Space functionality – future of urban living

Small room with large space

There is an increasing space crisis going on across the world. The per sq. ft. cost of land in all major cities all around the world is at an all-time high and doesn’t seem to decrease given how less space is left to erect a new home. Buying a plot has become almost impossible and now there are flats and multi storied buildings that provide accommodation to all the families everywhere. In cities like Hong Kong, Mumbai, New York, Paris, there’s no space left to accommodate people lavishly and generally families squeeze into a 400-500 sq. ft. apartment comprising of 3-4 members. Below mentioned is the amount of land you can buy for 1 million dollars in the top 10 most expensive cities of this world to buy property –

  • Monaco – 15 sq. meters
  • Hong Kong – 20 sq. meters
  • London – 25 sq. meters
  • Singapore – 33 sq. meters
  • Geneva – 35 sq. meters
  • New York – 40 sq. meters
  • Sydney – 41 sq. meters
  • Paris – 42 sq. meters
  • Moscow – 43 sq. meters
  • Shanghai – 46 sq. meters

If you notice the maximum amount of land in the top 10 most expensive cities of the world that you can afford with 1 million dollars is 46 sq meters, which is equivalent to close to 500 sq. feet. This area is so small that it can inhabit a single bedroom flat for 2-3 people maximum. Now when the land prices are as high as this, what is it that is the solution? The solution is effective utilisation. The biggest struggle of any architect or interior designer today is to use the space available to them effectively because while the space available is decreasing, demands of residents to have the comforts adjustable in a larger home is increasing and thus it’s a challenge for them to utilise the space available such that they don’t compromise in comfort and luxury while they don’t make the home look clobbered and clumsy.

This quest to achieve effective utilisation of smaller spaces architects are coming up with very innovative and ultra-modern techniques to fit in a 1000 sq. ft. apartment in a 500 sq. ft. space. The techniques could involve a lot of modification, from converting the walls into movable ones, though not so easily moved that the house looks unstable, to making storage space within walls, thus eliminating the need for separate storage space. Small bed roomThere could be beds hidden in walls, walk in closets attached to other parts of the house and bath tub fit under a book case with a shower cubicle right behind a study table, with the study table being detachable to work as a dining space for 5 if required. The innovations that can happen are endless and while most of them are non-feasible, architects and interior designers are trying their level best to come up with an idea that would revolutionise effect utilisation of space for comfortable and luxurious homes.

What are the added benefits of having such designs? With a space of how much ever area, if we try to include rooms, it gets tedious to maintain. Space functionality is a major leap into the future of urban living. Doing daily chores in rooms of sizes 200-300 sq. ft. is tougher than having multiple accessible rooms in that one bed room. With the help of movable walls, we could create multiple rooms in one. For e.g. with the help of movable walls running on tracks, we can develop the design of rooms within a room. While a bedroom traditionally used to be comprised of just a bed and may be a closet space for storage of various items of use, it will now have a bathroom, a working table and a dining table all within one small space of say 60-70 sq. ft., with blinders separating this with other spaces. This will decrease our work of moving from room to room doing our chores or in need of anything and will be not only space friendly but also would satisfy ergonomics.

Such designs have been developed in Hong Kong and Iran and look as if they are the future of urban living. In Iran, there is a house of 7 floors with rooms that move out away from the house on and above the street at the push of a button. This helps the rooms get more sunlight, improve the use of space which is generally ignored – the open space above the grounds in front of the house and provides with extra terrace space when in use on that floor. Each floor has an area like the bedroom, the office and the living room which are movable outside and hence don’t take up much space inside the house as separate rooms.

The other design which is very brilliant and is taking the architectural world by the storm is the one made in Hong Kong. Gary Chang, an architect has transformed the way we look at small spaces by inculcating 24 rooms in one. How, you ask? Well, he has effectively put movable walls and blinders to either have rooms in walls or behind walls or in between walls and blinders to separate one room from another. His bed is in built in the wall, has a TV which is right in front of the bed. The blinders separate the bedroom from the kitchen with tremendous storage space, or move it away and you will find a well-built bath tub with constant water supply. The wall right beside the kitchen has a washing and drying area with drawers to keep stacks of clean clothes in them. There’s a shower cubicle, a walk in closet and a toilet with tons of storage area fitting in that 360 s. ft. area.

