Kathmandu: Although an architect designs the house, a reputable contractor company should be chosen to do the construction. It is the contractor who takes the architect’s design and builds the house.
Nrupesh Tandukar of KSM Services suggests choosing an experienced contractor who can build you the house of your dreams.
The contractor should keep in mind many things before proceeding with the construction, says Tandukar. An experienced contractor makes several preparations before beginning construction.
What are the things a contractor should look out for before beginning construction?
According to Tandukar, the contractor should visit the site first. How much of the site should be cleared? Should the plot be leveled? Is the plot on lower ground? Where should the wells, bore holes, septic tank be dug? These things should be addressed before construction has begun. Tandukar says the contractor should do some basic planning before beginning construction.
Architects usually visit the site before preparing their designs. Still, it is good practice for the contractor to inspect the site for himself. “It’s good practice to confirm that there are no mistakes in the design, as sometimes the architects could have made mistakes”, says Tandukar. “It is a lot more difficult to correct the mistakes once construction has already begun.”
The contractor should find out the condition of the land before construction has begun. He should find out if there are any utilities or sewage lines running under the plot. These things should be discussed with neighbors before proceeding with construction. “Severing sewage or utility line during construction could cause a fight to break out with the neighbors.”
The contractor should visualize the layout of the building. Where would the pillars go? Which direction should the house be facing? The contractor should mark these things. Tandukar says, “Layout means placing the designs on the actual plot.”
This is why the contractor should carefully study the architect’s designs. Once the contractor sees the drawings and the site, he can get an idea of how the building should be.
Many architects also provide an estimate of material cost for construction. If a material cost is not provided, the contractor should ask for a Bill of Quantity (BoQ). This gives an estimate of the total costs for completing construction.
Tandukar says, “The cost of building a house should be estimated before construction begins. This lets you plan for the expenses. How much money do you have? How much would you loan from the bank?”
Many people don’t ask for BoQ from the architect to save on some money. It is always best practice to get the BoQ from a good architect, even if it seems like an unnecessary expense at the time. Tandukar says, “Similar to how you always look for best quality raw materials to build the house, you should always get the best architect to design the plans.”
Before construction begins, you should figure out how to get electricity and water to the site. Digging a bore well to get water could help ease construction greatly. If a bore well cannot be dug, you should make provisions to get water from elsewhere.
Electricity is necessary during construction. However, the electricity authority does not give electricity before completion of construction. So you should make arrangements with your neighbors for electricity.
Before beginning construction, the contractor should make provisions for materials and equipment. The contractor should be open with the homeowner about the materials needed. If materials come up short, it could cause delays in construction. Availability of materials ensures speedy construction.
Tandukar says, shades and shelters should be built for the laborers to sit in and to store cement and other construction materials. While most construction materials can be stored outside, cement has to be stored in a specially prepared area to make sure it doesn’t set during storage. Toilets should be built for the laborers to use. The toilet could be built where the septic tank would go.
After all these things are done, construction should be started. Leveling the plot and laying the foundations begins now. You should decide whether you would use construction equipment to level the plot or not. If heavy machineries would be used, you should disclose it to your neighbor.
If you take care of all these details before hiring a contractor, the construction will go a lot smoother. An experienced contractor already takes care of all these little details before construction begins.