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