With the decreasing amount of space and increasing cost to buy that limited area, it’s becoming more and more important to create such homes. It’s very encouraging and exhilarating to see such designs taking centre stage in architecture and architects and interior designers constantly battling it out to show who used the space more effectively. If we divert more of our time and energy in developing what Gary has done with such little amount of space, we can do wonders and create a new era of urban living.

Build a home where the heart of India resides.

Heart of India - Delhi

India, a land of varied cultures, varied languages and varied emotions, gives you an exciting opportunity to live wherever you want and experience something different each time to move to a different place even in the same state. There’s a very beautiful saying about homes – “Home is where the heart is.” This saying is befitting and explains a lot of situations you are put in which are uncomfortable and unnerving for anyone. Travelling alone to an unknown place, shifting to a new town or city can bring about that pang of anxiety, given you are away from the comforts of your home and most importantly you are away from the place where you are loved the most. A home is built out of love, for those you love to provide them with all sorts of comfort and care you can impart. A home is no more the mere explanation of a mere shelter to sustain life, rather it has become the definition of comfort and luxury now and most importantly it has become the place you come back to after going around the world.

Delhi – the capital of India, is a city which you cannot help but fall in love with. Delhi, being a capital has an amalgamation of all the cultures in India, and by all the cultures, I do literally mean all the cultures. Delhi, being the capital of a nation this huge attracts a lot of crowd from all across the county in search of either working opportunities, for people who have political aims and for people who wish to just be a part of this multi-cultural society. You can find Telugus, Tamils, Keralites, Biharis, Assamese, Kashmiris, Gujaratis among others. This city is filled with people who wear their heart of their sleeves and can make you feel this world is a happy place after all.

Living in Delhi, i.e. building a home on your plot, creating it from scratch in one of the localities in Delhi is an opportunity that shouldn’t go amiss. Delhi, New Delhi or Dilli is a city with a heart and it’s the heart of India. Since the times of the Mughals, when Delhi was the capital of their large territories, Delhi has been the hub of “Bharat” for power, trade and culture. There’s so much culture hidden in the modernities of Delhi that you can’t walk by one statue without wondering it’s historical importance among others. Those small tombs made by Sher Shah Suri on the Sher Shah Suri Marg (known as the Grand Trunk Road) to notify travellers that they were on the right path, the tombs of the greatest rulers of India and the world – the Mughals which are stupendous works of architecture, the food which is again an amalgamation of innate Delhi-ness and the rest of the nation, the celebrations of every major and minor festival, the culture of giving, is what makes Delhi a city like none other.

The city of Delhi, as I see it, is a city of misfits, people misfit for jobs, misfit for the life they are living, cultures misfit with each other, lives, entwined but misfit, coming together to create something beautiful and magical. The people who live there are not only those who have lived there for years, but it also has a population which is largely comprised of refugees. These refugees fled to India during partition. These refugees who had been living on the other side of the border for generations, some of whom had properties and other riches had to leave everything behind and start their new lives as misfits in a fresh new land. Some did well for themselves, while some had to struggle. But that’s the beauty of this city, it takes care of everybody who wishes to be a part of it. And you get to be a part of this magic, by creating a home in the heart of this country, a heart which pumps life into the soul of this nation through its food, its love and its passion. When you live in this city, you become a source of this life support for this nation. The moment you buy a home, you have now marked your territory on the heart of this nation, and you can’t help but be a part of this misfit world.

The tall Qutub Minar on a sunny day, the magnificent Red Fort on a blistering Republic Day and Hauz Khaas Village on a wintery afternoon.Food in Delhi The “chole kulche” from the roadside vendor or a splendid dinner at The Taj, a friends’ day out in Connaught place or a family time in Worlds of Wonder, Delhi has an offer to let you experience everything not as a tourist but as an intricate part of the system when you live there, on its soil, owning a piece of its land. Whether it be Malviya Nagar, Nehru place, Karol bagh, or Rohini, Delhi has the same enigma to offer.

Delhi is not your regular city where people just get on with their lives and don’t care about the world around them, rather Delhi is a city which is tightly knit with bonds holding all the people together. The perks of owning a home in Delhi can never be compared to renting a place. You don’t get to create a home with the help of Delhi’s soul rather you live in a body which was never yours to fit your soul in. A house you own in Delhi can help you understand the different dimensions of the world through experiencing cultures, people, behaviours and festivals. A house in Delhi can make you finally feel a piece of ground to call yours in a world which is unstable and ever changing. Delhi can give you a home within its space if you are willing to call it your city and be a part of it. A house you own in Delhi would be a home in the heart of your nation. And as it is said, a home is where the heart is, and what if your home was in the heart of things?

