Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Free Consultation,25,July,2012



I am Esan from Malappuram district residing in panchayath area.I am making an house now in finishing stage.I did not apply for building permit yet.what is the formalities to get it?
Expecting your kind help

My reply

As per present Building rules,for commencement of building construction,you do not have to get prior permission or permit from Panchayath by submitting plan of the house.But construction will have to be done as per Building rules of Kerala

You can now approach Panchayath for getting building no.If there is any violation of building rules,you may have to correct those mistakes



Dear Sir,

Sub: Premix Plastering.

My house construction almost done (second floor concrete done) 2900 sq. feet, now in the plastering stage.  So I would like to know about new premix plastering system.  Is it cost effective and what is the advantages and disadvantages? 

Also we have used solid bricks for our first floor as non availability of the Vettukallu.   but, there is talk that the solid bricks are not good for house construction, please advise.  Is there any disadvantages with that?

Thanks and regards,


My reply

There is nothing wrong in using premixed plastering material.But cost may work out to be higher.

Solid concrete bocks are manufactured using 1/4 inch metal,M sand and cement.If manufactured using hydraulic pressing and if materials in correct mixing is used  for manufacture,there cannot be anything wrong with solid concrete bocks when compared to brick.Also being concrete material proper water curing before construction has to be taken care of.Vettukallu is not that good for building construction except in case you get very good quality material (mostly available only in northern Kerala).It has a tendency to get deteriorated by pests.

House Construction with Rs.8 lakhs


Rateesh has left a new comment on your post "Answers to queries-House Design and construction":

. I have 3 cent house in Pandanad.I want to use the space with maximum utilisation and the budget is around 8 lakhs.Planning for an interlock construction.Please reply me

My reply

You can build a house with Rs.8 lakhs.But try to get professional design and guidance so that  an experienced professional can help you get maximum facilities within your budget limitations.



Dear sir ,

Please find the attached pdf file of my house plan,

Please check the room setout is as per Vasthu.

My main Gate of plot from southeast .and how much will be the cost for this house

Thomas Mathew

My reply

On quick checking following are the defects

Vasthu aspects

1.For East facing house,Car porch,Main door and Gate should come at Northern half of the frontage

2.North East is Esaana Konam ideal for Pooja and not for Kitchen.There is no need to put Kitchen in the front side and create inconvenience.For this house,better keep Kitchen at North West as Agnikonam (South East) is also in the front side

Architectural aspects

Light and Ventilation in dining area is poor owing to placing Stair close to light passage wall thereby  preventing light and ventilation to that space

As per Vasthu Master bed room should come at South west.But this is far away from Kitchen which will be inconvenient

There are several inner spaces like Foyer,Wash  which are completely dark during day time without light and ventilation.A good Architect would have avoided such dark spaces

In view of the above I feel a total revision of plan is required before going in to Construction



Dear sir,

I have plot with 7.5 cent in Thalasseri  municipality. plot width 8.20 meter and length 38 meter.with small house, now i want re-construct the house, side of residence there is small foot  path with foot path with drainage,

Can you help me about this matter,

Hope hear from you soon!


My reply

It is always better to get a plot with wider frontage or width of the plot for construction.Here even though plot has a depth of 38M,it has only 8.2M width with a private road on one side.As per KBR you will have to leave 2M clearance on the side having private road  and 1M clearance on the other side leaving only 5.2M width for construction

To give a proper advice,I may have to visit site.Try to get the matter clarified with your local authority office or by a qualified experienced professional in your area



Dear Sir,

When I discussed about construction of house with some of my colleagues, i understand that low cost houses and modern houses doesn't make significant difference money-wise.  I just dropped my plan and shall contact you if i need any assistance.

Varghese Thomas

My reply

Look.Everybody claims to be an expert in house construction and people are ready to accept opinion of any one  as “ expert” opinion!

Quite a few years back,renowned Architect Mr.Larry Baker(who lived and worked In Kerala) introduced a low cost building concept where saving material even at the cost of increasing labour was considered 'Low cost".That low cost model is no more low cost as labour has become costly in Kerala

But appropriate design and careful selection of material and labour with professional guidance can bring down cost of construction and it can give you better utility for space in building.It also can avoid wastages in construction which is the major cost of cost increase.

