How To : Home Building



Selecting an Architect

Most people who build their homes in India do not hire an architect. Those who do discontinue the services during the course of constructor. However, design-ing and overseeing the construction is what architect are qualified for and hiring their services would not only enhance the quality but, a good architect may well be able to help save more money.

Here are a few tips as how to select an architect. Talk to friends/relatives who have recently built their homes, about the architects they engaged and check the following

  • How often did the architect visit the site.
  • Did the architect help in solving layout problems or budget problems by suggesting good alternative.
  • Were there any disparities in the budget estimates.
  • Did they face any problems during the house building process? Were there any delays and if so why.
  • Did they face any problem after moving into their home? How were they solved effectively? Who solved them.

Before selecting your architect, make sure that you meet one or more architects and see some of their earlier work. The key to a successful home plan and project is clear communication with your architects.

  • Give him a realistic budget to work on a good architect can modify a plan to fit the budget.
  • Take time to decide important details like the façade, flooring, type of wood and the finish, storage etc. and share these with your architect.
  • Discuss your future needs. Extensions, possible partitioning, conversions for renting out etc.
  • Fix the rates and terms of payment before work starts and discuss all important issues beforehand.


Selecting a Contractor

And what if you want to select a contractor. There are certain guidelines to be followed which will ease the tension selecting a contractor. After selecting an architect and finalising the design, home building process enters a very critical phase. This is when the need to hire a contractor comes in and the steps to be executed are essential. Check out the following before you hire a contractor.

  • Make sure that the has done and is doing work of a similar nature which is up to your standards of quality.
  • The contractor has a team of people for various jobs like stone laying and polishing, carpentry, plumbing, etc., other wise there will be unnecessary delay and co-ordination will become tiresome.
  • Take referrals from people who have hand similar work done by your proposed contractor.
  • Make sure that your proposed contractor has established set-up and communication channels.
  • Discuss with your architect the scope of the contractor’s responsibilities, the of the kind of material he will supply, the kind of equipment he has – such as the quality of shuttering material, the concrete mixer, vibrator, any other equipment because later these could become sources of dispute.
  • Check out the current commercial terms, the terms quoted to you, and compare with rates from at least three or four sources.
  • If you can, visit the contractor’s current site to see it the contractor maintains a stable and reliable team.
  • Provides adequate site supervisor and co-operates well with other contractors.
  • Is cost conscious and uses material efficiently & effectively.
  • Keeps the site clean and sate.
  • Ask the current client of the contractor whether the completed
  • the project on schedule; is his team adequate for size and scope or work and how responsive is the contractor to problems.