6 Best ways to make your new home pet friendly.

Pet Friendly house

Our dogs, cats and other pets like hamsters and fish are more than just animals to us. They are our pets. We live with them, take care of them like our own babies and make it sure they have fun. But in the process of taking care of them, we tend to overlook the fact that a home unfriendly to pets is hazardous to their health and consecutively to their fun. We try to accommodate them in the setup that we have created for ourselves and our family and ignore the fact that that setup is not friendly to them as we know that drier is not a place to call your resting spot, but pets don’t understand that. The saddening part is even pet owners don’t realise the importance of a pet friendly setup.

What you need to do while building a new home or while thinking of adding a pet to your family is to think about the specific needs of a pet. How a cat cant be left alone with reachable glasses on table tops. How dogs cant be dashing out of the house to find themselves on a high traffic street and specially to think about the things that affect pets but not humans. With the further pints, you’ll be able to create a home for your pet and your family to live in perfect synchronisation, not worrying much.

1.  Think on all fours

When you get down to the thinking process of your pet, you get to have a point of view of things which can be hazardous to your fluffy friend. Look for stuff which can cause choking or strangulation to pets. Keep the garbage away from your pet’s reach, keep food items like chocolate, grapes and any other item which is hazardous to him health like antifreeze, pesticides, etc away from their reach buy putting them in latched cabinets. Keep your toilet down as you wouldn’t want your cat or dog fishing down the drainage to attract bacteria and viruses which can be fatal to their lives and the lives of the residents. The medications for humans should be kept out of reach of pets as they do not have the same effects on animals and cause major discomforts to them. Knowing about the things that can poison your pet beforehand can help you and your pet avoid conditions which involve regular visits to the Vet.

2.  Dedicate a space 

Pets like cats and dogs are very curious about open and closed spaces like the driers, loose cabinets, and other dangerous places. It’s important to provide them with their own defined space which will then minimise your worry about them taking up refuge in other uninhabitable areas. A defined area with a cozy bed, a fixed feeding bowl and harmless toys can distract your pups and kittens away from other locations in your house. You could go ahead and include a washing area for them in your bathroom with enclosures and a drainage system. You could provide a cat litter bathroom and something similar for your dog but away from feeding areas. An entry and exit door from your mud room to your house can help your pup wander out in an enclosed area without the scare of cars. A pet fountain and sturdy toys can always add charm for your pet to access water and fun time without much trouble.

3.  Flooring and fabrics to suit your pet and you 

Carpet in a house of pets is a nightmare for residents. Carpet is a retainer of dust and, in this case, pet fur. The fuzzy hair of your pets get attached to the carpet and thus can create a lot of trouble for you to remove them. Flooring for dogsTo stay clear of such troubles you can use the stylish fabrics of easy care leather and ultra-suede. These fabrics are easily wiped clean and don’t require as much maintenance as carpet. However if you wish to keep carpet, wall to wall, make sure the carpet is in the same shade as your pet’s fur to avoid the easy identification of your pet’s hair on the carpet lying around. Make sure that you are vacuuming your carpet at least twice a week with special vacuum cleaners which make it sure that the fuzzy fur of pets are extracted from your carpet and your house.

4.  Pet washing and cleaning 

Grooming your pet is a tough task, tedious and time taking. But the moment you take it in your hands, rather than going to the pros, you will save money which can be invested further in better grooming and cleaning of your pet and your home respectively. Bathing the petBrushing your furry pet before and after washing them can help prevent hair clogging the drainage during washing and the left over hair post washing to hamper your carpet. If the flooring and fabric isn’t pet friendly, stain removal is something that you’ll have to learn as and when they come. For such stains, you’ll need to monitor your pets and be ready with the best ways to remove them for your pets to not catch a habit of the same. Along with these, you will need to keep a track of flees and ticks that your pets might carry and hence it is suggested to use shampoo and other cleaning products to keep your pet and your home clean and healthy and most importantly inhabitable.

5.  Yards and outside playing areas 

If your pets are used to going in the open, whether it be your yard or a park outside your home, you will have to worry more than just flea and tick. Your yards need to be built keeping in mind your dog can escape and easily move on to the road. You will need to install fences and add structures. Apart from building your yard escape proof, you will also need to take care of the kind of flora you have provided and if any of the plants growing there could be poisonous to your pet. The APSCA keeps an extensive database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Make sure that in order to make it a more environment friendly playing area for your pet, you are not accidentally killing him.

