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Old 28th May 2019, 06:00   #886
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

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Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
The advice I got from my architect was to spend on things you get to interact with everyday. At the end of the day the kind of brick or steel or cement used isn't going to matter as much but the faucets, the basins, the tiles, the paint, the switches, the lights are.
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I tend to disagree on the last para of above post. Bricks, cement, steel make up the skeleton of the building. That skeleton has to be robust. Brick and concrete are not something you can change later unless you demolish entire walls or entire building. So quality matters in those materials. Higher quality equates higher cost.

On the other hand the so called human interface materials can also be thought of as make-up, as in cosmetics. Itís something you can change later as part of renovation.
This is a very interesting discussion with opposite view points where both arguments are valid as long as certain basic parameters are adhered to.

If not the top most quality, if standard quality products are used for Bricks, cement, steel and concrete, we may save a ton of money without compromising structural integrity or quality. For example, by spending on best quality cement and steel, one may be guaranteed of having a strong structure for another 100 years to come vis-a-vis using standard quality cement and steel that might guarantee a life of 50 to 70 years. Now the question is if it really matters if the building is required to last for 100 years as compared to 70 years as we are not sure if our next generation might want to tear down the place and build a new house based on future needs just as we might do today with the house our elders built during their times.

Although I agree with Guite that human interface materials are cosmetic in nature, they do take up significant part of the budget and are a measure of design and aesthetics on any building. One may use up all budget on best quality cement and steel and be left with enough budget to cover for the so called average quality cosmetic items. The question is how easy it is to get tiles, faucets, light switches, etc to be replaced in a few years.

My view is to moderate between these two choices and ensure enough budget is available to get the best available cosmetic items for your home which ensuring that you have not compromised on items that can guarantee structural integrity at least for another 50 years to come.
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Old 28th May 2019, 07:31   #887
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

'Cement is Cement', they're all the same. The magic of branding something as ubiquitous as limestone and sand have resulted in this perception. Two factors contribute to strength, river sand and the 'cement-sand' mix ratio. River sand is extremely hard to come by, chances are you get a mix of shore sand or 'jelly-crush'. Clay bricks baked in ovens or baked out in hot sweltering sun remains the strongest building material till-date.



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If not the top most quality, if standard quality products are used for Bricks, cement, steel and concrete, we may save a ton of money without compromising structural integrity or quality.
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Old 28th May 2019, 11:01   #888
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

There are two aspects to water seepage problems

1. Where the water seeps from the ground, as in basements and wooden houses (in US). These can be cured by surface treatment - both inner and outer walls.

2. Where the water originates inside walls - leaking pipes being most common, as well as cracks in bathroom floors. Here it is advisable to do a thorough sealing os all micro cracks as surface treatment will just divert the water path and the damp will appear some where else.

Most of urban house in India are brick and concrete which by their nature are full of micro cracks, and this is the path taken by water to propagate. You will be surprised to know that in some cases I have encountered the seepage surfaced five meters or more away from the source. So in terms of peace of mind and long term finances it is better to get chemicals injected in the affected walls, rather than do a surface treatment and hope that the seepage will disappear. Please note that in extreme cases surface treated walls have just separated and fallen off when there is water behind them.
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Old 28th May 2019, 12:57   #889
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

Thanks Maibaa for the detailed explanation. That is exactly what my architect told me.

I didn't mean skimping on the structure. I used the word splurge. There is no point in splurging on things that you never experience daily. Just spend on what is adequate, and spend on things that matter to your daily life.

For example I used baked red bricks for my structure. I wanted to use wire-cut bricks which had a better finish but was more expensive. But my architect was of the opinion that I should avoid them as anyway I am going to plaster the walls. Also there is no point spending on teak wood if you are going to put a coat of paint on top of it. I used cheap Mahogany wood even for my front door and painted it.

What my architect said was that most houses built are over-engineered and last more than what is normally needed. I was 40 when I started building my house. My architect said that I am not going to use it for more than 40 years. After 30-40 years my son is going to tear it down and build his own house. Even if the building is still standing intact, the design will be obsolete by then and he would have his own ideas for his house. What is more important than making something that lasts a 100 years is making the few years of stay in the house memorable.

Most Indians spend 40-50K making a nice teak wood cot and then put a 5K coir mattress on top of it. It is better to skimp on the cot (even a 10K iron cot will do) and buy a nice spring mattress.