So, low cost construction is still very much valid.But you should be willing to have services of an expert from beginning to end of house design and construction.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Free Consultation:21,July,2012



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Buying ready built Villa or apartment in Kerala":

The information given above was enlightening.  Sir, kindly let me know if a child inherits his fathers property which is in CRZ can he build a house for himself on the land available ? what are the problems ?  and the house available on the land is reconstructed by the grand son who was living there and now the dispute is cannot live in the same house Pl help.

My reply

My understanding is that you can reconstruct existing building  built before 1983.
in any case check up with concerned local authority on the matter as they will have to give you sanction for construction/reconstruction

Trying to be a builder


Vinayak   has left a new comment on your post "Low cost house construction":

hello sir, my name i Vinayak and i am from Manipal. actually i am a small builder. now i want to get into a huge project . so is it possible for me to build a residential apartment within 800 Rs per sq. ft. i am planning for about 30000 sq. ft. with residential cum commercial building. about 7 floors and with the necessary required land for set back. is it possible for you to help me?

My reply

I can design  for you and give technical guidance.But being in Manipal,it will be better for you to interact with an Architect available nearer to your location.

Once you plan to be a builder you should get enough data,technical assistance to find out possible cost of construction rather than depending up on opinion of some one on cost of construction



Animol S Nair has left a new comment on your post "Low cost house construction":

Hi sir,
I am planning to build a house in Vaikom, Kerala. I want to confirm a cost estimation for a house in an area of 10 cents. Can you please tell me an approximation of a 3BHK house with some garden area? That would be of great help to me.

My reply

Without data no one can tell you expected cost.Probably I can tell you a guess cost.But for an important investment in your life,you should not go with guesses.Try to go systematically with professional guidance on design and construction of house.As I do not have your email id,send me an email to me to

We will guide you on this

Remodeling existing house


Menon has left a new comment on your post "Queries and replies-House design,construction ,rem...":

I am a retiree in Cochin residing in Chittoor Road. I have two houses separated hardly by 5-10 ft. I am interested in joining the terraces together and have a terrace garden and retreat with a small bed room, bath and kitchen on one so that It can be self contained also. I need someone to conceptualize the idea so that I can look at the possibilities. Can you do it please? or can you recommend someone please?

My reply

For a remodeling work,we will have to first visit site,study condition of existing building,take measurements,discuss with you on your modification needs and prepare plan of the modified house.Then we will go step by step to take up the work

If you are willing to go systematically on this,contact us

Free Consultation,21/7/2012

I get quite a few requests for clarifications,enquiries and other queries by way of comments typed in blogs mostly without indicating any information on the sender of message.So they reach me as comments in blogs from “Anonymous”.

I will not be able to directly reply to them.I also do not publish those comments in my blogs.If you really need a quick reply from me please ensure to send an email to me at following id.You will definitely get a faster response from me directly to your inbox.My email id is

Construction of commercial building in 2.5 cents land at Cochin


Anonymous   has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation":

Hello sir
I am planning to purchase a small plot 2.5 cents at Cochin having a dimension 6.5x15 m. I want to construct a three story residential building using RCC frames leaving a car park space for 3 cars on the ground floor. What will be the cost of such a structure only. ie without any walls, flooring and other interior work. And also if you are undertaking such work, please let me know.


My reply

One of the dimensions of the plot,6.5M is too narrow.It is not clear whether the plot is facing which type of road.You will have to first check up with concerned local authority office how much clearance you will have to leave from the road and other sides.

You have to get services of a qualified experienced Architect to design the building meeting your requirements as well as statutory restrictions.Only after preparing  and finalising a plan,cost expected for building can be estimated.Also soil nature of the plot will have to be checked by conducting soil test to check whether concrete piling will be required for foundation,if the Architect call for such a soil test.

Since you are yet to buy the plot,before buying the plot please ensure to check with local authority office concerned whether you will be allowed to construct a building in the plot and if so clearances required.



Anonymous   has left a new comment on your post "#Kerala House construction-Replies to your queries...":

Dear Mr. Thomas Viruvelil,
This is a small suggestion  which may benefit you ,

In every reply you emphasize on ’ for professional design ‘ ,does this professional design comes from only people with civil engineering back ground ?

Our country has been building houses for thousands of years  ..,

I would say readers or the people would appreciate your honest answers / opinions .No one is asking for a  research report on building a dam or nuclear power plant .
If you keep on stressing only   a professional design can make a good house and not really helping in your reply , it shows that you  are not thinking from a middle class person’s  side
but these replies shows you are just trying to mint money on design , plan etc..