6. Feeding and nourishing 

While trying to save up on pet food, we tend to buy in bulk. This bulk amount of food can be a little hard to safeguard from contamination and also from the direct reach of your pet. This can be achieved by providing a storage area with a latched door. These latched doors are hard to swing and are therefore, out of reach of your pets. While it’s a common practice to store food in large garbage cans in your garage, overtime the food gets contaminated due to being exposed to high temperatures and the plastic of the container disturbing the nutritional value of the food stored. It’s suggested to have a separate storage for your pet’s food and to be served with a clean scoop and in clean bowls.
A home for pets is safe only when you are aware of your pet and what enriches them and what harms them. Stop thinking of your pets as animals and disposable, rather as a part of your home and how it is important to make home worth habitable for them as well.

5 ways to make your new house ideally ventilated.

Are you planning to build a new home for you and your family? Are you planning to provide all comforts to your family in your home with a living room with a lavish sofa and a study that keeps you glued to your desk? A home however has more factors to look at than just comfort and luxury; ventilation being high on the priority list. A home could be filled with luxury items to fulfil your comfort needs and could provide you technology to help you with your work at home, but a good ventilation helps you multiply the comfort levels and ensure good air quality for you and your family.

Ventilation is more important in the modern homes being built today, than the houses erected in the earlier centuries. The homes created before weren’t perfect works of architecture, as in the material used in building up the walls and roofs were such that they left minor cracks and crevices which helped the home breathe in and breathe out. The material used then like, mud, grains of sand, different types of soil, were porous and thus helped your house maintain the process of ventilation. This was a natural way of providing ventilation in your house. But for this, there was a need for a gentle breeze and as we moved forward in time, our materials became sturdier and the breathing space for walls decreased exponentially. The walls that are now erected are erected with a need to provide a solid structure, not ventilation for homes. And this how the need of ventilation arose. It’s a basic necessity while building a home to have proper ventilation or your home would be no different than a gas chamber with the temperatures soaring ever so much every day.

Ventilation in homes is becoming a very important point of study for architects as homes are being built on every piece of barren land and hence, its important to provide homes with the proper ways of ventilation to exemplify the comfort levels. Following are the common practices that one can use to improve ventilation in their homes –
Traditional ventilation method.

This is the most traditional way of providing ventilation for homes all across the globe. Here there are no mechanical devices utilised and ventilation is purely based on traditional ways of providing cracks and crevices for the home to breathe. This is common because it doesn’t require any extra effort by either the architects or by the residents to either spend more or tweak the design of the home. This however is a traditional way to ventilate a home which relies largely on a gentle breeze blowing outside or a significant difference in temperature between the both sides of the walls. The reason being, with the afore mentioned conditions, a pressure difference is created to circulate the air and create ventilation. But, for this ventilation method to work, the walls need to have natural cracks and openings which are impossible to achieve with modern materials and building techniques. Today the walls and the roofs are so built, as to not allow any external factor to hinder the lives inside hence no ventilation is a no-go for modern times.

Natural ventilation

Natural ventilation is the most common mode of ventilation in modern homes, where not a lot of money is spent and the design is more important. Here, the ventilation is carried out through a lot of sunlit windows provided in strategic locations, so as to help regulate exhaust and supply of air. In this technique, the sun coming through the windows help heat the air inside the house, which then gets lighter, rises up and cooler air from the outside or other places rush in to take its place. This hot air has an outlet and the cool air as an inlet, through which it can gush in to take the place of hot air, thus providing very crisp ventilation with strong circulation of air. But again, on a dry and humid day, this type of ventilation is futile as it is dependent on a breeze blowing outside and a difference in temperature between the two sides of the windows.

Drain only ventilation

This type of ventilation is an exhaust only ventilation in which mechanical devices like an exhaust fan is stationed in rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms which are the sources of foul air and hence leaving the home with more space to fit in fresh air which can be circulated through windows. This type of ventilation is effective in a way to remove the air which can harm the atmosphere in a home and help in creating more space for fresh air. This is most effective in kitchens, above your cooking area to extract the smell and the fumes rising from the food being cooked. It’s also effective in bathrooms to not let the moisture settle down on the walls, the roof and floor, thus not allowing bacteria and fungi a chance to grow and contaminate the surrounding. However it gets ineffective with no powerful supply of air against the mechanical exhaust system. This system is again effective if there’s a breeze blowing through the windows to replenish the air being extracted.

