Wednesday, 11 June 2014


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Renovating old buildings are not as easy as they look to be in the beginning. The first and foremost thing before commencement of any renovation work is to identify the type of renovation needed.After identifying the type of renovation, one should not straight away proceed to execute this job since the owner may not be aware of the intricacies involved, therein.It is better to seek assistance of an expert say Civil Engineer/Architect.

The general conception is that it is cheaper to renovate a house with required alterations than going for entire demolition of the old structure and rebuilding it. Renovation of old buildings may be required for several factors such as natural wear & tear, change in the ownership, change in the requirement. Renovations are under taken considering the huge expenditure involved in entirely redoing the old building and one may want to redo the existing building with additions and alterations instead of demolishing the existing building completely. But, lots of intricacies are involved when one takes up the renovation of an existing building as per one’s requirements in planning, budgeting and executing the renovation work.It is always a lot easier to design a new building on a plot of land to suit one’s newer and with modern day requirements.

Renovation work can be classified into the following categories.
a)Minor Touch up works: These pertain to some minor repairs work and finishes as required.These include minor works such as redoing wiring, plumbing, sanitary, arresting leakages in the water lines / tanks, filling up cracks in the walls and repainting it. This may be redoing a minor work on wiring, plumbing, sanitary or arresting leakages in the water tank or filling the wall cracks and having it repainted.The repairing of doors and windows leveling of pavements also falls under this category. In some cases it may involve any one of the above works or a combination of some of them. 

b)Minor renovation :This may involve altering the bathroom by replacing the fittings, tiles of floors and walls,redoing the flooring with modern tiles, marbles or wooden flooring, shifting and adding electrical points, minor additional civil works inside the house, removing and redoing the weathering course and roof tiles, plumbing and sanitary lines etc.

c)Major renovation: Major alterations to the existing structure come under this category. These may involve redoing complete electrical works, the floor plans, sanitary, plumbing, flooring, doors, windows, grills, gates, painting, interior and exterior finish and elevation modifications to suit with the modern latest designs.

Before starting the work careful planning is required as to the work to be got done and the budget required for the same.Otherwise, there will be more expenditure on the same and the work may also be not to one’s satisfaction. 

The following points have to be considered before starting the renovation work
a)One has to carefully study in a step by step manner the nature and requirement of additions, alterations required in the building.One has to clearly plan well on the necessity and make the best use of the existing   building.

b)Studying the structural system of the existing building is important to modify the floor plans without major structural complications. If any part of the building is damaged beyond repair it is better to demolish that part and newly build the same.

c)If a part of the building is not in use or hinders the renovation it is wise to demolish it and there is no point in retaining the portion of the building just for the sake of it.

d)It is wise to check whether the alterations meet the local body rules and requirements. If it so requires apply for fresh plan and get is sanctioned before starting the construction.

e)Structural alterations have to be done with extra care and supervision. If more floors have to be added, get the foundation checked by an expert to know whether the same will bear the additional weight of new floors. In case of electrical alterations work extending the existing wiring lines should be avoided and one should go for new wiring to avoid problems later. This holds well in case of even sanitary and plumbing lines.Similarly,necessary precautions have to be taken while reworking on the dampness of the roof and the walls.

It is not advisable to take up additions and alterations on one’s own. It is always better to discuss the same with experts in the field to get effective results. It will be helpful to take the assistance of a Civil Engineer or Architect. It is also necessary to have an estimated figure of expenditure. For a layman it is very difficult to visualize all these in a scientific way and hence utilization of services of an expert is necessary.Experts like Civil engineers or Architects can undertake this job with much ease and perfection as they can forsee intricacies involved in such work. They know the work force required and can supervise the work for better and quick result. This would involve in saving unnecessary expenditure.Failure to take help of experts would generally lead to spending more money and time with lot of tension to the owner.

However, it is not easy to get services of experts for such jobs as the money involved may be very paltry when compared to the expenditure involved in the construction of new houses. But with proper persuasion and search, one may find the services of an expert and the renovation / alteration work can be carried out under his supervision / advice. It may cost the owner additional expenditure by way of remuneration to the expert. But, it is really worth spending as the benefit one get from such service would be more than what he pays for such service.


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