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10 Things kept in mind during construction.

With different cities differ the real estate scenario and their rulebooks. Depending upon the area, the respective building bye-laws, development control regulations, permissible FSI, ground coverage and other common jargons with city-specific standards should all be taken into consideration before you decide a house construction. Also, the recent changes or amendments in the real estate bills and acts, any updates or allowances made in this respect must be carefully noted to avoid any inconvenience, unanticipated costs or delay in sanction of plan and to ensure maximum transparency.

1. Appointing a reputable developer, a reliable contractor and efficient architect for construction of your house is of utmost importance which will determine construction from the scratch to the finishing touches. One should select a building project plan for bungalow or row house with the help of a good architect who has made successful projects of the same. If you have never been involved in overseeing the construction of a house and are new to act or supervise, hire a building contractor to supervise you and the building of your new home for a much smaller fee than their nominal fee. You may ask your friends or relatives for a reputed builder who has a good experience in the construction business and carefully employ the one whose name is repeatedly suggested by a few.

2. Compliance of Vaastu & Feng Shui factors in designing of a house can be considered if one attaches importance to these sciences that are believed to facilitate positive energy inflow, and thereby create the plan accordingly as such changes are difficult to make once the construction is completed. Moreover, to avoid any misbeliefs later due to luck and misalignment of the house as may be stated by fortune tellers/pandits, it is better to contemplate over them beforehand.

3. It is imperative to decide whether to hire a builder or to be an owner-builder. One can hire a builder according to the house plan with or without material and personally supervise the house to see that proper quality of materials as fixed/decided is being utilized.

4. Getting documents ready, agreements signed, plans sanctioned – A clear title from the seller must be bought which should state the land use as non-agricultural (NA) where construction can be started immediately with or without a construction loan. Additionally, improvised drawings, designs layouts, height, carpet area, FSI being availed of, built up area being provided, necessary approvals for construction or extension, consultation with an advocate for registration and legal purposes, sales deeds, sales agreement, material costing must be properly executed.

Checklist to check before constructing a house

5. Area, dimensions, design, space requirements – It is necessary to finalize your own requirements, size and number of bedrooms, chart out and place them before the architect to show your minimum requirement. Try to make the best use of natural sunlight and ventilation to minimize the need for artificial lights during daytime. Try to keep the lift, staircase etc. with large glasses on one side to avoid the requirement of lighting during daytime. These days, architects make use of 3D visualization software to showcase how the house would look like so you can take the advantage to cross-check for elevation/section/dimensions on paper and virtually so as to make changes as per your taste, since what may seem good on paper may not necessarily look good after construction.

6. Electrical fitting, plumbing and other fixtures – Contracts with various contractors should cover a period of 3 years after the house construction is over so that any problems arising out of faulty construction is taken care of by the contractor even after completion. Since the pipelines are laid when there is no water in the lines there is a great chance of mix-up between the hot and cold lines. Hence, it must be made sure that these connections are properly checked after the water supply connection has been provided. Also, one must ensure that the water and electricity meters are installed for each dwelling unit separately to avoid any conflicts later. The contract with the building contractor should provide for rectification of leakages, damp spots, seepage of water for the maximum period of 2-3 years. The guarantee cards must also be retained in case any of them become defective and for future maintenance purposes as well.

7. Man, materials, and money- Managing contractors to finish the House Construction in time have to be administered as there are times that labor does not show up for work or if work has to be paused due to the shortage of raw materials. More time means more money required and which correspondingly defines the need to borrow more money or refinance your construction loan. 

8. Valuation and comparison of prices- Take out an estimated cost breakup of your home of each cost of construction such as foundation, RCC, brickwork, plaster, electrical work, plumbing, woodwork, door frames, kitchen, trolleys, interiors etc. Good builders will give you all the cost breakup and come up with the total cost to build your new home. One must remember that extra costs may be incurred which are sometimes unpredictable and vary according to the market situation. Make a contract with the builder and architect about the time schedule for stages of payment to be given with delay clauses. It must be seen that the cost of construction is under our control as it tends to increase over time. Also, if they have more money they have a tendency to delay your work and most of the disputes arise because the contractor has taken more money than dues.

9. Consideration for the environment while constructing a house is attached high importance these days. Techniques like rainwater harvesting and solar water heating can also be considered while constructing a home so that you may save money and energy for you as well as the society in the long-term.

10. Last but not the least for House Construction, the thing to be considered is the insurance while constructing the house thereby enabling a safe game. One must also periodically supervise the construction of the house, list out and convey to the respective contractor about these shortcomings and the required modifications accordingly.

History of Construction

To some it might seem obvious what Construction History is. However the subject is frequently debated. Construction  History is the history of how we construct the world around us. It is not restricted to buildings but also includes the construction of civil engineering and infrastructure. So it includes bridges, sewers, power stations, mills etc. as well as conventional buildings. Importantly the subject focuses on how these objects were constructed.

Histories of Techniques and Dating

Construction history is thus key to understanding and dating  structures. If you can show that a particular technique was used in a certain period, then you can use that information to date a building or construction or subsequent additions to a building. As most buildings are added to over time, being able to show when changes were made is fundamental to understanding how old and how significant they  are.

Histories of building crafts and craftsmen

Of course to understand the histories of techniques we also need to understand the social and economic factors that led to them. So Construction History also encompasses the development of guilds and trade bodies, contracts and accounts, methods of payment and procurement, working hours, rates of pay and conditions for workmen, and their training.

Histories of Understanding of Building Technology

Allied to our understanding of the role and conditions of those who worked on building sites, construction history seeks to understand how people in the past thought about building technology itself. How did they calculate whether something would stand up? How did they set out buildings on the ground? Here there is a clear overlap with the history of engineering and the building professionals, including the roles of overseers, designers, architects and engineers in every period.

Periods of Study and Sources

Construction History encompasses all periods from the various earliest signs of human activity to the very recent past, from cave dwellings to nuclear power stations. Obviously the techniques used to study these periods vary. Early buildings lack written records, so the descriptions tend to depend entirely on archaeological recording and interpretation. Later, written records can be used along with archaeological recording. In more recent periods very details accounts may survive, with drawings, models and photographs to show how building were put together and oral histories can be compiled from those who worked on them.

Who Studies Construction History?

Anyone who studies buildings in the manner described above is acting as a construction historian, often without realising it. Field, industrial, and building archaeologists are engaged in construction history on a day-to-day basis. Architectural historians and architects working on historic buildings engage with it continuously. So do engineers and building surveyors working on existing structures. But those interested includes economic and social historians as well. There is so much left to be studied in the field that it is open for research from the professional and amateur alike. Those compiling local histories or family histories may find they have much to contribute.