Wooden or uPVC Windows and Doors

Doors and Windows today are not just restricted to being made of wood, but are also done in UPVC and aluminum. When it comes to windows, in our experience, more and more people are opting for UPVC over wood. This post should help you get a quick sense for the plusses and minuses of one over the other.

UPVC Windows and Doors

Nowfloats_DoorsWindows

A shift from wooden to UPVC windows and doors is happening in India because UPVC tends to cost a little less and requires less maintenance over its lifetime. They are less susceptible to moisture, which also helps in our hot and humid environments. They are also fire proof and termite resistant to top it all off.

Where UPVC doesn’t score well is in their design and color selection compared to their wooden counterparts.

In terms of brands of UPVC windows and doors in the Indian market today, you’ll find Finesta, Encraft

Wooden Doors and Windows

wood_windows_cacueg_org

Wood is a good insulator, and therefore provides better protection from the heat and cold than other materials. Wooden windows are also eco-friendlier, given they use wood (natural) vs. PVC (manufactured) and also require less energy to manufacture. Most of all they tend to look better than UPVC windows and doors. If maintained well, wooden doors and windows tend to last longer than UPVC.

On the flip side they are more expensive to make, require more time and money to maintain, and under moist/humid weather conditions show more wear & tear. For your reference, our experience suggests that the cost of wooden doors and windows is around 50% higher than UPVC.

Repairing Old Doors & Windows

If you don’t need new doors and windows you could always consider the repair option. A good carpenter can fix up your old wooden window and frame, and the painters can help paint or polish it to make them as good as new.

New False Ceiling in your Home

If you’re remodeling an old house or apartment, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about false ceilings. False ceilings have become a central feature of modern homes today, and come in various shapes and forms. False ceiling, coupled with the right ceiling lighting helps give your space a cozier feel. Here’s a quick intro to the types of false ceilings out there today for homes.

POP False Ceilings

theconstructor-pop-false-ceiling

Plaster of Paris false ceilings are typically found in residences today. The ornate patterns you see on some ceilings, and along the edges of ceilings are done using POP. It takes a good quality craftsman to make elegant/intricate patterns, so choose wisely. POP is applied to a metal mesh (murga jaali), and suspended from the ceiling on metal channels. POP ceilings allow a lot more options in terms of design as compared to Gypsum ceilings. The picture above represents one type of ceiling possible with POP. You can do many more, including the one you see below under Gypsum ceilings.

Gypsum False Ceilings

gyproc_LIVING ROOM ceiling

Gypsum boards are manufactured by pressing gypsum between two sheets of paper or cardboard. Something you may not know is that Plaster of Paris is actually gypsum as well. Gypsum boards are easy to work with given they are light, and can be cut/drilled into easily. These boards are usually placed on a metal grid and fastened, and the joints between boards are filled and smoothened. The joints if not done properly can start to crack and give a shabby appearance some years down the road. Gypsum false ceilings are easier to construct, and take less time to dry and waterproof than POP ceilings but don’t allow the same range of designs that one can achieve with POP ceilings. So if your false ceiling design allows for both options, one would recommend using Gypsum boards over POP.

POP Cornice

IMcornice-moulding-250x250 jayswal-gypsum-cornices-center-flowers-beading-plaster-of-paris-cornices-moulds-pop-cornice-bangalore-karnataka-suppliers-distributors-dealers-3manufacturers-3

You may hear the term POP Cornice used and wonder what it is. It is the POP edging one sees usually along the edges of the wall & ceiling. Some part of these may be readymade and installed by a craftsman.

Wooden Panel False Ceiling

theconstructor-wooden-false-ceiling

Wooden false ceilings can give you a great look, however they are expensive not easy to maintain. As with most things wooden, they are prone to attacks by termites and other insects, and can wear out quickly in the presence of moisture. Regular termite protection is essential, and one must hope that the room isn’t prone to seepage from above.

Alternatively, if you’re just interested in a wooden look, you could consider High Pressure Laminate (HPL) or PVC options with a wooden finish. Both HPL and PVC ceilings will be cheaper and more resistant to bugs and moisture than wood. Between the two, HPL will likely be more expensive than PVC.

Other types of False ceilings include: PVC false ceiling (in other non-wooden styles), Glass false ceiling, Acrylic false ceiling, and Metal false ceiling. These are less common in residential spaces, and tend to be used in offices, shops, and other commercial establishments.

Do I Need an Architect?

Being in the business of home renovations one often gets asked for architect recommendations. One of the first things we like to ask them is what is it that you’re really looking for. Most of the times it turns out that there is little need for an architect. So we thought we’d try to explain the difference between professionals in this space.

