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Old 14th March 2020, 02:27   #976
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Hi there everyone,

We are now in the stage of our life where we are going to build a house for ourselves. With regards to that, I have shortlisted an architect and we have started with the design.

My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.

Essentially I am hoping to get some tips and tricks for my new home which not every architect or contractor would have. And hopefully we can make this a repository for anyone who hopes to build a house in the future.
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Old 14th March 2020, 06:27   #977
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Originally Posted by jas_mirage View Post
My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.

Essentially I am hoping to get some tips and tricks for my new home which not every architect or contractor would have. And hopefully we can make this a repository for anyone who hopes to build a house in the future.
First off, congrats on the house.

Make sure the house is old age friendly, or can be retrofitted to make it old age friendly if and when the time comes. Split level houses look great but are a real pain when your knees or hips give up.
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Old 14th March 2020, 07:33   #978
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My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.
One important learning from doing up the home we currently live in (for about 8 years now) is the separation of the public and private parts of the home.

Public = entry foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, the drying area for clothes and utensils.

Private = bedrooms, study

Our flat had one fatal flaw: one bedroom (actually more of a study) was in the public area, sandwiched between the living room and a balcony that doubles up as a drying area. The first time my architect friend visited, she declared that needs to change. It took some convincing from our side to get the builder to agree and shift the plumbing etc. but he did and we made the necessary civil changes. To this day I tell my architect friend that’s the single biggest contribution she made to doing up our place (she did a fine job in any case).

The thing is: when you buy a place you sometimes inherit its flaws. But that shouldn’t stop you from designing it in a way that converts it into your dream home. In the case of my flat we are literally the only ones with this modified layout in the building but everyone who has seen it has admitted this makes perfect sense.
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Old 14th March 2020, 07:48   #979
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My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.
Put in passive methods of cooling rather than only relying on air-conditioners. This will save you a ton of money in the long run & also is eco-friendly. You can think of using cavity walls, insulated walls & roof slabs, etc.

Hope this helps,
AJ
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Old 14th March 2020, 08:16   #980
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My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.
Question: How much space are you talking about? Also, is this going to be a multi-storied house, or single with tiled roof?
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Old 14th March 2020, 12:48   #981
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First off, congrats on the house.



Make sure the house is old age friendly, or can be retrofitted to make it old age friendly if and when the time comes. Split level houses look great but are a real pain when your knees or hips give up.

That is a great suggestion. To be honest it had skipped my mind completely. What are the things that you would do/not do to make the home old age friendly.

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One important learning from doing up the home we currently live in (for about 8 years now) is the separation of the public and private parts of the home.

Very valid point here. I need to have a sit down with my architect to see if and how we can achieve it.

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Put in passive methods of cooling rather than only relying on air-conditioners. This will save you a ton of money in the long run & also is eco-friendly. You can think of using cavity walls, insulated walls & roof slabs, etc.

Roof slabs are in my agenda after a lot of reading. Was wondering how we can use insulated walls here.

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Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
Question: How much space are you talking about? Also, is this going to be a multi-storied house, or single with tiled roof?

This is going to be a multi storied house (G+1) there will be an open terrace flat roof portion, but some of the areas will have a sloping tiled roof. The area we are looking at is approx 1600sqft with 3 Bedrooms with a living room, dining area and a kitchen with work area. We are also looking to have a courtyard area inside the house itself, which will have a transparent/glass ceiling.
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Old 14th March 2020, 13:02   #982
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We are also looking to have a courtyard area inside the house itself, which will have a transparent/glass ceiling.
The courtyard is a great idea but I wouldn't cover it with glass. That would just get your house baking with all the radiant heat it would let through (think car windscreen in the summer). You can think of lifting the roof over the courtyard and providing glazed ventilators to help get rid of the hot air (same principal as a chimney) but still give you nice diffused light.
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Old 14th March 2020, 13:35   #983
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The courtyard is a great idea but I wouldn't cover it with glass. That would just get your house baking with all the radiant heat it would let through (think car windscreen in the summer). You can think of lifting the roof over the courtyard and providing glazed ventilators to help get rid of the hot air (same principal as a chimney) but still give you nice diffused light.

The courtyard will be double height. We were thinking of a transparent ceiling as it will bring in more light into the house. Will have a discussion with our architect on using tiled roof with glazed ventilators.
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Old 14th March 2020, 14:54   #984
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My question here is what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of.
Here are some of my to do list
Design for ease of maintaining - electrical, plumbing, cleaning, dusting, ac servicing
Design so that ac ODU are not externally visible but can be serviced easily
Roof will leak, so design for easy drain, no blockage and rain water harvest
Plan for power and ethernet cables in all rooms and at perimeter points for security cameras and a smart home
More windows and natural light
Well designed electrical distribution box with protection from shock (elcb etc)
Plan for water treatment room, tools room etc
Steel doors for security
Reptile resistant design (my plots are in a remote place)
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Old 14th March 2020, 17:45   #985
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what would you change or design in your house that most people would not think of. Could be from your own experiences, could be from an engineering perspective.
Till now I have taken care of the following
1. Find an Engineer/Contractor who listens to you. And draft contract in such a way that you can supply some of the material if you wish to.

2. French drains for waterproof basement walls architect had no particular idea it was more of DIY after seeing on net.

3. Ample natural lights with 2 skylights. One skylight is actually provison of lift.

4. Choose materials which have less environmental impact.

5. Rainwater harvesting with 100% water from all roofs collected at one place.

6. Slag instead of river sand
7. Minimise walls , If 4 inch can serve the purpose don't go for 8inch whatever arch/contractors say.

Use of blocks for all internal walls noand red brick only for exposed brick walls on external surfaces.