My reply

This Anonymous writer is very much disturbed by the prospect of me minting money by replying to queries here.So far I have not got even a single paisa as remuneration for replying to queries here.

In our state of Kerala more than 95% of houses are still built by non professional contractors without availing professional services in design and construction of house.I doubt whether even 5% avail professional services.Such a practice cause lots of wastage of money which I am personally seeing during my consultation visits.

People avoid getting professional services in design of house thinking that availing services of any one who can draw a plan of house that too with very little fees will be the most ideal way of reducing cost of construction!

After completion of structure of such houses,several people call me to suggest what can be done to increase utility of spaces and avoid wastage of spaces where it is of no use.But at that late stage I or anybody cannot do much to improve the wasteful work done on the building with huge loss of money.

Owner of the house who could not understand defects in plan of the house in the initial stages,is now able to understand where and what has gone wrong.But it will be too late to do anything

No one is going to loose anything by availing qualified experienced professional services in design and construction of a house.Amount of fees to be paid to a professional will be negligible when compared to cost saving and better facility for each built up area of the house.

Knowledge in latest architecture,Structural Engineering,Vasthu aspects and wealth of knowledge obtained by designing and building hundreds of houses can definitely make a lot of difference to your house design and construction.You need the assistance of the expert not only for the plan stage but from beginning to end for each and every aspect of building construction.

Non professional contractor who may talk nicely and advice you against availing professional services is interested only in maximising his profit and in the process he do not know or care the least about quality of construction and structural stability of your building.You need an expert to make him do the construction with quality and structural stability

Purchasing Teakwood.

Jerry George has left a new comment on your post "Teak wood-use in Kerala house construction":

That was a great piece of information Mr. Thomas. Where can we get good quality teak around Ernakulum? Can we take part in auction conducted by forest department?

My reply

If you are planning to buy teak wood for your house construction,you may not require that much quantity of wood to go through the process of taking part in government auction from forest depots.You can buy teak wood from those who take part in auctions.

Basically you have to understand that there are several varieties of teak wood.Hence you need professional guidance even during purchase of wood for your building .Your Architect can be the right person to guide you on this

What all services we give?


Anonymous   has left a new comment on your post "#Kerala House Construction-Replies to your queries...":

i have a plot in Mavelikara where i want to make a budget house , how low can this cost be . a hall , sit out bedroom and small kitchen  please reply .
please reply do u renovate house ? and do interior design ? and modification

My Reply

We undertake every type of work related to a building right from land purchase assistance to landscaping of building surroundings.Details of what we do is explained in our websites!/ThomasViruvelil

For more details write to me

Interlocking bricks



My name is Jibin Thomas. I am planning to built a home in cost effective way.
Please share your advice regarding interlocking bricks (not the concrete one. Is building home with interlocking bricks is safe just like building the conventional way?
Request you to provide the contact detail of any contractors in or near cochin who deals with interlocking bricks.

Thanks and Regards
Jibin Thomas

My reply

Just like any other building material interlocking bricks also has got advantages and disadvantages.When you go for non conventional building material and building methods,you will need expert workers well versed in such type of construction.

Your house construction starts with getting the most appropriate design for the house.That is the most critical area of construction of house.First start working on that.Your Architect will advise you on building materials suited to your place and budget

Friday, July 20, 2012

Free Consultation,20/7/2012



Dear Sir,
Recently I found your blog while I was searching for 'Kerala architecture' in Google. I am a civil engineer working at NTPC  who is interested in learning about Vasthu and architecture. Your site provided me very helpful insights about what I wanted to know. Do you also take classes on these topics along with consultation. Or do you have a book or course material for students interested in learning the above mentioned subjects?

Thank you for the blog again.


My reply

Thank you for your appreciation.My following blog is an attempt to write down all that a lay man need to know on house design and construction.

Before I could proceed much on the blog,I started getting continuous queries from people in different location on house design and construction.Even though I am not able to reply to all those queries due to lack of time,I reply to few of the queries through these replies.while replying to such queries I give detailed information on the topic covered in simple non technical language so that an ordinary person can understand better on house design and construction

I am giving training to fresh Architects/Engineers showing professional dedication by allowing them to follow me on my daily work in and out of office.I do not mind giving such training to even those with experience.But the person should be genuinely interested in pursuing a professional career.

