Step by step from laying the first brick to taking possession of your dream building construction
- Are you looking to build your home?
- Are you a businessman planning to build your own office building?
- Are you an industrialist thinking of expanding your factory unit?
Constructing a new home or any building is a tedious, can be a dream come true for most, but at the same time, it’s a tedious process that requires 360-degree involvement, hectic negotiations and close interaction with multiple vendors and service providers. But it better be good, otherwise months of effort and your heavy investment – sometimes a whole life’s savings – can go waste, or not give you the full outcome; complete satisfaction and peace of mind that you deserve.
“Whatever we build today, ends up building our tomorrow”
Pradeep, a friend who was planning to have his home constructed once came to me for advice. He asked me if I can help him understand the process. Since I’ve dabbled in the industry for over a decade, so that he does not end up wasting his precious time, money, resources and energy. The process that I outlined for my friend is the one I am going to share with you in this document – drawn-up entirely from the owner’s perspective. It’s a distillation of my 10 years of experience in the industry with 250 projects, ranging from 1500 sq.ft. to 8,50,000 sq.ft. in area.
Armed with this nine-step roadmap, you can seize complete control of the contraction process – – how to build a house; an office building; a hospital; an industrial shed; execute a big township project or get a school, college or a resort project executed, on-time and within budget, without a glitch. If you carefully follow all these nine steps, I can guarantee you will be able to have your construction project completed in a hassle-free manner, without any time or cost overruns.
- Land Feasibility Check
- Appointment of Architect
- Budget Planning
- Plan Finalization
- Legal Clearances
- Appointment of a Contractor
- Site Supervision
- Selection of Quality Material
- Don’t Miss Little Things
1. Check Land Feasibility
“Feasibility study means a careful evaluation of the viability of a construction project to analyze various opportunities and restrictions beyond our set of assumptions.”
In simple language, what it means is that before you start planning the construction of your house or office on a piece of land, always check the feasibility of the project. This includes following two steps:
a. Zone analysis –
A piece of land falls in a particular zone, and each zone has pre-specified uses. (E.g. you cannot build a commercial property in a residential zone. Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is another is another important consideration. FSI reveals how much construction you are allowed to do on your allotted land. You can use Foot2feet.com’s unique, free-to-use FSI calculator to find this out. (Click here). Last but not the least; zone analysis would also cover a consideration of access road’s width, road widening areas, allowable building height etc.
b. Site Analysis –
This would include a study of the site topography; water course; trees; prevailing climate conditions; direction of the sun; existing structures; bore well/well locations; the presence or absence of any parks in the vicinity etc. All these are crucial elements of a Vibrant Design that your architect will later use to develop a plan for your dream house/office/factory premises.
Foot2Feet can help you to connect with a professional, who excels at preparing this report for you.
2. Appointment of an Architect(s)
“Architects are magicians who add life to a building.”
If your building is your dream, then the architect is the person who will bring this dream to reality oops, realty.
He plays a crucial role in helping you decide major aspects, such as space utilization; material selection and optimization of its use; cost management; exterior look and feel; interior functionality; future expansion scope; electrical fittings and plumbing design etc.
An architect must be appointed right in the beginning of a project and his role ends with project completion. Hence be wise in the selection of an architect for your dream project. Use the following criteria in the selection of the right architect –
- Experience – An experienced architect will be good at problem-solving and make your decision-making easier.
- Timely Service – Timely delivery of drawings will make a huge difference to the construction speed.
- Aesthetic Sense – A competent architect will ensure that the building looks good and is also technically-sound.
- Execution Teams – His contacts with contractors, masons and other consultants will ensure that you get help from the right person for the right tasks and at the right time.
On the flip side, if you are on a tight budget, you could also consider awarding your project to a talented, young architect as he will be more flexible in his approach and his services will cost you considerably less.
Get free quotations from architects registered on Foot2feet.
3. Budget Planning
How big is your building project likely to be?
Check out the cost of construction in your particular area. Contractor, architect and your experienced friends may help you estimate the trending cost in your area. For instance, in a smaller city like Latur or Nanded, it may cost only Rs 950 per square feet, while it may climb up to Rs 2500 per square feet in cities like Pune and Mumbai. Also factor into this estimate the cost of
- Material used in the construction
- Design details of your project
- Nature of soil, hard rock etc., which affects foundation cost
- The prevailing rates of material, such as steel, cement etc.
- Labor availability
After you arrive at an approximate cost of construction, multiply it by your proposed area of construction. Since building a home or undertaking any other construction project is a once-a-lifetime event in the life of an average Indian, determine how far you can go in terms of expanding your budget to match your dreams.
Remember the cost of basic structure (slab, brickwork, plaster) is quite reasonable compared to the cost of finishing items, such as doors, windows, hardware, sanitary items, electrical fittings, tiles, toilets, kitchen items, paint, furniture etc.
One major mistake that I found most people make is that they start planning big thinking that big is better, even when it strains their budget. The truth of the matter however is that any construction is good if it fulfills your requirement in terms of space, stability, aesthetics, and comfort in days to come. Sometimes the family size is small but they end up living in a palatial house, where they don’t get to see each other as often as they should. Remember that a home project is capital-intensive; don’t make the mistake of locking up that capital in a construction that does not serve your real purpose.
4. Planning Your Construction – Building Your Future
In the above section, we covered initial steps before starting your construction. Now it’s time to start planning the building.
- Draw up a detailed list of your requirement before meeting an architect. (Take help from your friends, family & architect on this)
- Be flexible with your list. It may change over time, as elements get added or subtracted from the list.