 

Architects

Architects are trained, certified and have a college degree (undergrad, or masters) to show for it. The main job of an architect is to conceptualise the space in terms of the structure (floor, walls, ceilings) and plan layouts. They tend to have specialists on their teams for structural evaluations, plumbing and electrical planning. If you’re constructing a new floor, or a building you need to get an architect involved to make sure the planning is sound. While its not their core skillset, some architects get involved with the interiors and take on things like floorings, walls, ceilings, and even décor & furniture.

 

Interior Designer or Decorator

Interior designers focus on the interiors of a space. They help you make your space more livable/usable by suggesting how your rooms should look, how can you organize your furniture, what color theme you could pick for your bedroom and so on. They can also help you pick things like the right tiles for your bathroom, the marble for the flooring keeping in mind the overall chosen look and feel.

 

Contractor

The contractor is the one who gets the work done – i.e. the demolition, civil, plumbing, painting etc. There is a category of contractors called the general contractors who have teams, either on payroll or as affiliates who can help execute all your requirements. Then there are specialist contractors who only execute one type of task (e.g. painting contractor). Whatever your project involves, you will have a contractor on site. Even if a designer or architect says they do turnkey projects they will be working with a contractor to execute.

 

Project Manager

A project manager is someone who keeps track of your project and makes sure work is proceeding on time. It is their responsibility to firefight in case of issues, remind you when certain product decisions need to be made by, and push the contractors when their teams are not showing up on time. As with PMs in any organization, a good construction PM is an extremely useful resource during the execution of the project.

What goes into a Bathroom Renovation

If you’re tearing down and renovating a bathroom, you may not know what exactly it involves. All you may have seen are bathroom designs you’ve found online and shared with your contractor. Here’s a brief checklist to educate yourself.

 

Bathroom Demolition
The first step is tearing down the existing bathroom. It could be entirely internal if the walls don’t need to be moved. Specifically you may need to remove the wall tiles, floor tiles, fittings, and woodwork. Demolition always goes hand in hand with debris removal, so make sure you have someone to manage it for you (contractor or 3rd party).

Lighting & Electricals
A well-lit bathroom makes your daily experience a lot more pleasant. Given that false ceilings are becoming common practice in the bathrooms nowadays, ceiling lighting can be considered. As for the rest of the electricals make sure to provision for a water heater, at least 1-2 open points for things like an electric razor or hair dryer, a pressure pump if needed, and an AC if you feel like splurging.

Bathroom Plumbing
Plumbing is fairly typical in a bathroom. Check your water pressure before the walls are plastered up and the fixtures are installed, so that if pipe routing needs to be adjusted, or provisions for a pump need to be made it’s a LOT easier.

Waterproofing your Bathroom
It is extremely critical to get waterproofing right. We recommend that you waterproof the floor and about half the height of the walls in the bathroom for extra protection. This is done before any tiles or flooring is installed.

Bathroom Tiles
There are plenty of options out there for bathroom wall tiles. It all comes down to your choice and budget. From multiple Indian and imported wall tile brands, to unbranded ‘Gujarat’ tiles, you’ll find a lot out there. If you have storage space, buy an extra box for later (years to come). Sometimes you need to break a small section of the walls to resolve plumbing problems and matching tiles come in handy.

Flooring
You can use tiles, marble, or granite for your bathroom flooring.

False Ceiling 

It’s not uncommon nowadays to have a false ceiling in your bathroom. Keep it simple would be our suggestion. One downside of false ceiling is that if there is some kind of water seepage from the floor above, the false ceiling will need to be replaced. Regular ceilings on the other hand are cheaper to fix.

Woodwork
You may choose to get some storage constructed under your sink (vanity), or elsewhere in the bathroom if you have space. This comes in handy to store things like bathroom cleaners, towels, soaps, shampoos etc. Using waterproof board is a good idea to give your cabinets extra protection against moisture.

Counter Top
You may want to put in a granite/marble counter top around your washbasin based on the type of look you’re going for.

Doors & Windows
More and more people today are choosing UPVC doors and windows. While UPVC doors may not quite work out in the bathroom, windows are a good idea given UPVC is more resistant to moisture than wood and last longer.

Shower Enclosure

A modern bathroom today isn’t complete without a shower enclosure. It adds character and utility to your bathroom. Toughened glass is pricy, so an enclosure adds a significant expense to your bathroom renovation.

