Building a house these days is indeed an expensive affair. There was a time when we could make a construction budget plan and estimate, citing 60% for material costs and 40% as labor charges. But it is a different scenario today, with labor charges skyrocketing to almost 60 to 65% of the total expenses. The sad thing is that even with the rising prices there is no significant improvement in the quality of the work.
For those of you wanting to build a dream home without shelling out you entire life's savings, interlock houses will prove to be a revelation. When you opt for an interlock brick house, the amount of cement used can be kept to a minimum. When the cement and sand used is less, the savings will to about 30% of the total costs. The only catch is that you have to get hold of skilled workers experienced with interlock bricks.
Interlock bricks are made by mixing laterite stone powder, cement and gravel. 50 kilograms of cement you can help you make around 50 interlock bricks. The making of these are completely eco-friendly. The bricks are made with a 4000 kilograms of compress and hence there need not be any apprehensions regarding the strength and sturdiness of these bricks. A brick measuring 30 cm in length, 17 cm in width and 15 cm in height can cost Rs.20 per piece. The per brick rate for those measuring 28x15x13 is Rs.18. Grey blocks made from industrial waste is also available in the market. If the sq. ft. rate of a B class house is around Rs.1600; using interlock bricks can bring down the cost to Rs.1000.
Though it is strong enough, the use of interlock bricks is comparatively low in the northern districts. This could be due to the possibility of stone mining and wide availability in the surrounding areas.
This beautifully designed 2300 sq. ft. house belongs to K V Muraleedharan, the consulting engineer and owner of the firm Chellary Building Designers. The firm focuses on constructing house using interlock bricks.
Complete with compound wall, garden, decorative courtyard, landscaping, striking exteriors, and well done interiors and furnishing, this house is certainly a sight to behold. Let’s hear it from the owner himself about how he made his dream home with interlock bricks a reality:
The total cost of building this double-storey house with 4 bedrooms, kitchen and work area was around Rs.45 Lakhs. As the house faces the south, a sopanam has been built in the east direction to get out of the house from and also to enter into the house from the west side. For the common areas like dining, living and sit-out, pricey Italian Marbonite tiles costing Rs.170 has been used. And in the bedrooms, the flooring is done with cheaper Ivory shade Marbonite tiles. They were able to bring in considerable savings in the total budget by doing the flooring in this manner.
The false ceiling, done throughout the house, is made out of gypsum. This looks good and is easy to maintain. Granite flooring has been done in the bathrooms. The racks and cupboards were designed in a compact manner, without occupying much space. The rooms also have smaller areas and hence air conditioning can be done quicker when compared to large rooms.
All the wardrobes are in the dressing room. Instead of ceiling fans, wall fans have been used in the rooms. LED lights were used all across the house and so the total power usage is only about 60 Watts. Another important factor about interlock brick homes is that these show colors and light in the best possible way.
Information Courtesy: K V Muraleedharan