A few words on renovation - never renovate an old house unless what you are trying to do is preserve memories. It is not worth financially to renovate an old house. The structure of a house only worth max 40% of the cost of building a house. When you renovate you have to replace the flooring, redo the putty/paint, redo the wiring, redo the bathrooms, redo the furniture, replace the appliances etc. What you end up with will be an old house which looks new with half the price of a new home spent on it. And you will have to live with all the design choices somebody made several decades ago. In a few years all the drawbacks of the house will start torturing you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guite View Post
I tend to disagree on the last para of above post. Bricks, cement, steel make up the skeleton of the building. That skeleton has to be robust. Brick and concrete are not something you can change later unless you demolish entire walls or entire building. So quality matters in those materials. Higher quality equates higher cost.

On the other hand the so called human interface materials can also be thought of as make-up, as in cosmetics. It’s something you can change later as part of renovation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maibaa View Post
This is a very interesting discussion with opposite view points where both arguments are valid as long as certain basic parameters are adhered to.

If not the top most quality, if standard quality products are used for Bricks, cement, steel and concrete, we may save a ton of money without compromising structural integrity or quality. For example, by spending on best quality cement and steel, one may be guaranteed of having a strong structure for another 100 years to come vis-a-vis using standard quality cement and steel that might guarantee a life of 50 to 70 years. Now the question is if it really matters if the building is required to last for 100 years as compared to 70 years as we are not sure if our next generation might want to tear down the place and build a new house based on future needs just as we might do today with the house our elders built during their times.

Although I agree with Guite that human interface materials are cosmetic in nature, they do take up significant part of the budget and are a measure of design and aesthetics on any building. One may use up all budget on best quality cement and steel and be left with enough budget to cover for the so called average quality cosmetic items. The question is how easy it is to get tiles, faucets, light switches, etc to be replaced in a few years.

My view is to moderate between these two choices and ensure enough budget is available to get the best available cosmetic items for your home which ensuring that you have not compromised on items that can guarantee structural integrity at least for another 50 years to come.
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:04   #890
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

There are Indian standard quality benchmarks provided, and that is what should be adhered to in my opinion.

That being said, I wouldn't mind paying that little extra for structural components (columns, beams, etc.) - I am not saying get the best, but going one notch up in specifications wouldn't make a significant dent to the budget (say M-30 Concrete v/s M-25 that is proposed). The extra strength allows a little more strength in case in the future you want to increase the load as well, so offers you more flexibility.

I would also urge you to keep in mind maintenance costs & future trends while designing the building. It is often forgotten, but adds up later.
Small things like better water-proofing, provision for solar / renewable energy, electric car charging stations, etc.
You can always upgrade your tiling and the like later - but implementing some of these later on will add to the cost significantly.

EDIT: I personally believe a well built and thought of house will survive generations. It all boils down to the structural flexibility in question because those cannot be moved, but you can build internal walls & make rooms larger without much of a stress provided they don't have any structural impact.

Last edited by lamborghini : 28th May 2019 at 13:06.
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:15   #891
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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
'Cement is Cement', they're all the same. The magic of branding something as ubiquitous as limestone and sand have resulted in this perception. Two factors contribute to strength, river sand and the 'cement-sand' mix ratio. River sand is extremely hard to come by, chances are you get a mix of shore sand or 'jelly-crush'. Clay bricks baked in ovens or baked out in hot sweltering sun remains the strongest building material till-date.
I agree while it holds true for Cement it is not equally true for steel take example of Fe 500 D steel which is most commonly used ( Though IS specifications calls for Fe 415 it is no longer available in market )

You can do a simple test take a bar of Primary Steel producer such as Tata Tiscon 500D or JSW Neo 500 D and ask bar bender to bend and straighten it
repetitively with these 500D steels you can continusly bend and make it straight again 12 to 15 times where as other reputed brands fail in 5 or 6 bends.

The steel supplier from which I purchased steel is supplying to metro rail project and he told me that only JSW and Tata passed both chemical and physical tests other brands just pass physical tests.

Due to possibility of cracks and failures structural engieeer usually increase margin of safety in Design by 4 or 5 fold instead of 2 or 3 folds. So if you are using good quality Fe 500D steel you can tell structural engineer and total quantity of steel may reduce.

Even if structural engg does not agree to your view and keep quantity as same price difference in steel is not huge for same grade.
Example when I purchased JSW Neo 500 D was 54500/- per tonne where a other local steels were 51 to 52 ( meenakshi , kamdhenu etc ) Indus was even costlier at 56K per tonne in Bangalore.

So my take is buy a cheaper mid range brand OPC 53 Cement ( Dalmia / Birla Shakti/ A1 ) which costs 360 to 380 Rs instead of premium brand such as Ultratech or Birla Super ( 415 to 450/-) and get top quality steel ( Tata , JSW )

In all if suppose 900 to 1000 bags are used for you house construction you will save 30K rs which you can invest in buying better steel ( approx. 11 - 14 tonnes) for 40x60 site

This way you can get optimal construction for same price.