Bathroom Fittings
Last but not the least is the bathroom fixtures, which includes your washbasin, WC, and plumbing fixtures like your shower fittings, sink faucet, and WC faucet. The pricing of these vary vastly depending on the brand you choose. Some of the brands in the market include Hindware, Jaquar, Kohler, Grohe.

 

 

Home Renovation on a fixed budget

Blog Cover Renovation Budget

 

Source: Houzz.com

If you’re thinking of renovating your home, you’re surely starting to wonder how much does a renovation cost. Often design professionals and storeowners you meet will ask you what’s your renovation / product budget. Early on in the process of renovating your home this can be a very tough question. In this post we will lay out some fixed budget renovation plans to help you start to understand pricing.

 

The 5 Lakh, 10 Lakh, 20 Lakh Home Renovation

Based on projects BuildingBlox has completed for 3BHK clients, we have compiled a suggestion list for you. We assume the use of mid-range, good quality products from brands such as Jaquar, Kajaria, and Merino Laminates.

The Rs. 5 Lakh home renovation is for those who are looking to revitalize their home without a complete overhaul. The Rs. 10 Lakh home renovation is for those with a reasonable budget who are looking to get most things upgraded. The Rs. 20 Lakh home renovation is for those who would like a complete redesign of their space.

 

3BHK 5 Lakh 10 Lakh 20 Lakh
Kitchen Y Y
Bathrooms 1 3
Flooring 5 rooms 5 rooms 5 rooms
False Ceiling 5 rooms 5 rooms 5 rooms
Painting Y Y Y
Windows (UPVC) Y
Electricals Y Y Y
Lighting Some Y
Woodwork TV Unit TV Unit Wardrobes, TV Unit
Appliances Kitchen, few others Kitchen, ACs, Gysers
Furniture Not Included Not Included Not Included

 

For those of you looking for a new kitchen, but lacking a very large budget can consider an alternative 5L plan. This would entail a new modular kitchen, basic appliances (hob, chimney), new flooring and false ceiling in your living room, and a full apartment repaint.

 

Rainwater Harvesting

rwh1

Rains are a major source of water for us, many rivers feed out of it. However, much of the water goes waste when we allow it to run off and enter urban drains. Hence it is extremely important to accumulate, the water through roof drains, into underground reservoirs, for use.

Rainwater can be used in gardens, in toilets, and for domestic use with proper treatment. The harvested water can also be used for storage and for other purposes such as groundwater recharge.

rwh6

Suitable for roof top area upto 100 sq.metres  

rwh5

 Abandoned/ Running Hand Pump 
Suitable for roof top area upto 150 sq.metres

 rwh4

Abandoned Dug Well 
Suitable for roof top area more than 1000sq.metres 

rwh3

Recharge Trench 
Suitable for roof top area — 200 to 300 sq.metres

rwh2

Gravity Head Recharge Well 
Suitable for roof top area more than 400sq.metres 

rwh1

Recharge Shaft 
Suitable for roof top area greater than 1500 sq.metres

 All images sourced from: Delhi Jal Board

Why Should we Harvest Rainwater?

With rapid urbanisation and the growth in population, the existing portable water supply is no longer sufficient to meet consumption needs.  According to the Delhi Jal Board, based on its present population, Delhi’s water requirement is 800 MGD (million gallons per day), while the total water supply from all sources is 670 MGD. Delhi gets most of its water from neighbouring basin states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh etc. Thus, the Delhi Govt. is limited in augmenting its water supply, leading to increased pressure on ground water.

With the receding water table, it has become all the more imperative to adopt Rainwater harvesting techniques.

Rainfall usually occurs in high intensity short spells, resulting in a run off, rather than recharging the ground water levels. Rainwater harvesting helps chanelise this runoff water, and store it. Rainwater is bacteriologically pure, free from organic matter and soft in nature. Moreover, it can be used to recharge the ground water levels  . Another advantage of rainwater harvesting is to reduce the . In fact, rainwater harvesting systems have been put in place in Chennai, and the Delhi Government has taken inspiration from them.

According to rainwaterharvesting.org:

Potential of rooftop water availability in National Capital Territory of Delhi

Roof Area in Sq.m Annual rainfall in (litres) Quantity of rainfall available for harvesting (litres)
50 30,550 18,330
100 61,100 36,660
500 305,500 183,300
1000 610,000 366,600

(Note: a.Annual average rainfall of Delhi=611 mm; b. runoff coefficient is assumed as 0.60;Sq. m to be read as square metre)
An analysis done based on the rainfall availability and demand supply gap shows that even 50 per cent of the rainwater harvested could help in bridging the demand supply gap.

What is the state of the Ground Water Table in Delhi?

