Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cost of constructing a house

I keep getting mails asking me to tell cost of constructing house without giving any data.Some people simply guess square feet plinth area of house to be built without even preparing a plan of the house by a professional ,qualified and experienced in designing house .

First of all any one thinking of constructing a house should understand that there is no universal square feet cost of construction irrespective of location,site conditions and design.In fact there is no such thing as square feet plinth area cost of construction.Most of the people think that constructing a house is as simple as going and buying rice from market.Just tell approximate plinth area of house you are thinking of  constructing and the builder will tell the cost!

In fact there are many non professional contractors who quote square feet cost of construction with several conditions applicable.These applicable conditions will come out in the open only after you give contract of construction to him mislead by lower square feet cost quoted by him.Contractor knows very well that once construction starts,you will have no other option other than agree to whatever extras,advances and additions he may ask for.In many parts of Kerala,other contractors will not even come to take up balance work left by a contractor and you will be forced to continue with the existing contractor whatever may be his fresh demands.In many places people think that you should not make house building contractor unhappy.It is supposed to bring bad luck to you.So much for protecting and enhancing interest of profit thirsty contractors who talk pleasingly in the beginning promising very low square feet cost of construction and threateningly as the work progresses as he knows very well that your neck is firmly in his grip.

There are so many factors which determine cost of constructing houses .At best,we can put square feet plinth area as one of the many factors contributing to cost of constructing a house.I will list few of them

1.Site conditions and soil nature

In places like Cochin you may get only land without even a trace of sand even if you go down by 40 to 50 feet depth.Naturally you will have to go for concrete piling and costly beam foundation with columns going up at all corners.This may raise up even foundation cost for a normal house up to Rs.10 lakhs

2.Level of the plot

In hilly areas there can be sloppy terrain where you will have to construct house.This will result in increased cost of foundation even if you are doing ordinary rubble foundation

3.Design of the house

This is a very important factor deciding cost of construction.Only a talented Architect with knowledge in structural engineering can design a cost effective house with maximum utility and minimum wastage of built up space.

Some people keep on asking me how he will find out who is the best Architect to design his  house.Qualifications even though important alone will not be sufficient for the best Architect suited for you.Experience in designing and building several houses is very very important as with each house designed and constructed Architect gains knowledge which cannot be obtained by reading Architectural or Engineering books.

4.Cost of input materials for house construction

Your house construction will take not less than one year.During this period cost of all input materials for construction will change,naturally upward in our conditions.Contractor if committed a fixed price will find some way to keep his profit intact when cost of input materials increases naturally compromising on quality of construction of your house.So it will be better to have cost varying term in contract to keep profit of builder and quality of construction for you.


Technology in every aspect of house construction is rapidly changing almost on a daily basis.To have the best and latest technology your specifications for house especially for works after structural work will have to be suitably modified in consultation with your Architect.A builder who has quoted square feet cost of construction will naturally take advantage of the situation and will demand higher and extra charges.Here square feet costing will act as a hindrance to you.

So in my opinion,you should go for more scientific item wise rates for construction  rather than land up in trouble by giving work to whoever quoting lower square feet cost of construction

There are many more factors contributing to cost of construction.I will talk about all these in detail when you come to me as a client.

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