Those interested can write to me with their educational,professional experience details to

Here again I may not be able to  accommodate every request.Those who prove to be good enough during an interview with me can only be considered.

Cement Plastering cost



Can i know present cement plastering cost/sq.m(average) in Kerala?


My reply

There is no such standard fixed rate for any type of construction related work in Kerala.As the demand for construction labour and construction contract work is more than the available man power,naturally the customer will have to agree to even unreasonable demands from labour or contractor.

In addition  cost of material involved also goes up without any pattern possibly due to economic situation in the macro environment.

Construction in one cent land


Dear Sir,

I have 1 cent land on a Panchayat road of 7 M wide.  I would like to construct a shop there.  Can you please give me specific idea of how much space to leave on each side.


My reply

For  land area less than 3 cents there are concessions in clearance space to be left in four sides of the building

But it will be better if you contact town planning department of the concerned local authority with your land particulars like Survey No and check up the applicable clearances and feasibility of construction in the land concerned

Four Bed room house with prefixed square feet area


Abdul has left a new comment on your post "Free Consultation,19/7/12,second":

i have 9cent plot. we think built 4bhk house in 4cents area. 2bedroom with attached bath room, kitchen,work area dining, living sit out in ground floor. first floor 2bed room with attached bath room. but total area below 1700sq.ft.what about your opinion.

My reply

Square feet plinth area of a house to be built can be known only after a professionally trained person prepares plan of the house using AutoCAD software which can correctly measure the area involved.

Plinth area depends upon your requirements for the house,budget and technical feasibility.Just by wishing a prefixed plinth area without compromising on need for house,you cannot have plinth area which you fixed before even preparing a plan to suit to your needs

Again lot of people have a mistaken notion that cost of construction solely depends on plinth area.It is not so.At best it can be one of the many factors contributing to the cost

Quote competent rates to get work


Dear Thomas sir,
                        I am Savya from  Bangalore. I have 8 cents of property  where me and my husband want to build our home. I read you blogs and website and I knew that you don’t give square feet rate for construction. But I need an estimate signed by an engineer for applying to a bank loan for my house. If you don’t give square feet rate how much do you charge for the first expenses? I need a plan signed by an engineer to submit to Panchayath office to get building permit..I want your office to take on construction of our home if you give me reasonable price for first expenses to get building permit and bank loan sanction. Please quote me the fees you charge for all the drawings for building permit and estimate for bank loan.
My reply

With my experience in building more than 200 houses in different parts of Kerala directly and acting as consultant for many more building construction,I can tell you the following after careful study;

1.If there are hundred contractors each of these hundred contractors do construction in their own way

2.None of these non professional contractors with practically no scientific knowledge in design and construction of house obtain professional assistance on architectural,structural or Vasthu aspects of building construction

3.None of the contractors complete construction of building in originally quoted “square feet cost”.They get revised rates from you as the work progresses and obtain extras for each and every item of construction as even with your limited knowledge in construction matters you will find methods and materials used by contractor unacceptable.Finally when the work gets completed neither you nor the contractor will even remember the originally agreed'”square feet rate”

4.”Square feet cost” quoted originally turns out be a simple lie to get your work.After the work starts,contractor knows very well how to get revisions and extras from you

5.After the work gets completed contractor gives an exaggerated square feet plinth area of the construction which you will be forced to accept

6.All Architects/Engineers or those who prepare plan and Estimate for house are not equally qualified and experienced and hence you cannot compare the rates or fees charged by one with that of another.Any one who has studied to draw an Auto CAD drawing can draw a plan.But the expertise obtained through qualifications and experience can get you a better design which will not only save your lakhs of rupees but also provide you better facilities in the house at lesser cost.

7.You will not be able to understand defects in plan of the house just by looking at those drawings.But you will definitely understand defects,problems ,wastage of space,inadequate space in certain areas only after the building is completed.Then it will be too late to do anything and most probably in your life time you will not build another house to correct your mistakes committed while building the first house.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Consultation,19/7/12,second



  Manjesh has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":

dear Sir ,

1. I have 15 cents in kazhakuttom rod width of 3.25m , i would like to know the floor approval for constructing flat .

2 . i have same place with the road width 44 cents available , i would like to know the floor approval and whether it is possible to do flat in this area .
Please provide your valuable suggestions.
My reply

It is better to consult town planning section of concerned local authority as apart from Building rules,there can be other restrictions and schemes of local authority applicable in that area.



