10 things to know before constructing a house

House Construction

With different cities differ the real estate scenario and their rulebooks. Depending upon the area, the respective building bye-laws, development control regulations, permissible FSI, ground coverage and other common jargons with city-specific standards should all be taken into consideration before you decide a house construction. Also, the recent changes or amendments in the real estate bills and acts, any updates or allowances made in this respect must be carefully noted to avoid any inconvenience, unanticipated costs or delay in sanction of plan and to ensure maximum transparency.

1. Appointing a reputable developer, a reliable contractor and efficient architect for construction of your house is of utmost importance which will determine construction from the scratch to the finishing touches. One should select a building project plan for bungalow or row house with the help of a good architect who has made successful projects of the same. If you have never been involved in overseeing the construction of a house and are new to act or supervise, hire a building contractor to supervise you and the building of your new home for a much smaller fee than their nominal fee. You may ask your friends or relatives for a reputed builder who has a good experience in the construction business and carefully employ the one whose name is repeatedly suggested by a few.

2. Compliance of Vaastu & Feng Shui factors in designing of a house can be considered if one attaches importance to these sciences that are believed to facilitate positive energy inflow, and thereby create the plan accordingly as such changes are difficult to make once the construction is completed. Moreover, to avoid any misbeliefs later due to luck and misalignment of the house as may be stated by fortune tellers/pandits, it is better to contemplate over them beforehand.

3. It is imperative to decide whether to hire a builder or to be an owner-builder. One can hire a builder according to the house plan with or without material and personally supervise the house to see that proper quality of materials as fixed/decided is being utilized.

4. Getting documents ready, agreements signed, plans sanctioned – A clear title from the seller must be bought which should state the land use as non-agricultural (NA) where construction can be started immediately with or without a construction loan. Additionally, improvised drawings, designs layouts, height, carpet area, FSI being availed of, built up area being provided, necessary approvals for construction or extension, consultation with an advocate for registration and legal purposes, sales deeds, sales agreement, material costing must be properly executed.

Checklist to check before constructing a house
Checklist to check before constructing a house

5. Area, dimensions, design, space requirements – It is necessary to finalize your own requirements, size and number of bedrooms, chart out and place them before the architect to show your minimum requirement. Try to make the best use of natural sunlight and ventilation to minimize the need for artificial lights during daytime. Try to keep the lift, staircase etc. with large glasses on one side to avoid the requirement of lighting during daytime. These days, architects make use of 3D visualization software to showcase how the house would look like so you can take the advantage to cross-check for elevation/section/dimensions on paper and virtually so as to make changes as per your taste, since what may seem good on paper may not necessarily look good after construction.

6. Electrical fitting, plumbing and other fixtures – Contracts with various contractors should cover a period of 3 years after the house construction is over so that any problems arising out of faulty construction is taken care of by the contractor even after completion. Since the pipelines are laid when there is no water in the lines there is a great chance of mix-up between the hot and cold lines. Hence, it must be made sure that these connections are properly checked after the water supply connection has been provided. Also, one must ensure that the water and electricity meters are installed for each dwelling unit separately to avoid any conflicts later. The contract with the building contractor should provide for rectification of leakages, damp spots, seepage of water for the maximum period of 2-3 years. The guarantee cards must also be retained in case any of them become defective and for future maintenance purposes as well.

7. Man, materials, and money- Managing contractors to finish the House Construction in time have to be administered as there are times that labor does not show up for work or if work has to be paused due to the shortage of raw materials. More time means more money required and which correspondingly defines the need to borrow more money or refinance your construction loan. 

8. Valuation and comparison of prices- Take out an estimated cost breakup of your home of each cost of construction such as foundation, RCC, brickwork, plaster, electrical work, plumbing, woodwork, door frames, kitchen, trolleys, interiors etc. Good builders will give you all the cost breakup and come up with the total cost to build your new home. One must remember that extra costs may be incurred which are sometimes unpredictable and vary according to the market situation. Make a contract with the builder and architect about the time schedule for stages of payment to be given with delay clauses. It must be seen that the cost of construction is under our control as it tends to increase over time. Also, if they have more money they have a tendency to delay your work and most of the disputes arise because the contractor has taken more money than dues.

9. Consideration for the environment while constructing a house is attached high importance these days. Techniques like rainwater harvesting and solar water heating can also be considered while constructing a home so that you may save money and energy for you as well as the society in the long-term.

10. Last but not the least for House Construction, the thing to be considered is the insurance while constructing the house thereby enabling a safe game. One must also periodically supervise the construction of the house, list out and convey to the respective contractor about these shortcomings and the required modifications accordingly.