If required, make two lists of requirements. One for essentials such as kitchen, bed rooms, bathrooms etc., and the second for non-essential elements of your dream home. This will make it easier for your architect to find a perfect balance between your dream and your essential requirements.
When I sat down to pick up insights from my 20-completed project in 2019, I discovered that people who were clear with this kind of priority list received the best outcome from me and their homes closely matched their dream home concepts.
Secondly, when you seek layouts from your designer, insist on furniture layout. In their case, we could make optimum utilization of space, resources and the clients’ budgets. .
Third, after you freeze a plan, start with the exterior design (elevation design) of your building. A 3D view will give more clarity about what can be built. It also gives insights on what material to use.
5. Legal Clearance
One of my acquaintances built a two-storied building without getting any legal permission. Now that construction has become a major headache for him. After investing a huge amount of his saving in the project, he continues to fret and worry that the civic authority may come order to have it demolished, any day. He can’t even mortgage his property, for loan purpose.
I pray, this sould not be a case for any one again. Most people are misguided in their belief that they can start the construction process and have it regularized later by hook or crook. This is easier said than done. These days, under The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) norms & IGR Maharashtra rules (for property registration) enforcement is very prompt and effective and penalties severe. What may have appeared possible ten years ago is infeasible now.
Here is easy guide for steps involved in obtaining legal clearance:
- Procure land ownership documents.
- Get approval from the building department in your area.
- Get Plinth checking done (when was the 1st slab or plinth constructed?)
- Obtain all No-Objection Certificates (NoCs) for drainage, water, fire etc.
- Obtain Occupation Certificate (OC)
Remember, Occupation certificate (OC) is the only document which will prove that your construction is totally legal. No other certificate is as valid as the OC. I alway recommend to appoint liasoning architect to complete all thes tasks.
For more knowledge on building approvals, blue prints, refer foot2feet site. Here we have built many features for building rules, & getting building approvals.
6. Appointment of a Contractor (click Here)
A Contractor is key person in any construction. You can appoint one contractor or you can appoint multiple contractors and assign them various tasks.
Types of Contracts
- Labour Contract: This would cover timely supply of labour for a reasonable cost. The contract will also bind the Owner/ site supervisor to provide all material required to the Labour Contractor for unobstructed construction work.
- Material Contract: Under this contractual obligation, the Contractor quotes a certain amount and himself deals with the labour and material cost. This can save huge time for the owner, provided he is willing to do regular quality checks.
Turnkey Contract: Under this arrangement, the Contractor deals with everything from labour, material to post-construction cleaning etc. The common adage is that after appointing a turnkey contractor, the owner has only one task left – turn in the key of the newly-constructed house! The common trend in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Nasik and Aurangabad is to have a material contract for basic construction structure (RCC, brickwork and plaster) and a separate labour contract; or separate contracts for other items, such as electrical, plumbing, window, doors, painting, water proofing, tile work etc. This is to ensure that the owner saves time in basic structure and can procure high quality input material in finishes.
7. Site Supervisor
A constant supervision of the construction work by an expert is a pre-requisite on the site. This person would be held responsible for various activities and on-site technical problem-solving. You can appoint a supervisor for certain number of pre-mandated visits but if your project is big then appointing a full-time supervisor is always a better idea.
Charges of site supervisor varies on the responsibilities, you assign to the incumbent. In Pune, it varies between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 per month. Responsibilities include routine checking of material quality; supervision of contractor’s work; planning next-stage activities; making timely decisions based on site situations; co-ordinating drawings from various consultants; preparing bar charts; co-ordinating with vendors for material delivery etc. For bigger projects, project management consultants (PMC) are appointed. They often have bigger roles etched out for them. Usually projects covering over 50,000 sq.ft. area are assigned to PMCs. Sometimes, smaller, quality and time-conscious project owners also seek the help of PMCs.
8. Selection of Material
In 2020, we renovated our home. It was built by my uncle in 1985. We altered windows, toilets, kitchen platform, tiles and introduced several, new trending elements to the basic structure. I was surprised to discover that even after 35 years of use, the basic material stood strong against the ravages of time. This is the kind of role material quality plays in construction work – it ensures the building’s longevity.
Society trends, user requirement, can all change with generations of use; but one thing that remains long time with building is the material used in making of it.
While choosing construction materials bear in mind the following points:
- Material specification
- Sustainability in terms of the local climate of your area
- Aesthetic appeal
- Can your contractor install it?
- Warranty or guarantee & maintenance aspects
For footing, brickwork, RCC structure, electrical, plumbing and sanitary items, strength and durability must be double-checked. These are the aspects that cannot be changed, easily later, if the need arises.
9. Don’t Miss Out on Little Things
All above steps is a outline of all important task a home owner , developer should do. Now here is a final one. After completion, a few important aspects to be borne in mind:
- Spare material: Youmay need minor repair work in the long or short future. In such case materials, keep some spare material, such as bathroom tiles, other tiles, furniture laminates, exterior cladding etc., because you may not be able to get hold of the same batch later. At least stock two-to-five pieces in spare.
- Tax clearance: For use of land other than agriculture, a NA (Non Agriculture) tax is applicable, besides municipal tax. You need to pay both taxes to avoid legal action from authorities.
- Completion letter: Obtain acompletion letter from your architect, contractor and from local municipal body, before moving in.
- Record drawings: Get hold of a copy of ‘as built’ drawings of the architecture; structural drawings; electric layouts; plumbing layouts for future repair needs. These should be updated copies, reflecting all on-site changes. This will help you in the execution of all -run expansion, maintenance or renovation plans.