I recently visited your blog. I am interested to build a NALUKETTU type house . I have seen a FACEBOOK updating about NALUKETTU. It said that an architect build a NALUKETTU in 4 cents of plot  and it only costs RS.150000.

Sir, i want to know that , is it possible ?

My reply

Nalukettu type house was built in olden days to suit requirements of those days.Life style and family structure has changed a lot from those days and a Nalukettu house which keeps an open court yard in the middle,surrounding verandahs and front side large sit out called poomukham are no more needs in present day house.

Still some people prefer to have chuttu verandah and poomukham  especially in village areas these days.Nalukettu type construction will cause cost increase and hence I do not think such type construction  will suit present day especially if you have a limited budget of Rs.1.5 lakhs

If you do not have budget limitations,we can design and build Nalukettu type construction which we have done in several locations in Kerala



TJ has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":

I have inherited a 55 cent plot near Triprayar Temple ( Trichur Dist.) . This comes under a Panchayat. The plot is river facing . What distance do I need to maintain from the river for a house that I plan to construct here ?

My reply

As per CRZ Act,you have to leave 50M from river side for construction.But there are certain relaxations applicable under certain conditions

Please check up with your concerned local authority office for better clarification

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free Consultation,19/7/12



Dear Sir,

I have visited your website in which I have seen lot advise is being given to many. As I am starting to build a new house I have drawn a plan thru Habitat and given a contract to construct. After I have seen your website and read thru the Vasthu aspects I would like to have your advice on the plan I have which is attached for your review. I have made a change to this plan and asked to extend sit out surrounding the living room up to the C/Y. Awaiting your valuable advise and reply.


My reply

On quick checking of GF Plan,I have following suggestions:

1.Shift Kitchen to South East ,Agni Konam as per Vasthu

2.Avoid bends

3.Living room size insufficient

4.Stair fitting in to that space and providing height for entry to common toilet do not seem to be correct.It has to be checked



Dear sir,

I have gone through your website and the ideas provided seems to very interesting.I would like to know about the possibility of getting a plan according to my ineterest.I am hereby attaching an elevation of a house which i would like to proceed with ,can you please guide me to prepare a floor plan  based on the attachment.

It is highly appreciated that if you can forward me the requested plan and an estimate for executing the work immediately.


Abu Dhabi

My Reply

It is a common misunderstanding among people.They tend to like Elevation or external appearance of house seen in websites of builders or somewhere else.Then they want a plan of the house which will give an external appearance of house exactly same as what they have seen somewhere.

Most important part of designing and constructing a house is the plan of the building and not Elevation of the building.Plan of the building is prepared by a professional considering your requirements for the house,your budget , plot specifications,directions,surroundings like position of roads etc.

Elevation of the house depends on plan of the house and not the other way.For obtaining a good Elevation plan has to be prepared with that objective in mind by the designer.For the same plan,there can be different Elevation possibilities.Drawing an impressive looking Elevation is not .that difficult.But getting it done will  be a problem.Not all concrete workers will be able to do the Elevation work just by seeing the picture.Some of them may not be able to do difficult slope concreting.So the Elevation possible also depends upon capability of workers involved in that particular work.

Again there are two types of Elevation that can be done for a particular plan of the house.Most common type is the Desk Elevation prepared by some one who can do Auto CAD drawings with photo shop.Whatever common elevation ideas coming to the mind of the person drawing during those few hours will be used in that Elevation.

I prefer to develop Elevation during the progress of work dreaming and thinking at site.Almost all of my good Elevations are obtained like that.I discourage clients from going for an Elevation simply to satisfy his curiosity and give such an Elevation only when the client cannot understand my view point on Elevation of the house.I should admit that few clients were gracious enough to give me the freedom of developing a good Elevation as the work progresses and all of them were happy with the final result developed by me taking time to dream during the work in progress.This arrangement also help me to develop an Elevation which workers involved can do well




I have a 6c plot in size 20Mx12m front. Can a make 5BHK house in a low
budget of 15L.
Please give some guidelines


My reply

Five bed room house is required and cannot spend more than Rs.15 lakhs! Architect or builder do not have any magic wand.Cost of all inputs for house construction are going up and no one will loose money from his pocket to build you a house with all facilities you need at cost prefixed by you.If you have limited budget,your requirements will have to be cut down to meet the budget.No contractor is going to build your house suffering losses.He need profit at any cost.He will ask for extra charges or will compromise on quality of construction to keep his profit in tact.If that is not possible he will walk away from the work.

