is good to plan minimum number of bends.
- Look for a Baffle filter
- Auto start models.
- Less noise
- Size - 60 cms and 90 cms.
- Auto cleaning model.
16. Kitchen Sink & Counter
There are 2 options for a kitchen counter
- Quartz - Used in western countries. Very few suppliers.
- Granite - 35mm to 40 mm.
Granite is the preferred and most used option. Scratch free, durable, stain free. However there are only 2 colors (Black, Hassan Green) that are available in the 35mm thickness range. Cost around 170 - 190 Rs / Sq.Ft.
If you dont like the color and want to choose a different color you can try combining 2 20mm granite slab. Half round on the edge should hide the presence of 2 different slabs.
There are 4 options for Kitchen Sinks
- Quartz composite sink - Life is less than granite composite. Crushed Quartz mixed with acrylic resin.
- Granite composite sink - Durable and has good looks. 80% crushed granite mixed with acrylic resin.
- Stainless Steel - Salt gets accumulated on it over a period of time. It tends to get dull. Also makes a lot of noise when water falls on it due to the thin nature of the sheet metal. If you are planning of modular kitchen then better to go with stainless steel.
- Granite sink - Made completely from granite has a semi gloss finish and is very heavy (300-400 kg) and needs brick work to support it. Cost: 1400 Rs/Sq.Ft. Standard sizes: 2'x2' and 2'6" x 2'.
- Always pick single bowl model. There are add on accessories that you can buy to wash vegetable and fruits.
- Most Indians dont wash vessels in a sink full of soapy water, most vessels are washed under running water so the overflow points in some sinks is of little use.
- Carysil. - Granite composite sink. Cost: 5800Rs for 2'x1'6", 8900 Rs for 2'6"x1'6" Single bowl model.
Caution: Avoid buying granite sinks or counter from "Karnataka Granites" located on Bannergatta road situated right next to a mosque. They sold me a defective sink and had a nightmare of a time and cost me hell lot of money to get it fixed on my own.
Plasma, LED and LCD are the most common. Plasma tv have better picture quality but are costly and harder to maintain. LED and LCD differ based on the source of light used in the panel. LED lamps last longer compared to LCD lamps. Some of the brands are
- Samsung - Best in class. Reads most formats of videos. Faster processing.
- Sony - The worst software ever on a LED Tv. Recently bought a NX650 Series and was shocked to find that it doesnt read my 1TB hard disk which my 3 year old LG LCD does. The browser on sony tv doesnt open gmail and crashes saying no memory. Yes the picture quality may be good but what use is a tv if you cant use any of the other features.
Things to know about buying a TV
- If you plan to wall mount a TV then provide a 5" pipe within the wall during construction to conceal all the cables. You will get a cleaner view when there are no cables dangling.
- If you plan to have home theater then provide conduits accordingly.
- Provision a conduit for cable wire.
Interior walls on will under go 3 coats of putty, sanding with sandpaper and 1 coat primer. The 1 coat primer is applied so that the paint absorption is less else the walls will soak up more paint and it will take more paint to get the true colour on the walls. To view how your rooms will look like after color is applied use this online tool to paint your walls. You need to take a photo upload and start colouring. There is an IPad app that also can let you paint your walls digitally.
Asian paints is the market leader in paints. Its very hard to find a dealer outlet who is selling dulux or any other brand in Bangalore.
Paint of wall can be done in the following ways
- Emulsion Paint - Not water proof.
- Premium Emulsion - Water proof.
- Royal Emulsion - Water proof and better texture. Teflon coating that gives it long life. Expensive.
You can opt for metallic royal play which cost around 70-75 Rs/Sq.Ft and non-metallic paints that cost around 50-55 Rs/Sq.ft including labour and material. Normal paints cost around 30-35 Rs/Sq.Ft including labour and material.
Enamel paint comes in 2 types
- Glossy finish
- Satin finish.
Few video tutorials on Painting Process
Eco Friendly House - Design Ideas
- Use recyclable materials steel and upvc avoid wood.
- Use solar water heaters.
- Off-Grid tied solar inverters - These can reduce your electricity bill a lot. In Off-Grid you use the power generated internally works out cheaper, in Grid you sell the power to BESCOM costly but has return on investment. http://www.sunpvenergy.com/solar-pv-faq. Charge your UPS with solar panel so that it reduces your electricity bill.
- Rain water harvesting.
- Eco friendly paints. Water based instead of oil based, Low Volatile Organic Content (VOC)
- Use tinted glass that reflect heat which reduce the air condition costs.
- Use LED lights that last longer.
- Use a single water heater for the entire house, you will have to wait for a few mins to take a bath but you will save on electricity.
- Use AC is smaller room and avoid it in bigger bedrooms.
- Provision electricity charging points for electric cars.
Useful web links
Floor Plans 40 x60
This ground floor plan has a single enclosed garage. Not many opt for it these days as open car parking has become a norm in Bangalore. Unless you have a BMW and you want to ensure its safety you dont need a closed garage.
This is first floor plan with an open terrace.
This floor plan shows 2 car parallel parking with separation between living and dining. 2 bedroom in ground floor and a open kitchen.
The 3D elevation done in google sketch looks like this.
The plans shown above are all 3D visualisations, the floor plan looks more like this