Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Free Consultation,18,June,2013

House Extension and renovation

Query 1


Greetings to you. I am Antony and would like to take guidance from you on an expansion/ addition plan. Would it be possible for you to come to the location and give some suggestion. Your travel cost will be born by me. We have an old house on which we have made some light modifications to make it comfortable. However , now we think we could go for two more Bed rooms upstairs.

My reply

Many people think that house extension and renovation can be a cheaper option. Basic problem starts with nonprofessional design and construction of the original building .While constructing existing building at plan stage naturally you could not understand exactly what you get after construction. Once the house is completed even a lay man can understand defects in design and construction. But it will be too late to do anything on that.

Unless you have any sentimental attachment to the old building constructed without proper professional design and construction without technical guidance, it will be cheaper and better to go for a new construction. Most of the defects in old building cannot be rectified even by an expert and defects in construction most probably done by a non-professional contractor with an eye only for profit will start coming out as you start breaking and modifying old building parts

Before venturing into modification/renovation, always get the building checked by a qualified experienced expert. Present your needs to him and let him decide whether it will be worth going for extension technically and economically

Design and Construction of house


Dear Mr.Thomas
I am really impressed and found helpful about your guidelines in your blog.
I am based at Aloor, near Chalakudy I have a plot of 41 cents, would like to make a good home, cost effectively.
I am having a plan and attaching with this.
Its just an idea..
We need your valuable guidance.



I am planning to build a 1900sq ft. contemporary house. Plot area is 6 cents near Aluva. I need the house to be simple and classy . I go through your pictures in blog and FB but all of the houses are traditional . Can you send me some contemporary house models ?


Hi Sir,
I used to read your articles and would like to have your service to architect my house.
I'm planning for 1500 sq.feet house by demolishing old house(it's very old and in bad condition but can save some old wood from that).

I would like to know if you can come for a visit at Ammadam(Thrissur Dist.) and architect a house as per our ideas.

Also curious on your other services like technical guidance by watching the construction progress and taking care of entire construction process etc.

Frankly, I'm looking for house which got small courtyard/3bhk by using all the available space in budget

My reply

Design of a house is the most important part of building a house. Any Architect/Engineer or those who know how to draw a plan of the house cannot design the most appropriate plan for your house. Apart from technical training at an Engineering college, a good designer of the house should know essential methods of designing a good house like some of the  the following:

1. How to use the available space in the most economic manner without wasting even a bit of space

2. Get maximum utility for the built up space. Arrange doors and passages in a manner to get maximum utilisable space

3. Provide space sufficient to meet the requirement but not simply large spaces that cannot be used

4. Provide light and ventilation in all living spaces without having to depend on lighting during day time

5. Provide stair in a manner to avoid dark space below and make it a show piece of the house. Avoid stair close to outer walls

6. Provide Vasthu compliance

7.Provide features to reduce cost of construction

A site visit will be better to understand site conditions and to visualise your future house in the surroundings. Such a site visit always helps me to dream your house better. After the site visit I will require time to design your house first in my mind before I can actually sit in front of a computer and start drawing using Auto CAD software. Many of clients do not give sufficient time for me to do this preparation for designing your house. In fact that unnecessary haste can only harm your interest as even the best Architect may not design your house in the best possible manner if you do not give sufficient time to develop the most appropriate plan for your house

Quite a few of the people draw a plan by themselves and ask me to me draw a plan like that. I do agree that you are constructing house with your money. But that do not mean that you know better than an expert to draw the best plan for your house. Instead of using the expertise of a professional why should you order him to follow what you have drawn? Instead of dictating your needs for house, it will always help if you can have detailed discussions with the Architect on your needs, dreams, and financial constraints if any before and after preparation of plan of the house

Slope roofs and slope sunshades are provided in Kerala houses due to continuous rains in Kerala at least for six months. House should be designed in a manner to suit our climate. There should be sunshades just above windows and not much above. Some people think that providing slope sunshades are not modern. House in each locality will have to be designed to suit that locality climate and culture

After preparing and finalising plan of the house, you will require more detailed drawings, occasional site visits and instructions to workers to convert the design in to reality, I can offer these services even for houses not directly built by us

In the present Kerala scenario where most of the large houses have only two older couple staying, it is better to avoid Nadumuttom which can only increase your cost and reduce your security. Kerala houses were having Nadumuttom in those days when each of the houses had lot of people staying together in joint family set up. Of course you can go for Chuttu verandah to a limited extent, Poomukham which were traditional Kerala Architecture features, if you have the budget to have such nice features

Plan prepared by a friend



Hope you remember me.

We had discuss about new construction of my house.

My plot is located in Kolencheri, Pattimattom. Ernakulam.

As I told you attached design made by my friend who is working in UAE.

I like this design and we need a professional architecture who can take care about construction in our absence.

If you have any suggestions or changes required about this design please let me know.


