Plan well for your perfect home

By S Selvakumar

To own a shelter is everyone’s ambition.
Some may own a home when they are very young and the others when they
are not so young. There are numerous people who do not have their own
homes. They pass their lives in rented premises. Through proper
planning anyone can achieve the ambition of owing a comfortable house.

The concept of construction is a little complicated one. It is,
therefore, necessary to understand the basics of house-construction
before embarking on your dream project.

Locating the land

When you decide that you need a house,
you then need to find a good plot to construct it. Always remember
three important points — location, good location and the best location.

Before deciding on the plot, you have to make a survey of various
plots and then select a suitable one. If you do not like the position
or shape of a land, do not buy it. If you exert a little more, you will
definitely find a suitable piece of land at a convenient location.

Engage professionals

It is always advisable to engage professionals to get quality work
and its timely completion. Architects, civil engineers, structural
engineers, real estate agents, banks, plumbers, electricians and
building contractors contribute a lot in shaping your dream house. You
have to select the right people to carry out the work. Engaging
professionals would prove a little expensive, but it would ensure that
you do not have to face problems in the long run. If you do not wish to
spend money on the professional, you may save a portion of the project
cost but in the long run you might face problems.

Purchase of land

Once you have selected a piece of land and decided to purchase it,
your advocate will take care of all the legal aspects of the land — as
to its title and genuineness, and prepare a document called the
Agreement to Sell to be entered into between the purchaser and the
seller. The Agreement to Sell is a very important document particularly
for buying a property. The period between the Agreement to Sell and the
Sale Deed is a crucial period for the purchaser. An eminent advocate,
who has long experience in property matters, must deal with such
important matters. Most importantly you should not follow a ready-made
model agreement or sale deed, or engage a real estate agent or a job
typist, as some people do. You may save some money but in the long run
particularly when you plan to sell the property; chances of facing
problems cannot be ruled out.

Vaastu Shastra

The concept of building a house on Vaastu principles has become
very popular. Vaastu Shastra is the science of construction. In the
present times it has assumed a distorted meaning. People attribute
Vaastu to good luck and bad luck.

Whether you believe in Vaastu or not, it is advisable to construct
the house on Vaastu principles, since an adverse remark on the location
of the rooms might psychologically affect the owner if something
untoward happens in the future. The main door, pooja room, kitchen,
bathroom, toilet, storage space, bedrooms, overhead and underground
water tanks and septic tanks must be according to Vaastu Shastra,
particularly so when you put up the house for sale at a future date.

House plan

Making a plan is very important. It is the first step in the
entire process before the construction work starts. Once you settle on
a budget and spell out exactly what you want, the professionals can
take over. The architects will assist you in designing your home, right
from the hall, kitchen and bathrooms of the house. The rooms are so
designed that they are proportionate to the area available for

From the design you can see how each room would look. You may
change the plan as many times as you like before making the final
drawing. Once the final drawing is prepared it should not be changed.
The architect makes the plan with the future in mind.

You may carry out the construction work in stages depending on your
budget. If you have money to construct only the ground floor you may do
so. You may or may not construct additional floors but it is a must to
have a total plan for two or three floors as per the floor area ratio

Constructing a house without a plan will cause many problems in
various stages of construction. Do not take the advice of illiterate
‘maistries’ who do not know the problems that might arise in the


While planning the house you have to make certain provisions for
exterior elevation and interior decoration and furnishing work. These
add value to your house for ever.

Sanction plan

Before taking up the construction work the final drawing must be
submitted well in advance to the competent authority for approval. The
building construction work must be based on the plan sanctioned by the
authority. A minor deviation from the sanctioned plan may be done if
required. A copy of the sanctioned plan must be handy at the job site
for inspection by the competent authority while the job is under

Housing finance

Before starting the construction work, you have to mobilise
adequate funds for smooth and uninterrupted execution. You have to
decide on the budget and raise it from your own sources or from a
housing finance institution. Whatever be the estimate, you have to
provide for an extra ten per cent to take care of the costs of
escalation of building materials and unexpected additional work.

If you intend to avail home loans, you will have to approach a
finance company well in advance with the sanctioned plan etc, and get
the loan sanctioned.


The structural engineer does the foundation drawing. Though
foundation work is a little expensive but you must not compromise with
it. A building rests safely on a strong foundation. It is the base on
which you can construct additional floors at a future date.


From the Floor Area Ratio FAR), the plot coverage area must be
worked out. Plinth Area is the total area of construction. This
includes all the floors as well as the wall thickness. Carpet area is
the area inside the constructed building between the walls and the area
actually used. Super built area is generally applicable to apartments.
This includes the wall thickness, projected area and the common area.

Solar heater

Whether you are providing a solar heater or not, there must be a
provision for it and you must atleast give pipeline connections to the
bath rooms, kitchen and other places from the heater location so that
you need not have to spend extra money when you install a solar water


For bathrooms, the bolting arrangements must be such that when
it is bolted from the inside the door can be opened from the outside by
applying a little force in case of an emergency. The bath room must be
laid with anti-skid tiles. The fixtures in the bathrooms must be such
that they do not interfere with free movement. Also there shall be no
projections from the walls.


Though teak wood is preferred, by using other wood and wood substitutes you can save upto 50 per cent on the wood cost.

If adequate funds are not available for making built-in cupboards,
you may make the provisions for putting them up at a future date.

Periodic inspection

Civil, structural, plumbing, sanitary, electrical, carpentry
and laying of tiles are inter-related work which call for proper
co-ordination, with periodic inspection and repair. When construction
work is in progress a representative of yours must be on the job site.
The architect, civil engineer, and the structural engineer must
periodically inspect work at the construction site. This is a must.

Wiring and Plumbing

The architect prepares the drawing for electrical, plumbing,
sanitary and pipe laying work and it must be carried out as per the
drawing. In case of a deviation, it must be incorporated in the
drawing. The drawing must be kept safely so that if any leakage or
short circuit occurs after some years, the drawing will come in handy
to locate the faulty areas.


This is the last stage. Painting work is done in five phases.
After the primer coating is given, it is allowed to dry. Thereafter the
full putty and then the first coating of painting are given. This work
must never be rushed. After the first coat you may perform pooja.
Thereafter touch-up putty work is done and then the final coating.
Adequate time must be given for the final coating, which makes the
interior visually appealing.


Do not compromise on the material quality. Always use BIS
(Bureau of Indian Standards) certified materials. Electrical wiring
materials must be of a well-known and reliable brand. Without proper
co-ordination, timely execution of work is not possible. For each work
phase, a timetable must be drawn up and strictly adhered to. When one
phase is over, workers for the next stage of work must step in. There
shall be no financial constraints at any stage, if all these are
attended to promptly, and you can have your dream house without any
hassles. The author is an advocate who specialises in property matters.
He can be reached on E-mail: [email protected]

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