It is everyone’s dream to build a house within our budget in our lifetime. Usually very few house owners consult an architect before buying a site. A feeling of urgency is always created and a feeling of losing a great opportunity if that particular site is not bought looms large and the decision will be normally quick. It is always better to take time in decision-making than to buy in haste and repent later. Hire the services of an architect. It is worth investing on a professional.
The process of constructing a house, after a suitable site has been found involves four main aspects: conceptualization of design, planning the work, giving the contract, and the construction of the building.
Conceptualisation is the most important part in the process of constructing a house. Architects abroad spend more time for the design and planning of a residence than what is required for construction. Arriving at a theme of design involves prolonged interaction with an architect or a professional. The requirements, lifestyles, aspirations, concerns and resources are expressed to the designer with which a relevant concept of design is evolved. Meetings with the client would enable the architect evolve an appropriate concept of design. Once the concept is accepted, the final drawings are made. From them, the plan for approval, estimation and bill of quantities are prepared.
The second aspect is the planning of the construction in terms of the economic factors as well as scheduling of the time. This involves budgeting of the construction according to a fixed budget or providing necessary money to build the visualisation of the architect. The money involved must synchronize with the schedule of the construction. The construction time table must also provide the time necessary to ensure good quality of construction.
The third aspect of tendering the work involves identifying the right agency to construct the residence depending on the skill and the experience required for the nature of the construction and seeking a quotation for the work according to the drawings and specifications. Since building a house is a huge investment, it is quite natural for the owner to look for the most reasonable offer. The offers are negotiated and the contract awarded to a deserving contractor.
Construction is the last phase of the process. All resources, building materials and money are to be kept ready. The architect and the house owner should spend enough time to make sure that the design as visualized is getting built. Supervision of the work is recommended to make sure that the progress of the work is satisfactory.
A house is made of various parts such as the living room, dining hall, kitchen, bedrooms and toilet. The essential parts needed for one family is different from another depending on the size of the family, the frequency of guests, frequency of social occasions, etc. determines the size of the house. A concept is evolved and the areas in the house are interestingly sequenced keeping in mind the efficiency and privacy the clients demand.
Lifestyle of the family plays a major role in design. The conservative families may need privacy for certain areas which are probably not insisted by the liberal ones. Hence the sequence of rooms is determined by the areas where the outsider is allowed and areas which are private.
The location of the site, its shape, natural features and surroundings influence design. A corner site will have the luxury of uninterrupted ventilation and view on two sides where as a site in between two will have view on one side only. The shape of the site determines the form of the building which will optimise the use of the land.
Many a times cost-saving techniques lead to unique character of design. The will to restrict the use of costly elements of a house, replacing them with inexpensive and sometimes completely radical solutions, drives the design concept. On the other hand, the freedom of a big budget encourages a designer to use appropriate material and technology to get the desired outcome.
Social concerns like the use of eco-friendly materials in construction and limited use of cement and wood will lead to designing a residence without conventional materials. Locally available materials, skills and technology influence design. With the material available in abundance, its nature known, it is easier to design and accomplish good quality of work in the shortest time.
The cost of civil work involves amount spend on the basic structure of construction like the foundation, RCC columns, walls (bricks, stone, clay blocks, etc.), lintels, sunshades, beams, roof, plaster, weather-proof, etc.
The nature of the soil decides the structural design of the building. Accordingly decide between RCC framed structure and load bearing structure. An RCC structure is used because of the complexity of architectural design. Once the structure is determined, the cost can easily be calculated.
Climate of the place also influence the design. The houses in the costal areas demand continuous draft of air without which one perspires. This becomes a primary consideration of design. The designer's preferences and allegiance to an established philosophy of architecture also influence the planning.
The plan of a house is normally finalized by the client, after a couple of interactions with the architect and two or three revisions in the design. Once the plan is accepted, the client would want to know how the exterior view of the house looks. An attractive composition of the elevation is prepared conforming to the concept of design.