Unnathi Woods – Phase 7 – Project Master Plan, Layout & Unique Points

Unnathi woods, Ghodbunder road thane

Ghodbunder Road in Thane is very quickly developing into one of the most coveted residential neighbourhoods in the central suburbs of Mumbai. Many of the major players in real estate development have delivered or announced prime gated communities and luxury towers in this area. Conspicuous among these is the Raunak Group which is developing homes that appeal to wider audience in the middle class, especially the first home buyer. The Group has been part of the real estate landscape in Thane for some time now. One of their biggest projects in Thane is – Unnathi Woods, a sprawling 40 acre township started in 2009 off the Ghodbunder Road.

The first phase of Unnathi Woods was completed in 2012 and over the last seven years Phases 2, 3, 4, 5 and Park View have been completed and a whopping 1,106 homes delivered. In Phase 3 one building is delivered and the other one will be delivered in the next 6 months. Phase 6 is 75% completed. Phase 7 of Unnathi Woods is one of the more sprawling ones in this project. We reviewed some of the salient aspects of this Phase and how it compares vis-a-vis the other Unnathi Woods phases.

Location benefits

Like the other ones, Phase 7 also enjoys the location benefits of being situated five minutes off Ghodbunder Road. By itself this arterial road is home to every possible amenity a potential home buyer could look for. This includes connectivity to other suburbs and main roads in Mumbai. Connecting to the Eastern and Western Expressway is a prime convenience in addition to the proximity to suburban railways, and a reliable bus and public transport system. Malls, convenience stores, hospitals, schools and colleges are all within driving distance and can be quickly and easily accessed.

Unnathi Woods Phase 7, Ghodbunder road thane
Unnathi Woods Phase 7

Unnathi Woods Master plan & Layout

Phase 7 consists of four towers of exclusive one bedroom apartments. Two of the towers – G1 (Stilt + 13 floors) and G2 (Stilt + 17 floors) have been launched and construction of the 1st slab has been completed. Possession of these two towers is expected in December 2020. Prices start at Rs. 47 lakhs. G3 and G4 on the other hand are yet to be launched. All four towers surround the clubhouse and swimming pool, and are bordered by landscaped gardens. Additionally, three of the towers – G1, G2 and G4 directly overlook the Jogger’s Park being developed by Raunak Group and the Thane Municipal Corporation. Most apartments in these towers will enjoy the calming green scenery.

Unit configurations

G1 consists of a standard configuration of 575 sq. ft. units while G2 has 2 configurations, 575 and 660 sq. ft. The larger unit in G2 is designed with an ensuite bathroom cum toilet as well as an additional common one. The floor layout of both the towers is similar to a plus sign with almost equidistant arms. At the end of each arm are two apartments, making it eight apartments per floor. The design ensures a sufficiently wide and private passage to each of the two flats at the end of each of the arms. There are two high speed elevators to service each of these towers.

Unnathi Woods Phase 7-G1 and G2, Ghodbunder road thane
Unnathi Woods Phase 7-G1 and G2

Internal Amenities

The spacious living cum dining room in all apartments of Unnathi Woods Phase 7 boast a sundeck. Additionally, the bedroom has also been designed to ensure space for a wardrobe. All the apartments have been fitted with modern amenities which include high-end electrical and bath fittings, vitrified tiles, granite kitchen platform, superior quality windows and glass fittings and video door phone.

External Amenities

Phase 7 is the only one in the Unnathi Woods project to boast of its own clubhouse and gym with all modern equipment and amenities as well as swimming pool in addition to landscaped gardens and kids play area. Besides these, residents will also enjoy spacious lobby, and 24 hours security, in addition to the usual spacious parking in the stilt area, solar panels and generator back-ups for lifts water pumps and staircase. Phase 7 is easily accessible via spacious and well maintained internal roads which are part of the Unnathi Woods complex.

Unnathi Woods Inner roads, Ghodbunder road thane
Unnathi Woods Inner roads

While Phase 7 may only be 30% completed till date, it has also seen rapid bookings which stands as a testament to the high demand for quality budget housing in Mumbai suburbs. Unnathi Woods is already home to 1,106 families and many of these families are from typical middle class background, first home buyers who have benefited from Raunak Group’s quality residential developments.

Raunak Group was established in the year 1980 and came to prominence for building residences in Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. Over the years they have developed and delivered gated communities of over 4.8 million sq. ft. Currently they are developing 6.2 million sq. ft. across various parts of the city and state.

Raunak City, Kalyan – Site Assessment and Construction Status

The first thing that strikes you when you step onto Kalyan Junction station is the sea of people right outside the stations. One would be forgiven for thinking they were at Dadar suburban station. Kalyan, particularly, the west side, is a bustling metropolis and the neighbourhood close to the station is teeming with people, vendors, vehicles and it all adds up to a noisy, lively suburb. As you move away from the station, however, with autorickshaws and buses operated by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Transport (KDMT) being the popular means of transport, you begin to see Kalyan spread out as a genteel suburb with the shops, crowds and noise thinning out.

