Let me ask a question to those who have decided to build a new home. The whole construction cost is from your pockets or are you taking loan from any bank. How much interest should you give for taking this loan? Once the construction is completed, workers and architects will give you shake hands with a smile and go away. It’s you who have to repay the whole loan. So it’s better to construct a home according to your budget giving preference to your requisites than including beautiful structures with great construction cost. The first step to reduce cost of construction of your home is to make available everything that you need with minimum cost, cutting short a few dreams. It’s always better to leave some dreams than to carry huge burdens of loans.

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However you reduce the construction cost of a concrete building it never go below 1000 rupees per square feet. Most of we people do complaint that our pockets have emptied when concrete of the building was complete. It occurs due to neglecting certain simple expenses; such silly expenses may build up to huge figures than your expectations. Let me give you a simple example.

The day for the starting of your construction, you may call an architect to initialize the work as per vasthu. You may include the wages needed to be spent that day, but leave the cost of sweets purchased to give all neighbours on that occasion. You should be able to analyze unexpected purchases and labour too, while preparing the budget. You should choose a good architect for this process and should tell him the estimated cost so that he can design your home according to it.

While selecting the plot

  • If you choose a plot with no road to bring materials, total construction cost of the home will increase at least 15%. At least a mini lorry should reach your plot.
  • While buying a plot you should know if it’s an agricultural land, old paddy field, a land with strong soil or if rock or soil removed from the plot. If clay is present beneath, homes with normal basement won’t stay long there. Basement construction will add extra cost as well. So it’s better to do soil test before starting the project. This test can be done in soil mechanical division of civil department of government engineering colleges.
  • If it’s a paddy field, it gives extra construction cost for your basement for sure. Also it may be a bit difficult to get consent from government authorities to build home.
  • Water should drain well from the area which you wish to construct your home. If not, during rainy season soak pit of septic tank may face drainage problem; water may not drain easily from the tank. In such cases, even after toilet flush, your closet may not become clean. Also assure that your plot is free of environmental pollution including waste garbage, drainage or a dirty stream.
  • You should know earlier if you need to give extra money to build a post for your new electric connection. If there are electric lines in nearby places and electric posts are available, your costs reduce considerably. Otherwise add this cost also, to your total budget.
  • It’s always better to choose a land with well and outer wall.
  • It’s better to show the site to an architect and seek his opinion before purchase. If you believe in vasthu factors, choose a plot best as per vasthu principles.

Things to be noted in home plan

  • You should pre-decide those requirements needed for your new home; where to put almarah, how many shelves needed and their total size and number of drawers, how many pockets needed for bathrooms etc. If decided earlier, you can leave those places for later modifications. Reconstructing an already constructed structure adds double cost.
  • You should complete the plan of the home before starting the construction. Never alter anything later. If you want to construct home as per vasthu show the plan to an expert before preparing the blue print.
  • When size of the home increases room size will also increase in accordance to it. It eventually increase the total cost of floors and walls. Shape of the structure can also influence the total cost of construction. Oval and round shaped homes have less surface area.
  • As square shaped homes have less surface area, they need less bricks. Basement construction cost is also comparatively less.
  • While constructing foundation
  • To do sand piling and plain cement concrete in unnecessary soil adds only production cost. It’s similar to burying money under soil without any use.
  • While removing soil for constructing basement structure, never put soil too distant from the construction. Later you need the same soil giving you extra labour cost and time consumption to bring that soil back.
  • You can use rock powder instead of sand in basement. It reduces total cost. Also it gets protection from attack of pests.
  • While constructing foundation using granite or rock, use its waste as fillers to fill the gap instead of cement. It reduces the total cost and adds more strength to its foundation.
  • Belt above the surface is not needed in all places. It’s needed only in places where chances are there for earth quakes. Usually it’s done using iron pipes and concrete. Lintel gives more strength than belt in normal plots.

