Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Free Consultation,11 April,2013

Clearance space and Building rules


Hi Sir,

I am writing from Trivandrum, planning to build a 3 floor house in my 3.75cent.the private road is covering 2 side of the plot and it is ending in 20meter, can you please tell how much setback i have to give in both side adjacent to road and also the other 2 side..


Jay has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
In our residential area, there is a commercial building that is currently has ongoing construction, in the neighboring plot of our family home.
This has been a nuisance as debris and dust from the constructions fall into our compound. Despite having spoken to the site engineer the workers are not careful. Our compound wall and wall fencing has been damaged and we have concrete debris damaging our building A/C unit.
Is there any legal action that we can take to ensure, they pay for damages or repair damages?


Hi sir,
I have a 10 cent land which is a farm land. For about 15 to 20 years there has been no farming activity and have few coconut trees. There is a tar road in front of the land. The surrounding land were converted to plots and mine is the only unfilled land left. Please guide me how i can convert it to a plot. Recently heard that govt had put an order against land filling etc. Your guidance is very much appreciated



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":
Dear Sir,
I am planning to do extension work of my existing house which was built 20 years back. At that time there was no building rules. As you mentioned above my house has a main road frontage and it is just 2 m away from my sit out. Because of modification I want to modify my existing sit out by keeping the 2 m as it is and widen to the existing car porch which lies on the same line of my sit out with continue roof slab.
Now what i want to do is to extent the sit out up to the car porch which is already having slab. All i just want to build a foundation in the car porch and a pillar. And of course I want to demolish the existing sunshade and arch in the same.
Please tell me whether I could get permission for the extension. I heard that 10% modification we can do at site which is not mentioned in the approved drawing..
Your prompt response will be highly appreciated


My replies

1.It is better to contact concerned official of your local authority with specific details of your plot like Survey No and location details to know applicable clearance required

2.You can complain in writing to your local authority office about disturbance by nearby construction,if they are not willing to avoid disturbance to you while constructing.As a neighbour you may have to adjust with some disturbance as you also may require their co operation in future for your construction work

3.You will have to contact your local authority office with specific details of your plot.They will guide you on this

4.There is no such 10% modification/deviation from approved plan possible.Before construction you normally will have to obtain approval of building plan in areas where prior approval of plan is required.Every where in Kerala,you will have to construct as per building rules.Deviations from approved plan which are within building rules provisions are possible and will have to be regularised with a Revised plan or completion plan duly signed by a Licensed Engineer/Architect

Building Materials and Construction methods


I intend to start construction of my residential house in few months time.I am from West Bengal .My house has being designed by a qualified architect.This house will be of RCC columns and beams.In this part of country everybody construct walls with clay bricks .There is hardly any user for concrete hollow bricks.With lot of difficulty I have a found a manufacturer who makes concrete hollow bricks.When I proposed my architect with the proposal of using these type of bricks , he didn't object but was very passive in his approving my idea.
Since I don't have any way to seek the help or feedback in this part of country, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this bricks .
Please help me with the answers of following query.2.) The mason seems to suggest , I will need to cut the bricks where the length and height will not match the brick size.If they are cut, will not the strength of the bricks reduce. Similarly I will need to cut the bricks on the face to make concealed wiring possible.Also plumbing may require making holes across the bricks.
3.) Is there any chances of water seepage possible through these bricks.
I hope you will enlighten me with your knowledge .I will be eagerly waiting for your reply


My name is Libin and I am a Mech. Engineer working in UAE. Now I am planning to build a two story home in Muvattupuzha. After checking my land the engineer advised me to conduct a soil test. In the test report they recommended me single bulb pile.

My land was filled with soil 12 years before at a height of around 3 meter. To meet the existing road level I filled an additional height of around 2.5 meter. After talking to one of the engineer in my company he designed a raft type foundation. Attached you can find the detailed plan with column details,Soil test report and the foundation we designed. When I calculated the pile foundation cost I found out that It is too expensive. One of my friend told that sand Piling will be an option you can adopt.