One more way to reduce costs and over engineering is use of RMC instead of mixing of concrete at site. In independent house construction at least major concreting portions such as footings and floor slabs are easily doable with RMC.

Here are my considerations

1) Quality:

While contractors have done enough work and they may have best experience the biggest problem with on site mixing is control on amount of water and maintaining proportions by labourers.
Excess water causes voids and honey combing and reduces strength of structure.
You can put the amount of cement as per M25 but workers will add water as per work-ability. If you are constructing individual small house its highly
unlikely that you can do cone slump test with every batch of mix.

So unless you can ensure strict supervision stand on the site and quality control is difficult.

2) Cost
For site mixing M20 nominal mix of 1:1.5:2 is used this was for probably M33 grade cement now a days normally M53 or M43 is used so end result is
much higher strength then required. (provided water is controlled) For M 25 the nominal ratio is 1:1:2.

Though these ratios are for OPC 33 grade cement which is no longer sold in market you can not simply reduce cement for OPC 53 or 43 grade so in absence of any technical test for margin of safety only nominal mix method is feasible for on site mixing.

So for 1 cubic meter M25 you will need 11 bags of cement, 13.5 cubic feet sand and 27.19 cubic feet aggregate. So material cost works out to 5380 Rs ( taking cement as 380 per bag which I last purchased) if you include labour,water cost , mixer rent , fuel etc it will be still higher.
Water is an important cost in Bangalore atleast because on tanker of 4000 liters cost between 800 to
1000 Rs and even if you are pumping ground water from deep bore it is your own future resource you are depleting,

RMC M25 is 4400 Rs ( A grade brand such as RDC which is present at national level but not Lafarge which is costlier)

Next question which comes naturally to mind is how can RMC cost less ? See next section

3) GGBS ( granulated blast furnace slag).can be used to replace cement up to 60% it consists of same materials which are present in cement and bind with lime to give strength ( Al2O3 , Fe2O3 , SiO2) Theoretically you can purchase GGBS and lower site mix cost however its next to impossible to train workers maintain ratio etc.


If suppose you don't need early strength but want chemical attack prevention flyash mix is also possible however GGBS is better in terms of 28 day strength. Compared to flyash though 3 months strength may be same. flyash RMC is priced 100 to 150 rs lower then GGBS.

By the way GGBS mixed in cement is sold as brands such as ACC Concrete+ cement or PSC and flyash mixed in cement is sold as PPC for plastering with almost no great difference in final retail price compared to OPC cement.
A bag of PPC or PSC cement is priced just 10 to 15 rs lower then OPC 53
so cost benefit is not passed on to end consumer fully in case of buying bags
of PPC or PSC.

4) Eco-friendly:
GGBS is waste product of steel industry.

Each KG of cement manufacturing creates 1Kg CO2 emission. So replacing Cement with GGBS is environment friendly. Similarly flayash is a waste product and its use replacing cement is ecofriendly.

5) RMC guys will cast cubes of RMC and will give test report for comprehensive strength.

6) Reduces labour and time : In my house construction pouring for 16 footings total 35 cubic meter was done in a day with manual mixing it will take many days and labour requirement will be high

Cons of RMC for small projects.


(1)One truck brings around 7 cubic meters so not suitable for small portions. Every RMC plant has
some minimum quantity usually 3 cubic meters.
(2) Pumping charges : Pump is provided free above 30 Cubic meters else pump charge is 10K.
(3) Without pumping matching speed of manual workers and RMC truck is difficult

If the work is planned carefully then required quantity can be achieved for single house.
Even if you need to pay pumping charges reduced labour and costs can offsets it if suppose you can using 15 cubic meter at a go

Bulk work such as footings and roof slab RMC can be used and for columns , chajja retaining walls etc site mix can be used.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 15th June 2019 at 08:44. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 31st May 2019, 22:15   #892
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

My point about good quality materials for the structure, like concrete and brick, is not so much about longevity but rather about safety, especially in areas categorised as high seismic zone. Earthquake of high intensity may not happen, or might happen, we don’t know for sure. It’s akin to wanting cars with best safety features: you may never need it, but God forbid the need arise, you will be thankful for it.
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Old 31st May 2019, 22:57   #893
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

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My point about good quality materials for the structure, like concrete and brick, is not so much about longevity but rather about safety, especially in areas categorised as high seismic zone. Earthquake of high intensity may not happen, or might happen, we donít know for sure. Itís akin to wanting cars with best safety features: you may never need it, but God forbid the need arise, you will be thankful for it.
With amount of technical information available as a house builder we need to read up and decide based on technical parameters.