My reply

Plan of the house should not be simply pleasing to your eyes. It should be technically right, Vasthu right and economical to build also

Just because your friend has drawn it, it is not a good plan of a house. I will just point out few mistakes:

1. Look at the second column of rooms. No natural light or ventilation there.

2. Bed room at North East, car porch at North west  are not Vasthu ok for your house. I could not read dimensions  from the drawing sent but still Kitchen is too long and South east portion of it is left out for Work area and not used for Kitchen

3. Stair case is simply a round. Such stair will require more space, which I do not know whether you have. That area is completely dark also. Not enough sitting space for living room

If I have to take up work, plan will have to be completely revised and I can work on the plan only after visiting site and studying site conditions

There is quite a lot of space wastage in the plan while not providing sufficient space where it matters

Vasthu aspects



We are planning to redo our house it has a front portion (west side) which is a new building with a drawing room and two bedroom and the plan is to redo the east part which is an old building and convert (and join) it to the existing building with a bedroom on the northeast part a dining at the east (center) and kitchen towards the southeast corner.

The master bedroom is on the southwest corner and the attached bathroom for the same is on the eastern side of the room - is this bad?

As per the current layout do not have scope to modify the west side of land as the house is built on the first floor (ground floor being shops)

Since we as a family has been going through continuous serious medical ailments did not want to risk anything.

please share your suggestions.


My reply

As per Vasthu toilets at South east, North East and South west corners of the house are bad and should be avoided. Please send plan of your house in pdf for me to check on Vasthu, architectural and structural engineering aspects

 House Construction at Kannur


Dear Sir,
I am based in Kuwait in the Gulf Area.
I am from  near Pariyaram Medical College, Taliparamba Kannur District.
I have a plot of 17cents. Want to construct a house under an engineer supervision. Please do you have reliable subordinate or people down in Kannur to help supervise our construction. What would be your advice. Budget is around 30-35 lakhs.
Waiting for your valuable advice.




Dear Thomas,
Good day!
Please let me know if you have office in Karunagapally to discuss about renovating an old house with total of 2 to 3 rooms in 7 cents.
I want to know the renovation cost & the drawing plan.
Awaiting your reply

My reply

We can design your house, provide complete engineering details later and also provide occasional site visits to guide and instruct workers at your construction site even at Kannur. In fact I have designed several houses in that area and visited several sites as a consultant. Your budget seems to be realistic for a house of up to four bed rooms. Send me following details to start working on plan of your house:

First step in construction of house is preparation of Basic Plan of the house

Site visit before preparing plan will be better though plan can be prepared if you can give complete measurements of all four sides of plot, directions of each side and positions of roads near plot.

Basic Plan of the house will show positions and dimensions of rooms, other living spaces, doors and windows only. It will not show Elevation and we will start working on Elevation only after finalisation of Basic Plan of the house which is the most important drawing for house construction. We can provide you Elevation in photo like view later at extra charges

We will be preparing this Basic Plan in AutoCAD software and you will get a pdf copy by email within a week of site visit.

Most important cost reduction technique is getting most appropriate plan of the house giving you maximum utility for every bit of built up space, proper ventilation and natural light in all living spaces and make maximum utility by utilising space inside the house appropriately.

Just anyone who knows how to draw a plan in AutoCAD cannot give you this best possible plan of the house which is the most critical factor to give you a better house by design and at lesser cost. Expertise for designing such a plan will not come by attending an engineering /architectural course. It require wealth of experience acquired through years of designing and getting involved in actual execution of work at different sites in different conditions. It also require creative talent and common sense which can get ignited only by learning by working with established experts in the field.

Basic Plan for the house will be prepared after site visit, taking into account following:

1. Information provided by you on your needs, desires and hopes for the house.

2. Vasthu aspects

3. Traditional Kerala Architecture features

4. Modern architecture features

5. Structural engineering aspects to reduce cost of construction

6. Kerala Building Rules

7. Features of site and surroundings

I require detailed write up from you on what all you require in the house including your dreams for the house.

Our technical knowledge in the fields of Architecture, Structural Engineering and Vasthu will be used while designing your house.

House and Studio apartment at Trichur


Dear Mr. Thomas,

I am .Sameera , residing at Abu Dhabi, basically from Thrissur Dt. i read your article in Kerala architecture. I am planning to build a house back in Kerala, i already got a plot of 76 cent.there is an engineering college near by plot & I am focusing on that,i plan to build quarters like studio flats for an income purpose with a low cost. my plot is facing to the bus route road, so the quarters can be in the front area. on the left side of the plot there is a panchayat road, so i want the house to be at the back.behind my plot there is a river Bharathapuzha, which expects to be a good scene for my plot.

if you can suggest me some good architects somewhere in Thrissur, i will be grateful to you.we are basically from Cheruthuruthy. i need a modern contemporary house in an affordable budget with 4 bedrooms in 2 story. please advise me if you know any good architects. since I am a beginner in this field, i need an architect who can trust & rely on for my dream house.

Awaiting for your reply.

My reply

Why should you strain to find out a Trichur based Architect when we can assist you to get work done after designing and guiding in the most professional manner? We do not do any compromise on professional competence of the work, Engineering standards, quality work and Vasthu compliance in addition to guiding you to save cost as much as possible without compromising on quality.