To construct walls

  • The walls that support the home need extra width while thin walls may be sufficient for others.
  • Reduce walls as much as possible. It makes the space for effective, more ventilated where sunlight travels free. It reduces total cost of the construction also. If walls are constructed with shelves on either side you can use the space more effectively. Use Ferro cement for this purpose; you can reduce total cost. Ferro cement is as strong as reinforced concrete. Also it’s easy to build layers of ferro cement than normal cement concrete shelves. You can use 10 gauge wire mesh as substitutes of iron pipes in the slabs. Such slabs are prepared using mesh polished with cement on either side.
  • Buy all bricks for your construction from one place/manufacturer itself. If brought from two places, they may slightly differ in dimensions adding extra cost. Your construction may lose its uniformity a little bit. Break one or two bricks in the middle to know if they are burnt properly. If not, they show slight colour variations. If you put a good quality brick from 3 or 4 feet height it never breaks.
  • It is economic to build bricks in tat trap bonding method. Instead of layering bricks one above the other, two bricks are placed straight at first, then the third one is placed in opposite direction. This way of placing bricks saves at least 25% of total bricks needed. Total weight of the building reduces; the total heat inside the rooms also reduces as there is space between the bricks.
  • Arches reduce total construction cost; it increases the beauty of your interior also. Arches with bricks are economic. It is not needed that all rooms need doors, arches are sufficient. For example, you can place an arch between your living room and dining hall instead of a door. It gives enough privacy as well as free passage through the space.
  • In old homes, door frames have four sides. But in new constructions, the frame at the base is avoided. It helps free passage and easy cleaning of your room. But in some cases like front door, back door, bathroom or places in contact with rain or water the fourth frame may be necessary. If so, you can construct the fourth side using cement. It reduces the total cost and is more durable and strong than wood.
  • Provide synthetic/plastic doors for bathrooms. As this door is in direct contact with moisture it’s better to avoid wood. It reduces the total cost as well.
  • Doors inside your home that need less safety measures need only less cost aluminum fittings. It reduces total budget also.
  • Construct lintels in necessary places only. Above doors and window frames up to 4 feet width no need to concrete lintel. Normal bricks are sufficient. If you feel the need of extra strength, concrete using one or two iron bars within the brick pieces.
  • You can give latches to windows at construction phase itself. It reduces the total costs and adds designs to your windows as well.
  • Wooden frames can be used for windows in both upper and lower parts. Then you can fix metal bars in between using grilling process. It can reduce the total construction of windows if wood is replaced this way.
  • If windows are fitted inside the walls, you can avoid shade concreting.
  • Arrange cabinets while constructing walls itself. It minimizes those shelves that budge outside the walls.
  • If cabinets are fixed in the lower end of windows they can be used as seats. If possible they can be made as storage spaces.
  • Your home needs cross ventilation. When the home is sufficient of light and air, electricity bill will reduce considerably.
  • Do you want to build an open courtyard inside your home? There are two ways – either to provide sunlight only or to allow both sunlight and air. First method needs less cost comparing the other.

Wooden work

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  • It’s not necessary that you should use only teak or valuable woods for your construction. You can use jackfruit tree, wild jack (jungle jack) and similar wood most available in your place to reduce total cost of wood up to 50%.
  • While buying wood for your home construction purposes, buy for your furniture as well. If done so, wastage can be reduced considerably.
  • Before fixing frames of windows and doors, apply a coat of primer. If you have plans to varnish it, polish it with primer in those areas too, in direct contact with walls.
  • You can make half portion of kitchen door with glass. It gives a stylish appearance to your kitchen; reduces the cost of wood also. If so, even the door is closed kitchen is not isolated from the rest of the home and a house wife can easily see what’s required in dining table or living room.

Roof concrete

  • If you use tiles before placing iron bars for the concrete of your roof it reduces the cost and lessens the heat inside the rooms.
  • You can do tress work for car porch or front sit out instead of concrete. Building roof with processed iron and if tiles are fixed on the roof it can reduce total budget. This type of construction is known as ‘False roof’ method.
  • No need to construct pillars for false roofs. Using pipes and bricks you can give support to the roof.
  • For car porch build a wall with 5 feet height and then fix an iron grill.

