This beautiful building was once a cramped home

by Saturday , April 29 2017 08:14

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When an owner himself supervised the restructuring of his old 3,000 sq ft house, the cost, instead of escalating, slid down to an affordable Rs 20 lakhs.

Kottayam-based James Joseph was in a fix as he surveyed his old house. He wanted something beautiful, appealing and affordable. But the moot question was how to go about it. He mulled over several options. How about pulling down the old and building another over it? Or would just a few cosmetic changes be sufficient? Joseph who runs his own business, was all too familiar with folks who had dabbled inrestructuring and failed. There were yet others who had run into huge debts in their bid to remodel old houses. It was a very perplexed man who turned to a Vaastu expert to have his house re-done.

Joseph had bought the house in 2008. Ever since, the 40-year-old house had seen quite a lot of attachments made to enhance its looks and convenience. Hence, roof tiles, asbestos sheets and concrete make a merry medley at the top. The old structure had shortcomings aplenty. For one, it faced the west, stood next to a school and had very little land space around. Over all, it had a cramped look.

Once the Vaastu expert entered the scene, changes became inevitable. Whatever shortcomings the house had, were addressed to. The first step was to shift the elevation of the house to make it face the east. This shift in direction ensured that the house would get a chic car porch and sufficient area to sport a garden. The next step in the renovation was its budgeting.

The businessman in Joseph decided to focus more on utility than mere aesthetics. So he went about with the concept of demolishing as little as possible of the old and also erecting as little as possible of anything that was new. The plan was drawn accordingly.

If Joseph ever nurtured a dream of luxury, it was to have a large car porch where two cars could be parked simultaneously. He made no compromise on this and he had his wish. A few walls had to be brought down. Doors and windows too were pulled out of their original nooks and placed elsewhere in accordance with the new design. All these changes were made with a view to bringing about a total change in the frontage of the house. The rear of the house was redesigned to make it the front faade. The old door still welcomes you into the house.

Only two windows were given a facelift. Some of them had to undergo changes. Three-panel windows were converted to two and sometimes, even a single panel. The old house, which had close to 10 small rooms, now have three large bedrooms with attached bathrooms. The drawing room and the living are separated by a large HDF-laminated shelf. The TV unit sits adjacent to this shelf.

The bedroom wardrobes and kitchen cabinets have all been done up with HDF wood. Lamination and automotive paints add sheen and finish to the place. Though the house was not re-done heavily, the old flooring was completely peeled off. Vitrified ceramic tiles were laid in all rooms with borders to match. Black granite adds a touch of elegance to the kitchen dcor. A special feature of the place is the total absence of a place called work area.

The paint, in shades of black, white and grey has been used as per the taste of the family. The putty work gives the walls a super sheen. The wiring and plumping are completely new. Since the old house had roofs laid in concrete, tiles and asbestos, it reflects in the variations in ceiling design seen in each room. In a bid to cut on cost, all the old ceilings were retained. Designer clay tiles have been set on the ceilings of those rooms which have concrete roofs. Wherever there are asbestos and tile roofs, cement board false ceilings have been erected. All the gaps in the walls and the ceilings have been filled with putty to give the place completeness. The corners have been rounded off with gypsum Cornish.

The water tank, which once stood on an iron stand on the terrace of the old house, was an eye sore as it was visible from outside. In the new layout, it was placed in an enclosure specially erected for the purpose. Fly-ash bricks from Kochi have done an elegant job on the “tank-house”. For the present, there are no steps or stairway, which can take one to the terrace.

The vast outdoors have sufficient open and airy places where one can hang the clothes out to dry.

Once the design was ready, Joseph went into action mode. He purchased the raw material, hired workers for each specific task and supervised the work. Value for money. That’s what James Joseph got out of re-doing a house under his direct supervision.

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