In fact you will save more money than what you may pay as fees for our services. So it can only be  a better option for you as we take away your head aches on design and construction of your building

Landscape tile laying


Hello Mr. Thomas,
Is Vettukallu used or paving the yard in Kerala. If so what thickness do
the pavers come in? And also what would be the sq. meter cost?
A reply would be greatly appreciated

My reply

I do not recommend use of Vettukallu floor landscape tile laying.It will be better and cheaper to use Interlock tiles

House Construction in Kerala without any relative or friend to supervise the work


Dear Mr.Thomas,
I searched in Google and found your website.  We are currently in Dubai, planning to settle down in Kerala, Kochi.  We are looking for a place near Thripunitura.  Sir if we find a plot, I would like to know if you can give us an estimate to construct a 4 bedroom house. We are a middle class family with 3 little girls. We need a compact house with not too much frills.  Another concern is that, since we are residing in Dubai who will be responsible for supervising the construction.  Do we have to be there to supervise, and how long will it take to construct a 4 bedroom house.
Waiting anxiously for a reply from your side,

My reply

We can take up design and construction of your house directly without requirement for any one from your side to supervise or make any other arrangements. We have built many such houses in different parts of Kerala for persons living and working away from Kerala

We are professionals in designing and building house/other type building from concept to finish. We undertake such work with all professional care and technical perfection all over Kerala state and even outside state. Most of our works are done for NRIs with practically no one at site to monitor or manage the work.

Traditionally houses in Kerala were designed and built without involvement of professionals. Plan of the house is never treated as the most important drawing for the house which can either give you good value for your money or waste your money. Instead of getting a good professional plan of the house, people used to go for someone who will do it for few hundreds or for nothing as if it is not at all important. We are bringing professional design and professional guidance in house construction in Kerala practically as the first such professional agency

If you have own work force and people to manage construction at site, we can also act as designers and consultants to provide site supervision and technical guidance at a comparatively lower cost

Clay tiles for flooring



We are constructing a house at Poojappura Trivandrum. We would like to do the floors with terracotta tiles. In one of your blog you recommended Kap India  tiles as quality tile. But when we contacted them, we were informed that they have stopped manufacturing clay tiles due to shortage of clay.

Please advise us of any other manufactures who produce quality clay tiles so that we can procure at the earliest.

My reply

Kap India tiles in Trichur can supply you clay tiles with strength of vitrified tiles in 30 x 30 sizes.These are imported tiles marketed by them and I have used it in one of my house sites and found to be quite good strength wise and appearance.

After completing structure and plastering work, you require continuous guidance from a qualified and well-experienced Architect on each of the following works that come up

You need advice and guidance of a qualified and experienced person to know various options available to you, latest trends and ways and means to decrease cost while improving utility and appearance of the building.

Look at some of the pending works

1. Putty finish for walls and painting

2. Flooring and toilet wall/floor tile laying with latest trend designs/patterns

3. Plumbing and sanitary works

4. Electrical wiring and fittings

5. Interior woodwork like modular Kitchen, cupboards and Interior lay out design

6. Furniture work with woodcarving

8. Land scape design, arrangements and much more

We can undertake these after structure work by providing professional guidance and expert workers

To assess work already done in the house and to suggest/advise on pending works to be done I can visit your house under construction

A house for Nadumuttom

Dear Sir,

We are in the process of constructing a house in Kerala. I have been going through your blogs and have understood many details. We would be very very thankful if you can look in to our attached plans and give us your good opinion. This basic is our own plan and we than gave it to Vasthu people to check it, there was corrections made and this is the final one (2 versions attached) what is received.

Basically our house is facing to the west. The plan is with Nadumuttam in it and we would like to have this Nadumuttam used as a rest area with a small sofa etc. But the main thing which is confusing us now is, as per Vasthu people, they have placed the Kitchen in the North East position which after reading your blog and many others feel that this is not the right place. It is a very humble request from our side to you to give us a good opinion on this. Should we change the kitchen to South East. Also some say the Nadumuttam area mentioned in the plan is also not correct and also the bedroom sizes.. Actually we wanted to have a long area for Nadumuttam to place sofa etc. A step will be keep to have an entry in to the Nadumuttam. This is a single story house only. The elevation is not decided, hence unable to forward to you.

We are now altogether confused. Could you please check for us and let us know if all okay and what corrections to be made? It will be of very good help from your side.

Also would be very very thankful if you could brief on some basic points that we have to consider for the vasthu.

Looking forward to have your valuable suggestions and comments.

Thank You Very Much



My reply

Plan which you have sent shows an unusually long Nadumuttom without proper positioning and arrangement for every other living space.It appeared to me that you are constructing a house only for a Nadumuttom.Why should you waste your hard earned money by designing house on your own as if there is no experts in house design and construction in Kerala

Plan has got Vasthu,Architectural defects and it will have to be completely revised.Nobody keep sofa inside Nadumuttom.It is normally kept in Living room