Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Free Consultation,14/5/13

Cost reduction during House Construction


I am Biju  an IT Professional currently based in Riyadh,KSA.

I have come across your official page and blog on searching construction tips. I noticed that you are giving free consultation and appreciate your kind mind and consideration towards better construction.

I am in the process of constructing a house at my native.

I hereby attaching the plan for Ground Floor and First Floor. I am planning to give the contract to one of my friends as I am abroad and will not be in a position to supervise closely. Could you please advise me some tips/points to reduce the construction cost as I have some budgetary constrains. I am not planning for a luxury building but a safe and good house.

My Budget is max 40lacs

Waiting eagerly for your advise

My Reply

How do u reduce cost during house construction? For quite some time about twenty years back,we used to think Lawrie Baker style of construction will reduce cost.At that time labour was cheap.So,Mr.Baker suggested ways of reducing cost by increasing labour input and reducing material input.

Now both labour and material are costly.So Lawrie Baker method cannot work.People who want to construct a house go on enquiring about reducing cost to all those whom they meet.Each will tell half cooked ideas as he feels.Person planning to build house always prefer to avoid those who may know about reducing cost of construction, Professional Architects and Engineers.Every other person will tell you that they will increase the cost of construction and only those with unlimited funds can afford them.Non professional contractors spread the word that there is no need of such professionals if you have a limited budget.

What makes a successful Architect? It is not simply that degree he got by studying in an Engineering college.I will say ,most important qualification required for a successful Architect is common sense and he needs lots of it combined with creative capability to question every method and practice of construction normally adopted and find out new ways and methods which will give better utility,appearance and lesser cost

In my view,most important cost reduction method in house construction is getting the most appropriate plan of the house.By plan,I mean what you see when looking at a building from top after you cut portion above window level and remove top portion.Lots of people think an Architect is required only to give a good impressive looking Elevation for the house.Several people approach me saying that plan is ready ,but an impressive Elevation is required for the plan

If you require a good Elevation,plan will have to be designed in such a manner to get good looking Elevation.Elevation is just a projection of plan in the third dimension.

How do an Architect develop a good plan of the house? Those few years he spent in Engineering college can teach him certain skills, crafts and vocabulary only.With that basic training,once he come out of college and start working he learns by working,interacting with all sorts of people associated with house construction.This learning by experience only make him an Architect capable of giving you the best.Each new project poses new problems which he has never encountered earlier . An intelligent creative talented Architect learns to design well saving you money,space and providing you better utility for each built up space, step by step by experience

So,only way of reducing cost is to have an experienced professional to design your house and guide you from beginning to end of house construction.Plan of the house is just starting point of the design.You need detailed architectural and structural engineering drawings,guidance at each stage of construction.Your Architect is the only person to suggest you material to be used for construction and definitely not the person you meet on the road or your hundreds of relatives offering to give free advise without any risk!

A lot of people think that by giving the work on square feet basis to a contractor you can reduce or control cost.I have heard people telling,”Pinne Onnum ariyanda”Can you show me two contractors doing construction in the same manner with same quality standards and professional methods of construction?Each contractor builds as he choose simply to increase his profit.If you are unwilling to pay reasonable profit for him,he will find ways to get profit from your work and quality of your house construction will naturally suffer.

When each contractor builds as he choose,how can there be a universal square feet cost of construction? But without specifying a square feet cost,you will not give work to the contractor.Please try to find out what you are getting for that rate and whether contractor will agree to follow detailed drawings of a professional and instructions during construction.

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