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Home > City Resources > Real Estate > Tips
 Real Estate

Real Estate
w Tips
Do's and Don't on owining flats
Why do you need an architect.
What Should You Look For In A Builder?
How to choose your Business Centre


To plan a home or office, why consult an architect? For numerous reasons -- from aesthetics and accuracy to costing and engineering.

An architect can co-ordinate the activities of different tradesmen involved in building, like plumbers, electricians, carpenters. etc., so they may perform their functions in the right sequence. An architect is academically and professionally trained to be aware of all the elements of building, like aesthetics and structure, engineering, plumbing, electricity, etc.
The architect is well versed in functional aspects like placing plug points, ventilators, etc., and can work according to your needs. For instance, if your family has short people, it won't help to have switches placed high on the wall. It is a misconception that only large-scale constructions need an architect. Even if you are building a hutment , an architect can help you minimise costs.
If you are not careful in hiring a reputed contractor, he may leave you with only a skeletal workforce once 70 percent of the construction is complete. An architect can guide your payments to the contractor, so the work is completed accurately, within the time frame. An architect can help schedule operating costs.
Choosing the Right Architect

  • Before you hire an architect, look at some of his/her work.
  • Inspect project sites and take references from at least three former clients
  • Find out exactly what services the architect or the firm can offer and take it down in writing.
  • Do not judge the architect by the fee charged, either high or low. Visit the architect's office during the course of work, which will help you assess progress. Keep all agreements in writing but trust the architect you hire.

What Should You Look For In A Builder?

Buying an apartment or building a house is a lifetime investment. So choose a builder who is reliable, who can deliver the goods he promises and on time. A builder should be able to give you real value for money. Be sure of the credentials of the builder. Talk to residents of apartment blocks built by him and ascertain details like:

  • If he has promised them plastic emulsions on the walls, has he really given them that or has he used ordinary distemper.
  • He could have assured them good copper wiring but since the wiring is concealed he could have used cheaper quality wire.
  • Has he delivered items like bathroom fixtures according to the prices he charged. The same goes for every little thing that goes into making a house, from the wiring to the tiles, from the doors to sanitaryware. Most agreements with builders specify that payments should be made according to the stages of construction. If the builder has taken up more than one project at a time and you have paid for a certain stage, he may siphon your money to a different project. Your money could be held up, your apartment may be completed much after the time frame. Legally there is a penalty clause which binds the builder to pay you a certain sum of money if he doesn't complete the work in the scheduled time. Vice versa, you are liable to pay the builder a fine if you don't pay him according to schedule.
  • When a builder shows you the plans for the proposed project, ascertain that the project is legally sanctioned.
  • See if the builder makes arrangements for maintenance, once the construction is complete.
  • Ensure that all agreements with the builder are in writing.

Choose Your Business Centre According To The Size of Your Staff And Work Load...

Normally a Business Centre is used as a branch office by firms operating on a low profile or if they have few staff on the rolls. If you have a large staff it is better to have your own premises.

Points to remember while taking up space in a Business Centre : Locate a business centre as close as possible to your target customers. Allot space to the number of staff you have, then hire space accordingly. Check the services offered, both secretarial and communication. For eg., if the centre has just one or two phones it may mean waiting in a long queue to make a call. See if you can get a connection on your desk and check how much you pay for each call. Direct dialing facility is an added advantage. Check for STD/ISD facilities. Don't be taken in by the low rent charged, since you might have to pay extra for every service availed. Look for hidden perks like how many free calls or faxes are included in the membership fees. Look for extra services provided like Air / Rail bookings, hotel reservations, etc..

Most business centres religiously close shop at 5.30 or 6 pm. See if this suits your business. Ask how many days notice you have to serve before vacating. Insist on the shortest period. Read all terms and conditions carefully before you take up space.

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