Purchasing a home is one of the most expensive investments an individual will make in his life. In a country like India, most people can afford to make this decision, once or perhaps twice in their entire life-time. Whether you purchase a flat for your personal use or as investment, it is imperative for you and those using it that the product be worth its salt. Builders today dazzle customers with fancy sales offices, grand sample flats and glossy photos but often fail to discuss or stress on the details that have a direct effect on the value of the property. While aesthetics can be useful to those who intend to occupy the property themselves, it is very important to understand the benefits and shortcomings of the structure, services and finishing of a property.
Why are structure and space important?
The golden rule when studying the layout of a flat is to understand that the given layout should not, under any circumstances, be tampered with. Beams and columns are load-bearing structures of a flat and therefore cannot be broken into or shifted. Electrical and plumbing lines are created and installed in a uniform manner throughout the building, keeping in the mind the use of a particular room. Tampering with a room by changing the purpose of its use gives rise to numerous issues like leakages, choked plumbing lines and short circuits to name a few. Hence, it is not advisable to convert the toilet into a study and vice versa. Another important aspect to pay attention to is the actual usable area of every room. A calculation made considering the cubic feet of a flat is more useful as the floor to ceiling height of a room can largely affect its perceived space. A common mistake many individuals, guided by architects and interior designers, make is that of creating projections and taking-in duct areas. When individuals take in such projections they risk seepage problems, especially during the monsoon. Therefore, an accurate calculation of the usable area in a flat must be devoid of possible projections and duct areas.
What type of services do you need?
Planning of services like plumbing, electrical lines, piped gas connection, air conditioning ducts and optic fiber lines for broadband determine the ease at which you can move into a flat and the additional costs you may or may not have to incur to set them up. Vertical transportation, i.e., lifts are important to take note of when looking at densely populated buildings. The size and number of lifts should be directly proportional to the number of individuals using them. High rise structures, especially those with a glass façade must have a robust firefighting system in place. Flats on higher floors should have sprinklers installed inside which are visible and not covered with a false ceiling. Security measures and systems give those living in the apartment confidence that they are safe. CCTV cameras, swipe card-controlled lobbies, mobile applications integrated with your existing security systems are some examples of security services provided by builders today. Complexes that offer rain water harvesting, STP plants, garbage disposal and recycling systems and green zones are environmentally conscious and valuable to those who desire clean and pollution-free living.
The finished product
Lastly, the type and quality of stone, metal, glass and wood used to finish the flat determines the ultimate value of the product. The use of poor quality of materials for finishing will result in a constant need for repair and maintenance. Finishing also entails the craftsmanship applied to the interiors in warm shell flats and the quality of white goods provided in fully fitted-out units. The doors, joinery, hardware, paint, etc. should be uniform, properly installed and fully functional. Good finishing will limit the amount of money you will need to spend to service your investment in the long-term. The finished product is an amalgamation of the quality of construction, planning of services and the type of finishing provided. Builders that enlist grade-A contractors, use superior forms of technology and maintain high quality standards are likely to give customers a solid product. When having done so, they often mention the same in their marketing material. Today it is typical to see a builder mention that he has used Mivan technology, a popular brand of aluminum form-work, in his project brochure.
There are all sorts of houses available in the market today, ranging from compact studio apartments to ultra-luxurious apartments with expansive views. However, if you are in search of a home, then you must let the solidity of the product take precedence over its aesthetics. A good investment is one that serves you well for a prolonged period of time and caters to all your needs. Our home, what is for most of us our greatest material asset, should be one that is built on a solid structure, with infallible services and exemplary finishing.
“Views expressed are the personal views of the author. Any action taken based on the views will be the responsibility of the user alone.”
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