According to an article in the Hindu, dated August 2014, the state of Ground water is dismal, especially in south and south-west Delhi. Here are some facts and figures from the article, to give you and idea.

What is the Delhi Jal Board mandate, what have they asked homes to do?

Considering the gap in supply and demand of water, and the ground water levels in some areas, the Delhi Jal Board has made it mandatory for all existing residential with an area of 500sq m and above, to install rainwater harvesting systems. There are around 10 areas where groundwater levels are reasonably high. Vetted by the Central Ground Water Authority , these areas will not be required to carry out RWH. These include Okhla, Siddharth Extension and Jahangirpuri.*

If you’re looking to implement rain water harvesting in your Delhi home, BuildingBlox can help. Please fill the BuildingBlox Rainwater Harvesting Form and we will contact you.

*For  more details on the Rain Water Harvesting Mandate, do lookup the Delhi Jal Board website https://djb.gov.in

 

 

7 Kitchen Design Ideas to Best Utilize Your Space

U Shaped Kitchen

A kitchen reflects your personality and style. Want to know how organised a person is? Just take a look at their kitchen.

The one common grievance everyone has at home is that ‘there isn’t enough space’. Thanks to innovations in kitchen design, today we have a number of kitchen hardware options in the market that help us organize ourselves and also save space. If you’re designing a new modular kitchen, or renovating your old one here are some tips for you.

  • Pull Out Cabinets– Pull out cabinets organize, de-clutter and help utilize every inch of your cabinet space. You can easily access 100% of your cabinet space without kneeling or stooping, and also get heavier items from your cabinets with minimal effort. It’s best to place pull out cabinets below the kitchen counters and push up cabinets overhead, to make things more accessible and provide better ergonomics of working within the kitchen.pull out cabinet
  • Corner Sink/Wash Casket– The kitchen corner is often the toughest space to utilize, whether its inside the cabinets or on top of the counter. A corner kitchen sink, though often more expensive than a straight one, can be a good way to utilise the corner. Corner sinks are now being manufactured in India by brands such as Nirali, and are easily available. Corner sinks also add a unique visual appeal to your kitchen.

Corner-Sink

  • Magic Corners– Magic corners have also made a significant impact on how corners are used, these days. With these circular shelves pivoting around a rod, all you need to do is swivel, and things kept at the far end come to the front. There are L-Shaped variations to these as well, wherein the front part is pulled out and a side shelf magically appears.

Magic Corner

  • Dish Drying Cabinet– Having a dish drying rack over the sink makes life very convenient as the water falls into the sink straight. The rack can be concealed with a wooden front cabinet cover, like the rest of the shelves in the kitchen, so that it blends with the rest of the kitchen design. Thus the utensils can be dried without making the Kitchen look cluttered and compromising the design.

Dish drying rack

  • Piped Gas (Instead of cylinders to save on space)- If you live in an area where gas pipelines are available, you may want to consider getting a connection as it saves on space and is safer to use. However, if you don’t have that option, you could create a rack outside the house, to place the cylinders and connect it to your burner via a pipe.
  • Drawer Systems/Organizers– What could be more delightful than finding the potato peeler exactly when you require it? Modern kitchen drawer fittings transform cluttered drawers of cutlery, cooking spoons,or snacks, into an organizers delight!There are also plenty of attachments that can help you organise your pots and pans so you don’t have to sift through 10 of them before finding the one you’re looking for. Imagine the difference this could make to your cooking routine.

modular cutlery drawer

  • Wine Glass Holders– Keep your stemware protected and sorted using a Hanging Wine Glass Rack. The rack, which is easy to install, is placed on the ceiling of the cabinet and helps save shelf space the glasses would have otherwise taken up. If you’re wondering, these attachments are fairly easy to clean as well.

Wine Glass Rack

We will keep updating this list from time to time, to help you organise your kitchen better. In the interim, do share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Home Improvement: 6 Tips on How to Start

carpenter worker installing laminate flooring in the room

    A home renovation or home improvement project can be very chaotic; however, the following steps can make it much more organized than you think.

  • Browse Home Design Ideas

    It’s a good idea to start by building a sense for what you want in terms of the interior design of your space. Today there are plenty of options online to browse home design ideas and create your lookbooks, with Pinterest and Houzz being two of the most popular ones. Organize your thoughts by room, or project so you can tell your service providers what you’re looking for, and why.   Incorporate your design ideas and get a broad blueprint ready before you start your planning process.