Inlet only ventilation

This type of ventilation is the exact opposite of the drain only only ventilation method. This method helps the fresh air from outside to gush. There is no mechanical extraction method to drain out the air inside the house, but that is not a big issue as with fresh air coming in, the surrounding air inside the home can be extracted through open windows or cavities. However, generally people don’t open windows all around the year and are only comfortable to do so in the summers. This limits the effectiveness of this mode of ventilation and can cause the moisture laden air to be infused in the walls which can create a lot of problems.

Balance ventilation

This is the perfect mode of ventilation, if the residents are ready to shell out a little money. In this mode of ventilation, there are exhaust and supply fans situated at strategic locations to regulate the incoming of fresh air from the outer surroundings and extract the stale and moist air from the atmosphere inside the house. This is a balance mode of ventilation. The extraction fans are situated in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom while the inlet fans are situated in most lived areas like the living room and the bedrooms. This helps in creating a balance of the inlet and outlet of air and drives the ventilation of a house most effectively.

A well ventilated house is no less than a haven as the surroundings inside always remain fresh and healthy and the family breathes easy. All the comforts of a home are worthless if the ventilation is ineffective and when you live in that same bout of stale and moisture laden air from kitchens and bathrooms. With the use of balanced ventilation or other mechanical modes of ventilation, we can assure regulated fresh air inflow in our homes. So, let’s keep our homes well ventilated and our families healthy.

Why Homes need professional foundations while construction?

Almost every fortnight  media claims to have shortage of construction talent in India. Catchy headlines and exaggerated statistical numbers mislead to the assumption that projects under construction are dormant because of lack of skilled labour in this field.Although there are plenty of skilled bricklayers, lighting & flooring professionals and carpenters around, locating and choosing the best ones work with is the main problem. So, why the whole myth on shortage of construction professionals then?

In an expert’s opinion, the skilled personnel are already here. In fact, many have left the industry because of the penny-pinched  payouts by commercial contractors (a.k.a the lalas)  and house-builders (a.k.a so called top builder companies). The country’s central hub, Delhi NCR has been suffering such shortcomings. It has its ups and downs however the reason behind cannot be tagged onto shortage in the talent pool. It is the aching gap between these organisations’ ethics towards it employees.

This gap can be dodged by working with a professional construction organisation that are not just transparent to their customers but also to their construction team. Most of the builders work with contract labour and civil engineers, which in a professional organisation will not be cheated and hence will never leave their task incomplete. Many a times, unions and movements add roadblocks to this talent connect with the right team of builders.  Many, including skilled bricklayers, carpenters, roofers, plasterers, plumbers, heating engineers and electricians, have been looking for better pay. They seek for a stable and steady work expectations. Therefore, working with a  professional regardless if its an organisation or an individual is coercive towards their delivery and agreements and would accommodate better talent.

Simply hire the right partner with an integrated offering:

Hire a builder which provides  an integrated offering across multiple fields such as engineering, design, architecture, planning, compliance, etc.  This form of a structured offering can be hard to find. However, some research can take one long way into a better home building journey. A professional organisation usually do not subcontract to other professionals rather have an in-house team that step into their roles with magnifying glasses, they transform a very personal journey to become a delivery oriented professional mechanism. While other continue subcontracting, the work to different professional teams which creates a lot of problem in scheduling and maintaining basic communication & collaboration among  them. This adds a lot of variables to the equation of home building which with time turn into bottlenecks disturbing the whole timeline.  On the other hand, if a professional organisation is opted for they have all inclusive team which brings about a divine synergy into the work. Eventually the process between the partner and home maker becomes extremely smooth & homes get constructed as well as delivered  on time. The mechanism will involve compliance in a step wise layout, where land, property, material certifications and approvals will be handled extensively. Ingrain standardisation of various approvals will be in the pipeline throughout the home making journey. Hence the home or plot owner will never have to fall in any legal issues in context to their home. Finally, the client receives a complete hassle free experience in its true form.

The key advice here is to not to be put off by media scaremongering instead one must to make the right choice while finding a partner to construct a home on the plot. Pursue your dream home building, and wherever possible employ skilled labour on a firm fixed price. Work against escalations, against any delay in the paper work as well as delivery. It is as simple as connecting with our experts available. Tell us what you think and share your experiences by commenting below. If you think you are ready for the skilled building partners then you could find us here.

Is your new house same as your dream house?