Flooring

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  • Red oxide floors are economic. If polished well they give an antique look of the past. Black oxide is another alternative to reduce cost. Give extra care while polishing cement floor. It’s better to do the polishing after house warming ceremony. If too many people walk through the floor before it’s not dried completely it affects the finishing.
  • Simple tiles can be afforded by a common man. This floor is better for persons having arthritis. You can use different designer tiles in different rooms. Its finish and polish increase with each usage and hence polishing is not needed.
  • Use antiskid tiles for your bathroom. If rough tiles are chosen they get dirt easily. Take care of this fact while choosing tiles for bathroom.
  • Use tile adhesive as substitutes of concrete before fixing tiles. It helps to avoid cuvaring caused by sand and cement concretes.

Plumbing

  • If you construct two bathrooms near, you can reduce construction cost considerably.
  • You can choose different strength pipes for plumbing, no need to use uniform pipes everywhere. As down-water pipes get less pressure, less strong pipes are sufficient.
  • Choose wash basins that suit your room. It saves not only your money but also your space. White sanitary fittings are cheap than colourful accessories.
  • Fix small taps in areas where you need less water. It saves both your money and a lot of water.
  • You should have a clear idea of what types of taps to be used, where to be placed and at what intensity of water flow. If sink is shallow and if you use lengthy angular pipes, water spills outside.
  • Ready made ferro cement septic tanks are cheap and durable.
  • You can use many wastes for your construction later. For example waste pieces of tiles or marble used for flooring can be used along with mosaic for flooring of your car pouch or balcony.

Wiring

  • Decide first, which switches you are using in your home. Then buy switch boxes and fix it on walls along with piping.
  • In the least used spaces like terrace, store etc you can use cheap switches. But use good quality ones in most frequent used places like kitchen, bed room and living space.
  • Do wiring in the ceiling so that you can reduce the total length of wire needed. You can save labour cost to pierce walls as well.
  • Concealed wiring done inside the walls and open wiring done visible – wiring of a home is done in both these ways. If you use interlock bricks or unpolished walls, open wiring is the best suggestion.
  • Determine the exact positions of lamps and fans before roof concrete so that you can place pipes inside concrete during roof concrete process. If circuits of electric motors, air conditioner and refrigerator are given this way it can reduce total time and later purchase of many materials.
  • It’s a better idea to draw lines of power plugs from distribution board. If load is in excess electric wire gets heated easily.
  • Fix ELBC to know power leakage and to avoid damages.

Painting

  • If you have decided not to polish your walls, it reduces the total cos of extra cement and sand as well as painting cost.
  • For exterior painting if you use weather-coat paints maintenance cost can be saved a lot. Use white or off-white colour for your interior. It makes your home simple, fills it with light and reduces cost as well.
  • Another alternative to reduce painting cost. Till 7.5 feet, use expensive paints. After that use normal paints. It can save your money a lot.

House warming

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House warming is the ceremony to enter the new home. It is a sharing of joy with our dear ones and a moment to show gratefulness to all people who have helped us to complete the dream home. So, use this occasion to thank all people. But keep in mind you should reserve an amount of money for this occasion too. You need to give small gifts to main workers who have constructed your home.

A few more tips in a snapshot

  • 60-65% of total expenditure is purchase cost. If you are able to make use of things available inside your house plot you can save a lot of money. If you need to bring materials from distance, it affects the total cost also. It’s better to buy materials from a nearby place, if they are needed in bulk.
  • To reduce total expenses we need not leave all our desires. We can make those dreams come to true in future also. It’s possible to add one or two rooms or upper storey later. Just you need to plan it earlier and do enough arrangements now, so that they can be extended later. Instead of a guest bedroom you can construct a family prayer room or family living room with a settee cum bed arrangement. A guest comes to your home to stay for one or two days and this settee (multi purpose sofa bed) can be used for this purpose as well. For that, why should you keep that area without any use? 
  • While choosing a contractor for your home, closely examine his previous works. You need to consult at least three houses before choosing him. Contract is of two types, full contract and labour contract. Full contract include flooring, electric plumbing, painting etc. You should closely watch him to know if he uses good quality products and if he completes the assigned job within desired time. It’s possible to give labour work only to contractors. You need to purchase all goods and give to them at right time. Contractor will do the construction using workers under his custody.

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