Please advice me on this issue.



White space has left a new comment on your post "Teak wood-use in Kerala house construction":
What about the readymade wooden doors available in the market. Are they comparable with teak in terms of strength & durability


I have got the plan of my House ,elevation and submissions drawings done by a local architect in Trivandrum and I am waiting for Engineering estimate which will be prepared by their approved contractors. Can you provide your services to review the engineering estimate and advice if I should go ahead to establish a Building contract based on the estimate. Also I would like you to review the Building contact and caution me for inclusions and exclusions.

Please accept my apologies for not approaching you for the plan. The only reason for that was there was a mutual reference in between.

Now I want to take a consultation before signing the contract.



Dear Thomas Sir,

I am Constructing my Dream Home in Trivandrum. Basement is Finished. Total Sq.ft. is 1938.

its a Contemporary Style, Single Store, 3 bed room house. Now i am confusing to select which type of Wood is better for Doors  & Windows (what is your opinion for selection of "Violet wood"? is there any problem to select "Plavu" ? what is the Difference between "Anjily" & "Plavu"? I dont have any Own Tree of "Plavu & Anjily".

I am Very Thankful to your Valuable Reply.

Ajith Nair.

My Replies

1.There is nothing wrong with solid blocks.Every building material used can be good or bad depending upon how the manufacturing is done.If manufacturing is carried out by adhering to quality standards as per desired technical specifications,building material will be of good quality.While designing and constructing a house try to consult same Architect/Engineer from beginning to end instead of conducting a survey with any one you come across and following  “free advices” given by any body.

2.Here again even though the person who builds the house is a qualified Engineer(May not be familiar with construction field) just like any one without proper educational back ground he goes on collecting bits of information from any one he come across.

Building design and construction should not be done by conducting such public opinion surveys.First of all most important part of house construction is to get appropriate design for the house from a qualified and experienced professional.Just by passing a course in an Engineering college that too with out dated syllabus without any reference to current technology used,one do not become an Engineering professional.At best the person get familiar with some vocabulary and introduction to some topics.Architect/Engineer experienced in building design and construction studies every day through out his career facing new problems and solving it.Wealth of such experience will have to be used by you for design and construction of only house which you may construct.

I have come across several cases where the client seems to think that being the person who spends money Architect should simply draw plan as he says and agree to whatever he says.In fact such people treat a professional Architect as a mere technician to do whatever he says.You can always express your views /desires for the house to the designer.But after understanding your needs and budget constraints if any a professional Architect will guide you on all aspects of building design and construction from beginning to end.

Lots of people think that Plan of the house is not important and any one who can draw in Auto Cad is good enough to draw plan as he says.Less fees for plan makes it more attractive! By refusing to pay few thousands to a good professional you are in fact wasting lakhs of your money and by the time you understand defects of the plan,structure of the building will be completed leaving with a house about which you can never feel proud of.A professional architect can visualise every bit of your completed house during plan stage itself.Of course minor changes can take place during execution.But you will not be able to understand importance of plan of the house till structure of house is completed.So even though money is yours,allow a professional to decide on how the house has to be designed and have continuous guidance from him through out construction instead of trying to get public opinion on every aspect of house design and construction

3.Like any other building material,you will have to be careful about Door and window frames and wood used for construction.There are very few commercial agencies who give importance to quality.In fact it is our own mind set/nature which result in low quality product/services.Every body would like to cheat other person and make profit.Even a buyer wants cheapest rate/cost and simple talk of quality is enough.For better quality product/services better price will have to be paid.When you insists on getting low price/rates quality will have to suffer even though supplier will talk of his non existing quality just to please you.