  • Plan, Plan, Plan

    The most critical thing you can do at the start of a home improvement project is to spend time planning, and figuring out how to go about things. It can be vital in achieving higher quality, and lowering your renovation costs.  This will also avoid you from springing up last minute surprises on yourself and adding on little details at the last minute, spiking up your costs. This will also prevent you from constantly changing the scope of work, thereby avoiding delays and cost overruns.

  • Decide on the services you need

    Think about whether you need help with Interior Design, it comes at a price. Involving a designer doesn’t mean you don’t do your research on which designs you like and which you don’t. You also need to check if you have major structural work required, in which case you may need an Architect. Else, you would just need contractors to get your work done e.g. Carpenters, Plumbing, and Civil construction.

  • Determine your Budget

    While you may not have an understanding of what your project might cost you, it’s good to think about the outer limit of money you are willing to spend on getting your project done. Keep 10-20% aside in anticipation of cost over runs. The rest of it will essentially split into two buckets, services and products. For midmarket products, the thumb rule applies that the products to services cost ratio is 2:1. Picking luxury products or cheaper products can change this mix.

  • Find Contractors

    Next, you will probably need to start looking for contractors who can do the work for you. Try to find at least 2-3 people, whom you can get quotes from so it helps you validate your budget expectations. Take a look at the service provider’s work, through past references to evaluate which one best fits your needs.

    To find contractors, you could look online, ask your friends, or visit construction sites in your area and speak to contractors there.

  • Project Management

    All of the above should help you get started. However one key piece in making sure everything runs smoothly is project management. You need to have a level of supervision on your project. Whether you choose to give your own time, or hire a part-time/full time project manager, this is a layer that cannot be emphasized enough. Your project manager will help deal with the labor, ensure material arrives on time, check the quality of work and material, clean your place, and overall produce a higher level of quality of work that will last you longer and reduce mental stress (really!).

    Once you have the above steps in place you will realize that renovation need not bog you down. In fact, proper planning and your presence during the renovation can make the entire process stress free and effective as well.

Things to keep in Mind While Waterproofing your Washroom

Stylish Bathroom

    Washrooms are one of the most important parts of every construction project. They are no longer those secluded parts in the corner of the house, but instead are used as areas of leisure and relaxation. And it is quite obvious that bathrooms are the most prone to moisture related mishaps so special attention must be paid to waterproofing it appropriately. Here are some things to keep in mind as you supervise the waterproofing of your bathroom.

Bathroom Flooring

Flooring:

    Use antiskid tiles on the floor. It is always a good idea to use wide grout lines between the tiles and seal the grout lines annually, so that water doesn’t seep through them. Another important aspect of bathroom flooring is the uninterrupted slope towards the drain so that water doesn’t accumulate in pockets.

Bathroom Walls

Walls:

    The wall behind the shower panel, the part under the sink and the area behind the water closet, are most prone to mold and mildew, it is therefore a good idea to use tiles on the washroom walls as well. Use the Dr. Fixit Bathseal kit to protect your walls, floor, and sanitation areas.

Bathroom Ceiling

Ceiling:

    Ensure that your washroom ceiling is coated with waterproof paint so that it doesn’t absorb moisture.
Always ensure that there is enough ventilation and an exhaust fan in the bathroom so that moisture doesn’t stay. Also ensure that the joints in the plumbing and faucets are sealed properly; and, we repeat, the slopes on the floor direct the water straight to the drain.

    In fact, they Waterproofing is an extremely essential part of every construction project as the lack of it, or inadequacy of the same, can cause moulds to fester, seepage, and ultimately weaken the walls.

    Different types of waterproofing materials are used in the building industry. In order to obtain satisfactory performance, it is essential to apply the water-proofing treatment prior to laying the tiles and special care has to be taken to carefully preparing the building sub-surface so that it can receive the treatment as recommended.

    It is essential to ensure the water-tightness of the structures so that the flow of water from inside the structure to outside (in case of swimming pools), and the infiltration of water from the surrounding soil into the structure are effectively prevented.

    Have a look at our growing database of waterproofing products and have a look at some amazing bathroom images on our pinterest page to inspire you to start designing your dream bathroom today.

 

LiTracon a Concrete Material that Lets Light Through

litracon1

Concrete by its nature is an opaque and sturdy material rarely used as a design element. But there is a re-emergence of exposed concrete in recent years and innovations in the types of concrete available to designers.

LiTracon is a revolutionary and ultra cool product which serves your insulation needs, without cramping the space and giving the space a unique visual appeal.

Take a look at their website to know more: http://ow.ly/LWCiD

We hope to see this in India soon, let us know what you think about this product in our comments section.

Take a look at http://ow.ly/LWBTD  for more awesome products.