In a world full of procrastination and delays, a little effort could go a long way in terms of saving your dream home. It has become a bad habit of letting things go and compromise when it comes to home building. Why does one let go of fancy bath areas? Why does one avoid conveying out of the box and creative installations to their constructing partners? Somewhere, along the path of home building, we have already given up on the expectations of receiving a dream home. We have already set our minds to receive the new place a few years after the promised possession date. We have already budgeted the extra interest we have to pay for our construction loans due to the delay in construction.

It has become very hard to trust builders because of the present conditions in which people get their houses. Those houses are generally badly constructed, have seeping walls, wardrobes falling apart and what not. One might decide to not compromise and end up doing so eventually.

 

There are broadly two reasons:

 

First, potential home makers do not trust their building partners due to the experience stories of delays, being cheated, etc. shared by their friends and family. Friends and family moulds perceptions about everything and hence it becomes extremely difficult for them to depend on unprofessional builders and contractors.

Second, they also compromise on budgets because their builders and partners escalate total cost as and when the house begins to get constructed.Eventually homeowners are never economically prepared for the extravagant bills they receive post handover.

Before beginning such a nerve wracking journey there are a few things to remember, these will help the process result in a home that fits your needs and adhere to the time within which possession is carried through. viz:

 

  1. One must get the basics of the home making in the 21st century to avoid the hassles and being cheated ( Get some  help  here and here)
  2. One must equip themselves with information about the available market opportunities to build a new house. They must choose between the kind of construction collaborations possible. For instance, contractors, professional builders, individual consultants, etc. One must research on the organisations that are doing well and are having great customer testimonials. They must interact will all options available in the market and finally choose the ones they feel are reliable.
  3. One must spot the right kind of partner, preferably more acquainted to delivering than margin making robots. There are too many scheming construction helpers available in the market, so in an expert’s opinion one should process all legal agreements before transactions and check  all certifications that their official home making partners have. Their work should be backed by standardized by laws. Hence, it is more advantageous to work with professional organisations who have everything streamlined with all necessary approvals.
  4. Familiarize one selves with the by-laws followed in plot construction work so that once the home is completed or ready to be inhabited, any sort of violation does not lead to breaking the house walls all over. ( Read more on the bylaws  here)

Once these points are looked into every potential home builder can gear up and would never have to let go of  their expectations from their home. If there are any queries related to home building, our experts are available to talk or you can leave them in the comments below.

Happy home building.

 

How can you save yourself from being a victim of delayed home building process

How many times have you read in the newspaper about people waiting endlessly for the contractor or architect to complete building their homes? How many people do you personally know who were misled by the contractors regarding the correct date of delivery of their homes? If you follow the independent home building industry, even distantly, then you would know that delay in the home building process is one of the most notorious diseases the industry is infested with.

People have almost become comfortable with the fact that delay by the contractors is a universal phenomenon and is bound to happen and there is nothing they can do about. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The field of civil engineering has been constantly evolving with each passing day, with state of the art technology & machinery supporting the processes involved in construction. At the same time if you take into account that project management too, as a practice, has leaped out of the old fashioned “pen and paper” approach and landed into the computers as simple, easy to use software then suddenly it becomes hard to fathom the fact that people still have to deal with the problems of delayed home building process.

If you minutely monitor any home construction process, the problem will boil down to the easy approach the contractors or architects take towards these projects. These contractors don’t care about the hard earned money which people invest in building their homes or the fact that they will still be paying the rent of their rented home till the time their new home is being built. Most of the times the delay in the the home construction projects is not caused due to any technical difficulties but rather due to general management problems such as slow speed of decision making, poor alliances & vendor relations, delay in third party consultation, unavailability of experienced labour, poor productivity of workers, improper communication and bad project management & scheduling efforts.

You can save yourself from the seemingly never ending wait of getting the keys to your newly built home by keeping in mind the following points while choosing the contractor or architect to build your new home with:

