• Sudheendra NK

First Time Dream Home Construction

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

When we construct our home THE First Time, sometimes it is OUR ONLY HOME - and that is a Dream Home, so how do we go about making this dream come true.

Here are the key phases, just to get better insights:

Approval

Although it may sound like a blackbox, it is valuable to understand it at least to some extent. Approval is like getting a formal nod from the Govt before you construct the home. There are many rules that govern this approval, some of them too minute to understand but the crucial things are

  1. Documents being in order - Land Ownership, Parent Documents, Title Deed, Revenue Records, Field Measurement Drawing, Property Tax papers being up to date and lastly having No Encumberance on the Property, etc.

  2. Broad set of Rules - such as Floor Space Index (how much can you build), size of Road, the Zone in which the Property is located, Frontage, Number of Dwelling Units, Neighbourhood, any additional purpose for the building, etc.

  3. Specific Set of Rules - Site Measurements, Setback to be provided, Car Parking, Height of the building, Number of Floors, etc.

  4. Personal Requirements - Family members count, how many Kitchens, how many Rooms, Seniors / Children to be accounted for, Special Amenities required - Library, Music Room, Audio-Visual Experience Theatre, Swimming Pool, etc.

  5. Personal Constraints & Preferences - Religious sentiments, Social Compliance, Vastu Compliance, etc.

Never knew that these things go into the Approval itself, isn't it!

Really speaking, Approval is the boundary for Architecture.

Architecture

Given the boundary, how can Architecture play its part? How can we design an Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Home? How can we contribute positively to our environment? (Read more...) How can we make the home child-friendly and at the same time be senior citizens accessible? How can we make some part of the home be open to the public, some part ok for relatives & friends, and finally some part be private?

At this stage, still, the look and feel of the building has not emerged, but it is important to go through the process if you need a Dream Home. Patience pays better!

Structure

Once the Architecture gets defined a Structure evolves, it is no more just a 2D plan and this is the crux of the actual house or the building. Getting the Structure right is most essential; everything else can be altered with ease, but not the Structure.

Also, don't compromise on the Structure, the life of the building really depends on the Structure. It makes one of those old British buildings on the Beach Promenade still stand erect, or it can break up to be one of those sad-looking apartments which have exhausted their life in 20-30-40 years!

The Structure also brings out most of the cost components of the construction, and this will help in budgeting and planning.

Once the Structure starts taking shape, the Approval plan is ready for submission too (by this time the full set of papers should have been ready).

There are other things inside the Structure which is difficult for a layman to notice and understand and therefore can easily be overridden by an experienced contractor - therefore don't give in easily. Take time to understand the structural components - soil capability, size of footing, columns, plinth beams, floor beams, lintels, roof beams, slabs, cantilevers, projections & recessions. Someone who can explain this to you can really make a big difference to your understanding of what goes into the Dream Home. Don't forget to explicitly ask for Waterproofing - it can act as a good raincoat protection and enhance the life of the building.

If you get it right so far, your Approval will also be through and you can actually start the Ground Breaking and proceed with Construction.

Finishes

Switches, Bathroom Fittings, Tiling, Painting, Railings, Pooja Room, Wardrobe, Dream Kitchen - it is very hard to imagine initially all that you want inside your Dream Home, some could be real and some could be a Wish list but you might want a placeholder for it and nailing that down is important.

Take your time to plan & replan this - a 3D Model walkthrough will be helpful. Have the Agility to modify and remodify this but before the actual execution. This phase can go in parallel to construction, but moderate it to take shape before the completion of the structure.

Despite that, during execution, you may still want to change some things, or the intended materials may not be available or price changes or circumstances could affect your budgeting & planning. The good news is that Finishes can be modified as many times as you want (of course with cost implications) as long as you got the Structure right.

Participate in the Finishes as much as possible, that is when you will enjoy the Dream Home when it is finally done! After all, you have your say in it.

Ready to Move in

Lastly, you are ready to move in. It is great, it is a fantastic experience - but along with it comes another responsibility to take care of a good asset. Get to know about that also a little more.

Put a checklist of items and tick them before you move in.

Watch out & Stay Alert for the initial few months if there are any unexpected changes you see in the building, without hesitation call for help if you need it.

Have a Ready Reckoner / User Manual of what to do when inside the new house.

And finally, be prepared to spend on the Maintenance of the House although it could be a very small percentage.

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