Location: Kalyan

Kalyan has only recently, over the last decade, seen a major influx of top developers thronging to Kalyan West to build affordable and budget segment housing complexes. This trend is resulting in accommodation for the growing number of people moving deeper into the suburbs as housing in Mumbai gets more expensive and out of budget for the common Mumbaikar. Raunak Group is one such developer which has been very active in the budget and mid-income housing segment. And what sets them apart from others is the impeccable delivery record and customer orientation. At Kalyan West, Raunak Group has already created residences across budget range on their huge 35 acre parcel of land.

Sector 3 (smaller buildings) and Sector 2 towers (behind)
Sector 3 (smaller buildings) and Sector 2 towers (behind)

The Product

The Raunak Group was established in the year 1980 and came to prominence for building residences in Mumbai, Pune and Thane. Over the years they have developed and delivered gated communities of over 4.8 million sq. ft. Currently they are developing 6.2 million sq. ft. across various parts of the city and state and one of these is Raunak City in Kalyan. The township of Raunak City, which is 3 km from Kalyan station, was launched over 6 years ago in phases with Sector 2 being the first, followed by the Sector 3 and Sector 4. They are among the first to bring the housing complex or township aspect of residential real estate development to Kalyan.

Sector 2 Children's play area
Sector 2 Children’s play area

Construction Update and Price

Raunak City – Sector 2 is a complex of 11 towers with stilt plus 15 floors each. The towers comprise of 1 and 2 bhk apartments. Sector 2 also has an exclusive clubhouse and swimming pool for its residents and landscaped gardens above the podium area which also includes children’s play area. The clubhouse includes gymnasium, multipurpose hall and court. The 1 bhk apartments in Sector 2 are fully sold out while there are only a few 2 bhk apartments left. These are priced at Rs. 55 lakhs onwards.

Sector 3's inner complex road
Sector 3’s inner complex road

Raunak City – Sector 3 is a complex of 17 buildings with stilt plus seven floors. It comprises exclusively of 1 bhk apartments starting at Rs. 32 lakhs. 13 of the 17 buildings are fully sold out and have also been delivered with OC. The layout of the complex is almost like a crescent moon with the 17 buildings forming the outer perimeter. Inside the perimeter is a wide open space of green lawns, landscaped gardens, jogging track, children’s play area and multipurpose court. Such open planning means that a good number of apartments look out over the open landscaped area, while the rest face outwards on the main roads surrounding the complex.

Construction of Raunak City’s Sector 4 has recently begun and is already 30% complete. Its design and layout are similar to the other two sectors and will surround the common landscaped area. Sector 4’s plans also include clubhouse with gym and swimming pool, children’s play area, jogging track and multipurpose court. The plans include 10 towers of stilt plus 28 storeys comprising 1 and 2 bhk apartments. The 1 bhk apartments start at Rs. 29 lakhs while 2 bhk begin at Rs. 49 lakhs.

Amenities

Sector 3' s swimming pool
Sector 3′ s swimming pool

Raunak City has been designed to be a sprawling self-sustaining township and once fully completed will occupy 35 acres and house 3,500 families with all amenities provided within the township. In addition to the usual amenities, all the sectors of the township have been designed with sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting as well as solar panels on the roof which will power all the common electric facilities. Each of the sectors has a well designed internal road and sufficient space for parking. Sectors 2 features podium parking. The ground floor on the outside of the township has been reserved for commercial space and some of them are already home to provision stores and other commercial activities. Additionally there is also some reserved space for future developments, possibly a Sector 1. Even though Raunak City is 3 kms away from the station, a common shuttle bus service operates to help residents commute to the station and onwards. There are shops and stores within walking distance and a daily market opens every evening. Most residents in the surrounding area also shop at the local Reliance Fresh store and D-Mart a little further away. Schools like Don Bosco and St. Xavier’s International are close by as well as KM Agrawal College of Arts, Science and Commerce.

Local market close to Raunak City which opens every evening
Local market close to Raunak City which opens every evening

Track Record

In the 6 years since the first brick was laid at the Raunak City, Raunak Group has completed and delivered 10 lakh sqft i.e – 1146 homes. The immediate surroundings have also changed considerably in the interim. Many independent developments have come up including more commercial establishments improving the quality of daily amenities available to residents include those of Raunak City. The road leading to Raunak City and the surrounding neighbourhood is wide and spacious and the locality is peaceful and very residential. No doubt in the next 5 years as the remaining buildings of Sector 3 or Sector 4’s construction is completed there will be more transformation around the place. Going by the rate at which apartments in Sector 3 and 2 were sold out, it is clear that there is a strong demand for quality housing with modern amenities in this budget segment. Raunak Group has established itself in this space and are keen on bridging the demand-supply gap.