  • Ask your contractor/architect to sign an agreement: It’s always beneficial to do a background check on the contractor/architect. Check for the time taken by them to deliver their past projects. It’s even better to talk to their past clients. Ask the contractor if they are willing to sign an agreement regarding the due date of the delivery of the house. You can ask for compensation from the contractor if the possession of the home is delayed after the stipulated date.
  • Meet with the project management team: It will be better if the contractor has a proper project management system and a team in place. This will minimize the chances of improper project management efforts from the contractor’s side. Meet with the project management team and get an idea about how they manage the home construction timelines, whether they have a software in place to do so or do they follow the old school approach of an experienced professional overlooking the whole process.  
  • Hire a contractor/architect which provides you an integrated offering: Its always better to hire a contractor or architect which provides you an integrated offering across multiple fields such as engineering, design, architecture, planning, compliance, etc. It’s can be hard to find a contractor or architect like this as they usually like to subcontract most of such work to other professionals rather than having an in-house team, or worse, don’t take professional help at all. Sub-contracting the work to different professional teams creates a lot of problem in scheduling and maintaining proper communication & collaboration between them. It adds a lot of variables to the equation of home building which with time turn into bottlenecks disturbing the whole timeline.  On the other hand, if a contractor has an all inclusive team it brings about a divine synergy where the work is smooth & on time and the client receives a complete hassle free experience in its true form.
  • Hire a contractor/architect which handles government approvals: Believe it or not, but getting all the relevant approvals from the government and complete proper documentation, in itself, can be a real time consuming task which can delay your home building process if you have to do it yourself. It’s always better if your contractor can do this for you. This will save your much coveted personal time and your home building process can start on time.

We sincerely hope that following these points which save you from being the victims of the horrendous ordeal of waiting to shift to your newly built home of your dreams. We know that no list is perfect and all inclusive. If you have any points which you want to add to these then you can post those in the comments below, if we like them we will add them to the list. You can also share your own experiences or of those you know who have gone through or are going through similar problems.

5 phases of home building process and the emotions associated with them

Building a home for themselves is one of the most complex and important tasks that a person undertakes in his lifetime. In fact, all throughout the world, especially in India, a person is not considered to be successful till the time he has a home of his own. Some people like to take the seemingly easy route towards this aim, by buying a flat. This route can be termed as easy but at the same time provides limited possibilities with respect to the amount of customizability and personality infusion that can be done. People who are more adventurous by nature and like to see things exactly how they want it, choose the path of building their own home. Building your own home gives you a lot of freedom, having to start practically from scratch, you can do as much research as you want, get customized floor plan made to suit your requirements, get you own façade designed to show your personality, get the interiors done to show your style and taste in things, and then you can drill deep down into the details of all of these aspects till the time you don’t see a home about which you have always dreamed of.

The whole journey of building a home is usually a very emotionally charged time for any family. The rush of emotions can be felt on both the positive and negative side of the spectrum. Whether the emotions will be dominantly positive or negative is more or less dependent on the performance of the builder.

Let’s dive deep down and understand how the emotions change with each phase of the home building process:

 

  • Finding a builder: This phase is marked by a lot of anxiety regarding how to choose the correct building partner to build your home with. In the current times when people are getting more aware through internet, newspapers and other sources regarding prevalent wrong-doings in the industry choosing a right builder can be tough on your emotions. People slowly develop trust issues and start treating the builders with scepticism and rightly so. Try to find a builder who can complete your home on time, who is transparent, who keeps quality of work above everything else, gives you the best value for your money and to sum it all provides you a complete hassle free experience, so that your anxiety doesn’t continue with you throughout your home building journey.
  • Signing of Contract: After you’ve chosen your builder, comes the time to sign the contract and this is the time when the emotion of apprehension runs high. You start to revisit all the steps you have taken till now, do a double check on them to see if you’ve missed out on any point. To calm your fidgetiness, you might call your close relatives and discuss your decisions with them. To try and get a second opinion you would want to visit other builders at the last moment just to be sure. All these things are very understandable because it’s a very hard decision to trust someone else with your hard earned money, when you can’t even confidently visualize how the end result is going to be. As a solution to this you should choose your builder who discusses with you in minute details of how your future home is going to look like. Choose a builder who spends time with you to understand your needs, taste and lifestyle and then recommends the best of the options to you. Choose a builder who goes in lengths to visually show you all of those recommendations so that you are ever so sure regarding the future look of your home.
  • Construction of home: This is perhaps the most intensive phase of the home building timeline both for the builder and for the family. While the builder will be busy in making sure that every process is adhering to a timeline, proper communication is being maintained between different vendors, material is arriving on time, etc. (considering your builder is good), you will have your own set of anxieties during this time like whether the builder is doing a good job or not, whether he is using the correct brand of material which was promised, whether the structure will be strong or not and to sum it all whether or not your new home will even closely resemble the home from your dreams.
  • Interiors & Finishing: This is the phase when your under construction house starts its transition into your dream home. Also, this is the phase when people are the most uneasy and can’t stop themselves in getting involved with each and every step of the process. This phase is generally marked by excitement and anticipation regarding how life would be in the new home. People start to imagine where all the stuff will fit in and start dreaming about their future in the home. But if the builder is not doing the work as per the expectations then the feelings suddenly take a turn downwards. People start monitoring the process very closely, stress creeps in the family and people start to struggle managing their work life and at the same time monitoring the home closely. At this phase of the home building process it’s almost impossible to do anything about it, so you should always try and settle for a builder who provides you with the flexibility of an easy exit from the whole process at any time so that you can choose to stop if you don’t feel comfortable in continuing further with your builder.  
  • Handover of keys: This is the time when the sense of accomplishment kicks in. After all of the efforts you would have put in, after all site visits for monitoring the work, after all those sleepless nights of anticipation of whether your hard earned money is being used properly or not, comes the time when you can bear the fruits of all the hard work and stress. This is the time for grihapravesh and to show off your new house to the world, to meet the new neighbours and other rounds of festivities. But still you don’t generally get to see such feelings during the process of handover of the keys, the people are usually marginally satisfied, tired with a sigh of relief because hardly any builder delivers the completed home on time. It’s always better to choose a builder who promises on a fixed date of delivery of your new home and is willing to sign an agreement for the same so that you are on the safer side.