Free Consultation,18/7/12



Hello Sir,

I came to know your contact through website.

I planning to build a house in Ernakulum. And I am trying for different options of wood for windows and doors.

Since teak wood is very expensive, I have to go with some other options like cheru teak(pincoda), irul, Burma teak.

Can you please provide me some suggestion?


My reply

There is no point in trying to get bits of information on house construction.Keralites in general think that they know quite a lot on house construction and all that they need is some one to draw plan as suggested by the house owner and then a contractor to build .Architects and Engineers are supposed to be for large projects only and they can only increase cost of constructing a house.This is a great mistaken notion

A professional can give you better design for the house which will increase utility of every bit of house to be built and also you will get better facilities at lesser cost.Amount you may pay as fees to the professional will be negligible when compared to cost saving and better facilities in the house.

When house construction is turning out to be a costly affair due to increase in cost of all inputs,you can no longer afford to have plan of house by any one and construction using your bits of information and that of practically illiterate contractor who will talk nicely and try to increase his profit even at cost of structural stability of your house.

It is for your professional consultant to guide you on type of wood to be used and also how to save wood requirement for the house without affecting your needs for light and ventilation inside house.



Dear Thomas sir,

I am planning to build a double story house in Kottayam in 18 cents land.My concern is whether it required pillar for each corners of the house since am using burned bricks.Land soil is also solid. Please advice me.


My Reply

Reply given above is applicable in this case also.It is for the structural consultant to decide on what type of structural work will be required to suit plan of your house and soil conditions.

In normal stable soil conditions for a two story house,ordinary rubble foundation will be sufficient.Here again,without studying data related to your site and plan of the house,I cannot give a proper answer and please do not try to be Architect/Engineer for your house.Allow professionals to guide you properly on house construction



Sajit has left a new comment on your post "Building Permit":

Why does not the building rule disallow the main stairway as a fire escape stairway. I have seen a parallel staircase built along the main stairway as a fire escape stairway. The intent of this is questionable.

My reply

A  stair case going up inside the building can never be a fire escape as during fire you need to get fast to outer periphery of the building for escape to outside building.



Hi Thomas,
I read your post in the web and impressed with that.i am designing a home,and if you can give some inputs on my below query,would be very valuable.
I am on a contemporary design,and the dining , living area is open in can i have privacy between these two spaces.what are the design aspects can be considered to make a separation between these spaces?


My reply

I have commented on this  general trend of owner of the house himself trying to be designer and builder of house while replying earlier queries.

A professional well versed in design and construction of building has acquired knowledge through years of study and experience in doing the work.You cannot hope to have these without training and experience.Why do you want to risk trying to do design yourself when the stake is lakhs of rupees possibly earned by your work in the whole or major portion of life? Have professional guidance.

In any case I cannot teach you design aspects by a reply to this query



Dear Thomas sir

I would like to build  a single story 3 bed room budget  house within 1000 s ft.

Let me know the ideal size for a bed room,living room,kitchen,one common bathroom,small work area,compact sit out,and a mini porch which i can afford within  1000 sq. feet


My reply

Due to general belief that plinth area alone matters in cost,people tend to fix plinth area of house first and ask for all facilities they need in the house within that square feet plinth area.

If you have budget limitations your requirements will have to be reduced.In any case without preparing a plan of the house to meet your needs for the house,we cannot think of cutting down area and such cutting area has restrictions if you need certain rooms and facilities at any cost.My earlier comments on leaving such design aspects to a professional is valid here also

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Free Consultation

Clearance from front side facing road


Dear Thomas

i have 4.5 cents beside Alappuzha-Thanneermukkam road i build a basement for house with three shop.before 21 years now i just build only one shop then went to Panchayath authority for numbering they want a certificate from village officer for location and the distance from the main road.but the village officer say to me the certificate only get after the survey done by  the thaluk  office because there is some purampoke lands in front of my land please guide me about how much space want to leave in front of land to main road?and how to save my money from waste expenses.also there is many buildings both side my lands.