8. Different plumbing line for greywater (bathroom ,washbasin and washing machine) and wastewater (toilets) and they should only meet in last mixing chamber.
9. Different tanks for flush and everything else.

If you have 8 and 9 it would be very easy and lot cheaper to treat greywater and reuse for flush and gardening within your home.
10. Choose best TMT steel from primary producers like JSW
Tata , SAIL etc. Avoid TMT steel brands endorsed by B grade film celebrities holding rod in hand behind autos

However cements are mostly similar you can go for well known
cheaper brands whoch have factories in 100 - 200km range instead of costliest (read Ultratech or Birla)

Things I didn't do but I feel I should have done

1. Don't over engineer engage structural engineer whome you can approach and talk to directly instead of architect alone Usually structural engineers assume that client won't adhere to spec and take huge safety margins

Example :

I got soil tested and SBC was poor. After fixing design with architect and later when foundation was laid got to know design was 4x more than SBC this was excessive may be margin of 2x - 2.5x should have been good else what is the point of scientific approach of getting soil test done instead of rule of thumbs of mistris.

2. If you have more than one floor inverted beams on top of bathroom where pipe has to pass.
This makes life easier. In fact whereever you dont have doors on upper floor go for inverted beam.
In my house most of the beams are inverted except one on backside where two bathrooms are adjacent

3. Keep shape of rooms rectangular with length to breadth ratio of 2:1 instead of squarish.
For lesser ratio the steel mat for RCC roof has to be double mated instead of simple.

4. Insist on filler slab roof design , with all due respect to architects on this forum very few practitioners understand and have willingness to accept.

5. FRP sump instead of RCC , I did research and architect also suggested FRP but fell prey to conventional wisdom.

6. Use full frame concealed cistern for toilets and contruct wall after placing frame. This way you can eliminate ugly looking ledge wall.

7. Place all toilets along external wall so that waste pipe can be eaily routed through wall and no need of worrying about routing pipes however direction of placement of seat ( should not be east facing for Hindus or west facing for Muslims ) may be spolier. Don't do anything which may be daily mood spoiler for others in extended family even if you dont believe in these things

Last edited by amitk26 : 14th March 2020 at 17:58.
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Old 14th March 2020, 19:55   #986
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Bellary source I got from below YouTube Channel of Metro Minerals and the number is 091487 36446
Thanks so much, Amit. Hopefully your efforts to find this will help out others here.
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Old 14th March 2020, 20:02   #987
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Im not a fan of slope / slant concrete roofs. Even for aesthetic purposes. Put in place flat RCC and do tress work on top and use it for solar energy. Make sure the top of tress / sheet is accessible for cleaning the panels.
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Old 15th March 2020, 09:36   #988
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That is a great suggestion. To be honest it had skipped my mind completely. What are the things that you would do/not do to make the home old age friendly.
This is the first criteria I had while starting to plan my house. We have to consider our parents and also the fact that we will also get older. Also the possibility that any one in the house might fracture a leg, and/or be committed to a wheelchair for some time.

Accounting for that eventuality, make the entrance wheelchair friendly. Ensure that at least the ground floor is on a single level (or atleast that the whole floor can be used without changing levels). If there is a change in level, ensure that it is properly cordoned off, so that no one stumbles and falls due to poor vision. Not to forget about guests with small kids who might also have problems with different levels.

Have one self-contained bedroom on the same floor which can serve the old/injured.

Make sure that the entrance to the house has minimum number of steps. We have only 3, but I still had to have railings installed recently, after my mom began to find it difficult to climb them unassisted.

Suggestion from a petrolhead's perspective: have covered parking for all you vehicles. Ideally, in the basement. And in such a way that any one of them can be moved out without disturbing the other. If you can have a closed working space for your car/bike, that's even better. I regret that I did not do this.

Last edited by samaspire : 15th March 2020 at 09:51.
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Old 15th March 2020, 11:18   #989
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Some provisions have to made at the time of construction and can not be retrofitted without excessive expense. Even if you do not require them immediately some things should be provided for future. My suggestions are

1. Make provisions for Solar Panels, both physical location and electrical distribution.
2. Make provisions for Solar Water heating, this means you have two sets of plumbing coming from the roof top to the toilets and kitchen - cold water and hot water from the solar heater
3. Design electrical distribution so that you have separate points for Inverter and higher power devices.
4. Add distribution pipes for Telephone, Broadband and DTH
5. Have enough space for basic water treatment. Ideally if you have space to install a prefilter one coarse and one fine to trap incoming solids. The filters should be easily accessible and easily cleaned
6. Identify a space for elevator and incorporate it in the building design, even though you may not install one now, it may be desirable for future
7. Construct the building using concrete beams and columns, instead of load bearing brick walls. Have the Architect design the building for at least 4 floor; even though you are building two at present; for future upgradability
8. Locate the rain water harvesting tank as far from the building as possible to prevent seepage from affecting the house.
9. Thoroughly waterproof all underground tanks using waterproofing compound in cement and then using shotcrete layer to seal all the pores
10. Lay water outlets in all open spaces at 3m interval. This may seem excessive but helps a lot in both cleaning as well as watering plants.
11. Locate the over head water tanks as high as you can, that will give you higher pressure required for many appliance - Single Lever Diverters, Washing machines etc.
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Old 15th March 2020, 11:20   #990
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Suggestion from a petrolhead's perspective: have covered parking for all you vehicles. Ideally, in the basement.
When you do this, make sure rain water doesnt enter - and any water that may enter can be pumped out before any damage can happen.

We live in Bangalore south, and over the last few years, have seen neighbors suffering damage due to flooding of basements. There is a storm water drain adjacent to the layout, but they still have problems. A near by apartment complex also has this problem - single basement, but has a problem).
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