If you liked the article, then don’t forget to put in your valuable feedback in the comments section below. Also, please feel free to share your own experiences or the experiences of someone you know.

4 Important Things to keep in mind while Building Your New Home

“Homes are built to live in and not look at!”– Francis Bacon

In a globalized world, the obsession with novelty and pompous showcasing has its disadvantages hovering over life. One of such disadvantages has taken over the home making sector. Home building has come far from its crux of happy living and harmonious family union. People have forgotten the core value building that happens at home. Children discover who they are when they see elder’s pursuing their hobbies. They learn from their families about values that shape them and their tomorrow. The pomp and show lifestyle especially in metropolitan cities has driven many children to be nothing but a show off. After all, “Everything begins at Home”.

This in many ways is primal to the way a home is structured. How will a yoga enthusiast practice yoga in a two bedroom apartment with no room for a mat? How would there exist a family time when the living room is not the center of a home? How will there be grandpa teaching chess when there is no zone for exercising the brain?? How will there be jam rehearsals when music becomes noise for everyone? Homes need to accommodate people and personify them. It needs to provide for the family.

‘Rooms must suggest their use without a name’- Louis Kahn.

Similarly, homes should talk more about its inhabitants on the first look. The houses in the cities look transitional and does not personify the living families. They feel like stacked cardboard boxes which show signs of in-habitation but no personification.  Let’s reinstate its core functions of being a home and not a house made of walls.

 

4 important things to keep in mind while building your new home:

  1. A home is the epicenter of family existence. It might be extravagant and pompous like the urban neighbour societies however it must retain its multi-zone space where every individual still enjoys being themselves and practice their multiple moods, talents, ideas in one place.
  2. The space should still reflect warmth and vibrancy without compromising on amenities and niche tastes. It should have structural inclusions for sound, lighting, multi-purpose space, open green areas,etc.
  3. It should be a space that the future generations sense a belonging and the instinctive need to sustain their varied needs in the same offering zones.
  4. Homes can have false ceilings, grandeur installations but should not compromise on the basics of being safe, strong and great quality. It should be built with strength and materials that have supremacy.

A family experiences a home after long tiring office hours, school, business fronts and what not hence having some time in an open green lounge with a hot cup of coffee is just an example of the possibilities that personalized home can provide. A space where family nights, parties, indoor cricket with the cousins, movie marathons, dance practice, gardening, guitar practice; all of it can happen under one roof. It can be made more convenient with contemporary architectural design. Taking help from professional builders who can support and execute one’s needs elaborately. Creating customized 3D designs on softwares and tweaking interior, exteriors and materials; Choosing the kind of tiles to the kind of curtains everything is made simple when worked with the right partners.

Crumbling walls, seepage patches in a luxurious space are unfortunately found often in homes. Compromising on great quality of materials to make the house for some fancy showpiece installed at the entrance should be put to an end. An aesthetic and artistic value has become a necessity for the culture of consumption, but importance of homes being strong, safe and personalised should not be ignored.

Make your empty plots alive and resonate with your touch. Make a home and not just another lifeless house. You could connect with our experts here or just leave your comments below. We hope our message to all the home builders out there helps bring the meaning in a home back.

Happy home building.