My reply

Normally 3M clearance is required from the road facing the building.But your local authority(Panchayath in this case) will only be able to specify clearly how much space you have to leave in the front side.As there is said to be Purampoke land,that issue also has to be cleared by proper measurement by appropriate authority.

In the case of building construction you should not drag the numbering for long time like this after completion of construction



Hi I am mr.jovins ,I am from  Thodupuzha.i am planning to move to Mulanthuruthy which is my ancestral my plan is to build a Nalukettu house,it is my dream ,so can you kindly help me .my plan is to construct a 2000 s ft. house,so is it enough for a Nalukettu type house? Please give me advice

My reply

There seems to be lot of confusion among people about Nalukettu house.

Basically this form of construction in Kerala Architecture was adopted in olden times due to requirement and living style of those days and it has almost nothing to do with present day life style of Malayalees

In earlier days people used to live in a house as Joint family with old parents,grown up children and their families living together.In such a situation each family unit may stay together in a large house with a common open space in the middle called Nadumuttom and surrounding common area for children to play inside house.

For A Nalukettu house,apart from Nadumuttom a prominent poomukham in front where the Karanavar(Chief of Family) of the joint family used to relax in a reclining chair was quite common.For the others to relax around the house,there will be open verandah around house with wooden charupady.

there is no point in replicating all these features in present day houses as joint family system has gone away giving way to nuclear families.Nadumuttom which is an open to sky feature in the center of the house is no more feasible with security and weather protection given importance.

For those who would like to have Nalukettu features due to sentimental reasons,I will advise to go for Poomukham with Charupady and Chuttu verandah to a lesser extent as a bigger sit out.

In any case adding such features will increase cost of constructing the house.For those who can afford to spend more on the house,adding Nalukettu features can be considered.For budget conscious houses,it is better to leave the design to your Architect to suit your plot,needs for house and budget.



Hi Thomas,

Hope this mail find you in good health .Let me introduce my self first. Am a Computer programmer by profession having 0 % knowledge about construction and civil engineering.

Happened To visit . Hats for the beautiful effort.People like  you who take effort and  find time to spread the knowledge always make big difference

.Let me come to the point.I have plans to build a house at ernakulam(varapusha). Have a 10 cent plot in hand which was ahnded over to mom after parttition. wish to construct a 2 storeyed  4B house.But am not sure is it good to go for a 1 storeyed or a 2 storeyed.Also i am not having much clarity about room size 318*320 is a rrom having well space i believe. I wish a home to be built rather than a House with mere concrete and bricks.Regarding the budget have to solely depend on loans.Hope i can afford some thing betwen 18-20 lakhs. Look forward to suggestions from you as i feel you are more experienced and knowledgeable in this area. Also  Could u plz send me some designs  house i can use. Waiting eagerly for a reply from you.

My reply

Thank you for your good words

Any plan which we may have or some website can give may not suit your needs,your plot conditions,your budget and you should take professional guidance from beginning to end of house construction.At least you agree that you do not know much on house construction.Without knowing much people tend to say that they they know everything about house construction.Some people even draw plans on their own and ask Architect to draw like that !








Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Free Consultation #Kerala House Construction




My name is Ajeesh. I am from Trivandrum . Your construction blog is really helping me a lot as I am starting to build a house . I have some doubts regarding the materials used for construction. I am planning to use clay tile flooring in my house. Why is it advisable to only use clay tiles in bedroom and Living room?

Is the workers doing the acid wash and coating for clay tiles available readily everywhere? If I start using laying clay tiles and those who does acid wash and all are not available, I will be in deep sea.

Will it be costlier than using vitrified tiles considering the fact , it needs extra acid wash polyurethane coating than the vitrified tiles?

Another thing for which i wanted an answer is

Which material is better for kitchen cabinets and wardrobes considering all factors including the cost? I have heard that UPVC is best although MDF is the most widely used stuff. Is UPVC very costly than MDF?

Hope to get a reply from you.


My reply

Clay tile is environment friendly and hence will be more healthy for those who stay in the house.It is made of soil and it will be healthy and comfortable for you to walk on or even sleep on the floor.

Unfortunately due to restrictions imposed on soil use for manufacture of clay tiles,most of the clay tile manufacturers are closing operations.Acid wash is a normal cleaning process after laying of any flooring material except wooden.Applying polyurethane coating prevent fungus formation on clay tile surface especially on exposed areas like roof top.There are tile protective paints like “Tile shield” which can also protect exposed surface of clay tiles.

