The global economic crises and the job loss of expatriate Keralites triggered by the Corona virus pandemic are likely to land a huge blow to the construction sector in the state. Those who have begun constructing their houses or prepared plans of houses that have an area of 4000-5000 sq ft are enquiring whether they could reduce the overall area. Here are some important tips that could help reduce the total expense of house construction in the post Covid period:
» The interiors could be made space-efficient by reducing the number of walls to the minimum. The space between the kitchen and the work area can be effectively utilized by installing movable shelves. Likewise, it is better not to have too many walls between the living and the dining areas and the family living area. Semi-partition walls or television panels would be sufficient for smartly separating the spaces. In addition to saving the cost of building the walls, it makes the interiors look incredibly vast.
» Besides a few bedrooms, more than one multipurpose room and spaces could be built. It is a waste to spend lakhs of rupees to construct luxurious guests’ rooms to accommodate guests who may visit you less than a couple of times in a year.
» Using machineries like mortar mixers for concrete plastering can not only help reduce cost but also save at least 10% cement. It is more effective and helps in swiftly completing the construction works. Instead of building sunshades all around the house, it is better to install them just above the windows. Blocks and cement need not be used to build the sunshades. Iron frames and materials like roofing sheets that match the design of the house adds to the beauty of the house. Besides, they reduce the cost as well.
» Dark colours could be avoided while painting the house. Nothing beats the grace and beauty of the serene white hue. In case you wish to add a pop of colour, single walls could be highlighted using eye catching shades. Colourful furnishing materials too could be used. Buying too many paints in different colours can increase the total budget.
» Keralites’ obsession with the teak wood could shoot the construction costs. The common practice has been to install teak wood doors in houses that are designed in the contemporary style and then painting it in colours to match the general theme of the house. What is the point of having a classic teak door if it is disguised in paint? Contrary to popular belief, teakwood door does not add extra security. False ceiling can be installed only at the necessary places where visible beams hamper the beauty of the space or to reduce heat, prevent sound and to install beautiful lighting. There is no need for false ceiling everywhere.
» More than having a bigger kitchen, it is important to keep the kitchen clean and effective. In some houses, the kitchen area is divided into four or five sections such as the show kitchen, working kitchen, work area and an additional store room. It is easier to have everything within the reach of hands rather than running around to fetch them. The concept of the show kitchen is nothing but an unnecessary luxury. A kitchen with enough storage space and a work area would make things easier in a regular home.
» The use of glass can be reduced as much as possible. Glass doors and partitions and glass pergolas are the highlight of the modern and contemporary houses. If glass is installed without taking the direction of the sunlight into consideration, it could create problems later. Why increase the heat inside the house while trying to follow the trend? Some people consider paving tiles in the front yard as a status symbol. These tiles, which are typically used to stop the growth of weeds, prevent water from seeping into the earth. Besides, this increases the cost of construction as well.
» Pre-fabricated houses made of alternative materials like gypsum panels and GFRG panels are becoming popular these days. The major advantage of it is that these houses can be built quickly with minimum labour. But it is also important to understand the disadvantages or shortcomings of such methods. Factors like security, quality and sturdiness have to be kept in mind while building houses using alternative materials. So it is highly important to entrust the construction works to experienced and trustworthy contractors.