Construction of Residential Building

Construction of Residential Building

January 18, 2020

Specially, talking about the middle class family, construction of a house is the one time investment of life. Once invested can’t be brought back. It is certain that one wants to construct his/her dream house as better as possible. Every individual has an aim to make own building and dwell in there. But since it’s the only one time activity usually a Nepali does, so, it is no doubt that one has no experience on the very work where huge budget is invested for only one time. To construct a house is the necessity of everybody, but has no complete knowledge. Thus, in fact it is a burning issue which needs to get solved. The truth is, one can hardly find good counseling offices to provide correct information regarding constructing the house. However let’s focus on some milestone works where one needs to keep minimum care while constructing the house. 

   Basically, there are two types of clients ( one who wishes to build a house), one type of clients give sole responsibilities of planning, designing  and construction  to a consultant, while other type of clients construct  the building by their own  direct involvement. However, the construction procedure  in practice is the same. Here, we will go on step wise procedure that must be gone to construct a residential building.

The first and foremost step for any construction work is planning. The minimum requirements of the targeted work to be done/ constructed should come from the client only before the designing phase. Without the client’s requirement, the designer is pretty free to design according to his/her wish, which in future after construction, may/may not meet the clients requirement. So, on constructing a house also, the client must make a plan by himself. The client can then ask the designer who designs and plans, how his /her requirements can be fulfilled remaining within the ongoing practice of construction. The outcome with designer’s knowledge incurving client’s demand within the design can be the best. In case of no requirements from a client. So, it is very much important to take into account this fact. After the designer gets the roadmap, s/he prepares the design, which then needs to be presented to the respective WODA office, where house is proposed to be constructed. The Civil engineer there checks if the design is In accordance with the BY-LAWS ( laws in practise to be followed while constructing ). If it does not meet the standards, further amendments should be made and brought back again such that it meets the standard  BUILDING BY-LAWS. After the standard is met, then it goes into registration process. Then the very office provides a 35 days’ notice.  During this duration one is not allowed to construct Within this duration, employee from the office comes to field visit, to check the situation if the construction can be made on the site or not because there are many factors to be considered (say, transmission line, neighborhood  issues if any) .we are allowed to construct only after receiving a letter “Nirman Izzazat Patra” from the office. With all this only the designing and administrative work gets completed.

The very next step for construction will be the construction part, which includes two major steps

  • selection of contractor to construct the building
  • material management

Selection criteria of contractor should be made very wisely. Let’s highlight some facts regarding contractor practice: Talking about the contractors, they take construction works in two different modality; one may be by measuring the total floor area of the building. The measurement method may also vary according to the contractors. Some contractors only measure the floor area only while some may measure floor area along with the beam area also. This total area is multiplied by suitable rate to give the total construction cost. While other type of contracting in practice is giving the tender at certain random suitable rate (usually called as lump sum). Similarly, some contractor may take sole construction work by alone  while many  contractor may not perform the whole task, and  take the contract by dividing the whole task part by part say RCC works,  plumbing, color works, marble works, door and windows  works and so on.  This in fact is directly related with the rate of construction. So, one must be very careful regarding the amount of work the selected contractor is going to perform. Many house owners are found to suffer from this fact, the contractor doesn’t provide the clear information at the time of contracting and after the construction starts they start to tell the hidden stories as discussed above. In addition to all these, hiring of well experienced contractor with sufficient manpower, and time is very essential.  The cost of construction and the quality In the market a single contractor takes multiple sites at the same time, they start the work in one site and after the initiation they move to other sites. This practice has delayed the construction work to a greater extent. So, to reduce these entire factors one must be very much aware while selecting the contractor. The loyalty between both the parties is very essence.

It should be noted if the contractor is really capable to construct the building as per the drawings

Similarly, the selection of quality materials for the construction is very much important. It is certain that unlike a big project, while constructing a residential building, we never have no culture for material testing on lab before they are used in construction because the lab test cost will cost expensive. So, it would be very wise to   take into account, what varieties/which brand of construction materials (say cement, aggregate, rods, color, and fittings) that are being used, and take their reviews. In this way the materials can be selected by builders themselves, or simply can take suggestions from technical person. One must be familiar about the market rates of every material. In the context on Nepal, it is found that the material cost reaches minimum value during Nov/ Dec which then gradually goes on increasing up to Jun/July. this very factor can bring very much difference in the overall cost. Soon after the selection of material, very next important task is the selection of the vendors ( one who will supply the materials). The selection criteria of vendors could be, s/he should be able to sufficiently supply the materials on time with the rate fixed, should make clear modality about the payment method. Here also, the loyalty between both the parties is very essence for a successful and quality output., with all these full preparation a building construction work can be successfully be made possible.

With the completion of all the necessary arrangement, then a contractor begins the construction works. It is the responsibility of the client to provide every essential equipment’s, materials for a contractor to work, and in return the contractor should construct and handover to the owner. Let’s go through a tentative average cost estimate of a residential building:

S.N. Desription of the work avg estimate
    min Max
1 preparation of Municipal dwg, str dwg with sap  report 20000 1500000
2 Municipality charge    
3 Contractor charge    
         RCC works, (up to plaster works) 1200000 1800000
         Plumbing 30000 80000
         Electricity 35000 100000
         Color 80000 300000
4 Materials    
         hardware  materials( cement, rods) 1900000 3000000
         aggregates( Baluwa, Gitti) 500000 900000
         bricks 600000 900000
        woods( all doors, windows) 500000 1100000
       aluminum/ UPVC( all door except main door, window) 300000 450000
        water fittings 140000 300000
        electricity fittings 70000 250000
         Color 140000 300000
       metal works ( gate, channel gate, railings, compound, tank stand, ladder) 250000 400000
        floorings( tile works  with marble ) 450000 700000
  TOTAL 6215000 12080000

To sum up, after we have made a decision to construct a building (which is no doubt one time investment of life), one must be very careful. The importance of planning is very crucial aspect which must be kept in mind not only in designing stage but also equally in hiring a consultant, contractor, vendors, materials. No doubt, more aware the owner becomes, will be the happy owner after the construction.