Vitrified tiles,marble and granite are not healthy to move around and live with.They are also highly slippery and can cause injuries especially to old persons by possibility of falling down by slippage.Wooden flooring is very good.But costlier compared to clay tiles.But almost same cost as granite.In areas where water spillage is expected it is better to avoid wooden flooring as frequent wetting will damage wooden surface.

There are several non slippery floor tiles like “Naturoc” tiles  of NITCO which are equal in cost to vitrified tiles but better by appearance and non slippery.

MDF for modular kitchen or for any other type of cupboards are not recommended due to lesser life.Instead you can go for Marine Ply wood which will withstand moisture.Normally we use Marine plywood for cupboards and modular kitchen with front appearance shutters of wood(either teak or Mahogany) with hand carving and polishing.UPVC will last longer.



Dear Sir

We are planning of building a house in Trissur(chirakal - to be precise), within 2500 sq.ft - 3000 sq.ft. We would basically prefer a double story house, with 4 bedrooms.

We would be obliged , if you could provide the details, proceedings and fee pattern for the above . If it is not trouble for you, we would like to see few pictures of completed projects , similar to the 1 that we are planning to build.

If you could give us the price per sq.feet , it would be helpful.

Awaiting your reply


My reply

This is a typical mail I get almost every day

People want me to send “few plans” for house to be built by them and cost in “square feet”

When an apartment or villa builder quotes a square feet cost,he has all the data available to him about the construction,design,plot and environment around.All specifications,details are chosen by him.Even the plinth area indicated by the builder will not in any way meet the measurement which you may do after spite of all these ,he takes huge profit and his square feet cost keep on rising as the project reaches finishing stage

In the case of a house to be built in your land,no one that matters(Architect or building contractor) do not have any data on the plot,surroundings,design and still you want him to predict a “square feet cost” even when you start thinking about construction.House construction involves hundreds of material ,availability and price of which keep changing every day in Kerala conditions.Even good skilled workers are difficult to get in Kerala.

Non professional contractors may quote a “square feet cost” to get the work from you.But he will revise rates or compromise with engineering stability and quality of construction to ensure profit for him.His only interest is in his profit and he may do “sweet talk’ if he is short of work to create confidence in you.

House for your plot,requirements and budget will have to be specifically designed for you preferably by the best qualified and well experienced professional Architect.A better design can get you lower cost of construction and better utility for every bit of your built up space in the house to come up.Only a good professional can visualise it well.

Any one who has studied Auto CAD can draw a plan.But plan prepared for your plot and house by any one will not be the same.I have designed thousands of houses and directly built more than 200 houses in Kerala State.But I still learn a lot on house construction with each new project.So the wealth of knowledge acquired by your Architect by experience can make a lot of difference to your house design and can save you lakhs of money.As a lay man you will be able to understand defects and deficiencies in design only after the house is completed.But at that stage,you will not be able to do anything to correct mistakes or deficiencies in design and work

Several people usually call me to check and suggest improvements and defects after completing structure work of the house and after spending many lakhs of money.But at that late stage no one can do anything to correct mistakes in design

If you believe in Vasthu,your plot require specific design suited to satisfy Vasthu factors related to your plot.Here again you cannot use design for house made for some body else at some other plot and location



Hi Thomas,
hope you ok.

My self , would like to get some advise from you to build a new house in Ranni (Pathanamthitta).

First of all we planning to build a 4 bedroom house (2 down & 2 upstairs) approximately 2500sq ft. (I have total 1.6acrs of land).I contact with one architecture and he visit the site and give us a plan as per Vasthu. but we didn't like that elevation.

If I will forward one Image (That our Dream House) for you can you give me a plan according to that? I know probably you need to see the site. But this is a long journey for you.

If you want the elevation plan (the one my architecture forward me) I can forward to u  , so that you can get a picture about the Vasthu.

Please give me a reply,


My reply

I think reply to earlier query more or less meet for this also

It is quite natural that you may like pictures of house in websites or advertisement matter of a builder and you may think of building a house like that

Your plot,your budget,Vasthu factors,your needs of house may not exactly meet with that house even though you may like external appearance of that house

Probably you can show that external appearance to your Architect so that he may try to provide you attractive features in your house design