4.Once you have got the design and Estimate done by some body else,if we review it,we may ask for total revision of plan.Engineering Estimate obtained by you may not meet with our design or standards.Unless you are willing to pay for revised design/Estimate there is no point in wasting our time on it as we cannot do design or estimate free of charges just because you have paid for it to some other agency

Construction contract terms are some thing which you enter with some body else as per agreement reached between you.There is no standard terms of contract acceptable to all.In fact if you have 100 contractors ,method of construction followed by each will be different.Quality standards will be different and hence there is no pint in comparing rates and terms of one contractor with the other.As the building owner try to get lowest rate,contractor also tries to get maximum profit from whatever payment he gets from you.Quality and proper Engineering are only for lip service of the contractor.Contractor will have to compromise on quality to ensure his profit as building owner will not be willing to compensate for him for continuous cost increase during construction and to provide better quality construction with professional design/drawings and guidance

5.Local wood like Anjali and Plavu are good for use for door window frames and Mahogany can be used for shutters

Labour charges and labour issues


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation #Kerala House Construction":
I am building a house of around 3000 sq ft in Calicut. I bought all the tiles for the house (80cm X 80cm). Could you please provide me a quote on how much will be the usual rate per square feet to lay the tiles. As I am away from India, I don't know much about the present wage.
Thanks in anticipation

My reply

There is no such standard rate as each tile laying person will be doing it in his own method of doing.Each area has got differing demand and supply of workers doing a particular type of work.If you are abroad it will be better to have an experienced professional to guide you on construction from beginning to end of construction

Construction cost


Soumya has left a new comment on your post "Queries and replies-House design,construction ,rem...":
I wants to add one simple attached bedroom to my house and i have 1 lakh rupees. Is it possible.


Dear Mr. Thomas,

Quote your Lump-sum price for the Constriction of the building/home as per the reference of attached drawings. Your Quote have to cover all the area of buildings which is mentioned in the drawings and exclude all wood works. (All Doors & Windows only).

1. Material Qualifications: As per the standard. (Looking for your suitable Proposal)

2. Scope of Work: Construct entire home without wood work.

Quote your best price as per the attachment and revert as soon as possible. If you have any more further clarifications feel free to contact me.



Hello Sir,

I have seen your blog.. The info you provide is extremely useful.

I would like to know about the cost of boundary wall construction cost in Kerala for 30cent land. Only three sides needs to be constructed,one side wall is existing.

Is id advisable to give on contract basis or on daily wages.

I would like to get your valuable reply on my house plan attached.

Please note the kannimoola portion is vacant as per plan. The room near kannimoola is guest bedroom. On first floor,top of this guest bedroom ,is a toilet of the first floor bedroom.

Pls advice, can i keep the southwest portion vacant as it is ?



Soja has left a new comment on your post "Flooring for house-options":
I am planning build a house with maximum low budget. I need your suggestion on it. Following are my specifications.
1. Cheap 2. Good looking 3. Cooling effect 4. Less maintenance
Please suggest me

My replies

1.Without preparing a plan of the proposed house and deciding on what all material to be used,there is no way of simply guessing cost.If some one says so,it is not correct.

2.Here again he is asking for a quote.Building construction involves hundreds of materials and  different type of labour.Without a site study and detailed discussions on material labour specifications discussions even Engineering Estimate cannot be prepared.As different contractors will follow different standards how can you simply collect quote  from different persons and compare? House construction will have to be given more serious thought than buying a product from market.

3.Boundary wall construction cost can be worked out only after visiting site and taking measurements.Cents is only area of land and do not give information on length width and height required for foundation and wall above

It is better to have your Master bed room at South West corner of the house.Engaging laborers on contract basis or daily wages depends upon specific case.

4.First of all,you have to get professional design for the house and then follow professional advice on construction.There is no other way to get what you want

Building Design


Dear Thomas,
I am happy to see your free consultation program and appreciate your mentality for a proper guidance.

In fact, I am in plan for building a house. Please find the house plan attachments.

Kindly advise me on the positioning of rooms/kitchens are okay based on Vasthu.

It will be grateful to have your valuable guidance.

Kindly find my plan attachments for your reference.

My reply

There is not much possible to do by commenting on a plan.May be direct discussion with the owner of house and the person who prepared the drawing can help if you really need my advice.Otherwise allow us to redesign the plan if we find it not up to the mark

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