Strength of Concrete is determined by the mix used and amount of water. I was aghast to learn that in most residential constructions in north mix of 1:2:4 ( M15) is still used though IS code changed to M20 after Bhuj earthquake.

In this situation costliest brand of cement can not give safety however M25 RMC or M25 (1:1:2) mix with a cheap brand cement will be much safer.

Similarly spending 9-10K in getting soil test done and getting structural design as per SBC of soil is going to ensure better safety then using premium material.

Most of the time cracks in plaster after 2 years is due to differential settlement and not due to any material defect.

I talked to lot of people who have constructed houses before starting my construction but in most cases soil testing was skipped on advice of some experienced person.

Sometimes cheap things could be better example for plaster PPC will produce less heat of hydration and less air cracks compared to OPC.

Similarly cheaper concrete blocks give more thermal insulation and strength compared to red clay bricks.
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Old 13th June 2019, 19:04   #894
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I want to replace the windows in my home (apartment) which are very poor in sound insulation. They have thin aluminium frames with gaps. I am looking for sliding windows (double pane plus one slider with mosquito net). Any suggestion on brand and also what will be approximate cost (for a window of 4 x 6).

Last edited by aah78 : 13th June 2019 at 19:13. Reason: Post moved to a more relevant thread.
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Old 14th June 2019, 23:06   #895
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I want to replace the windows in my home (apartment) which are very poor in sound insulation. They have thin aluminium frames with gaps. I am looking for sliding windows (double pane plus one slider with mosquito net). Any suggestion on brand and also what will be approximate cost (for a window of 4 x 6).
LG Hausys is a good brand, although I donít know how much it will cost. If you can spare the money go for double glass (insulated glass panel). Else choose thick glass, minimum 6mm thick.
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Old 15th June 2019, 07:58   #896
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Originally Posted by r_devakumar View Post
I want to replace the windows in my home (apartment) which are very poor in sound insulation. They have thin aluminium frames with gaps. I am looking for sliding windows (double pane plus one slider with mosquito net). Any suggestion on brand and also what will be approximate cost (for a window of 4 x 6).

Fenesta is supposed to be good.

https://www.fenesta.com/


No idea about the cost.
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Old 15th June 2019, 09:26   #897
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Default Re: The Home Appliance thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_devakumar View Post
I want to replace the windows in my home (apartment) which are very poor in sound insulation. They have thin aluminium frames with gaps. I am looking for sliding windows (double pane plus one slider with mosquito net). Any suggestion on brand and also what will be approximate cost (for a window of 4 x 6).
Good brands are Fennista, Rohe , Weatherseal, LG

Fennista is little overpriced IMHO and their sales staff has lots of attitude issues. Fennista was first to market however they no longer have any unique proposition. Quality wise watherseal and LG are very similar but better priced.

For your requirements I think a 3 channel 60mm section should work.

I did enquire about prices couple of months back the price depends on section width (60mm vs 90mm) and surface finish.
Fennista starts from almost 1100 per sq feet and if you go for wood grain will cost you upwards of 1400. Worst part is no one at fennista experience centre is willing to quote a price for standard size window all they want is your contact details for their person to do measurement.

Compared to fennista weatherseal was more clear and upfront about pricing basic white or brown 60mm channel should cost in range of 600 per sq ft. And if you want wooden finish around 800 to 900. This is with normal 6 mm glass.

If you want more security tempered glass or laminated glass can be provided with 150/- per sq ft extra. Tempered glass has same thickness but different treatment whereas laminated glass is almost 10-12 mm thick with a plastic sheet sandwitched between 2 layers.
In my opinion Weatherseal is good they claim they are European brand and uses german hardware .

There are countless Chinese brands which atart from as low as 300 Rs and go upto 600.

There are couple of Indian good quality brands as well which are location specific. Ex Madhu Industries in Bagalore or Aparna vennister however as you need only 1 window not worth hunting around and checking quality.

Last edited by amitk26 : 15th June 2019 at 09:28.
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Old 29th June 2019, 11:32   #898
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

Anyone has any contact / references for woven geotextile sellers in Bangalore ?
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Old 23rd July 2019, 21:11   #899
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Default Re: Home Construction/Makeover/Maintenance Thread

Has anyone transacted on inampro+ portal for buying construction equipment. I read that even retail users can buy from the portal and prices (even after GST inclusion) is around 20% cheaper compared to the market rate. I was checking ACC cement from ACC Cement factory.

Last edited by kvish : 23rd July 2019 at 21:12. Reason: minor grammar
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