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Farm House or a Second home:

In today’s busy lifestyle, in today’s hectic schedules, one really craves and dies for a second home. A house, a hut, or maybe a place where the micro family, husband, wife, and two children, can get a chance to explore each other. In a typical middle-class family, where father has decided his budget for child’s education, then the EMI’s for his house or his flat in the metro city like Mumbai, Pune, Banglore, Delhi, then comes the EMI’s of the car, and then later if the budget allows he will be investing in a second home. People are mostly tired of long traffic jams, pollution, pressures of the job, and never really get a chance to express themselves or even have a dialogue with family members. In short, people are tired of the hectic life that the city offers, and then they want to have a second home for themselves, which is a farmhouse. Just like a house in quiet Indian villages.

Typically what people want, is a house, which will be very different from their house in the city. They need a house where they can relax and enjoy themselves. So the mothers don’t want to cook and have a kitty party with her friends, the father wants to relax and have a place where he can have beers with his friends. The kids want open space, lush green lawns to play football, or simply want to chill themselves in the swimming pools if the budget of the father allows that. The sites are normally very beautiful sites which offer enormous vistas, of nature, and the surroundings. The job of an architect in such cases becomes very difficult! As he tries to capture these beautiful vistas, provide large windows, and the client tries to reduce the cost, and reduce the size of windows. Generally, no one is interested in building a house which will be modern as a box, as now people want to build a house, which will be like a house in the village, but having all the modern amenities. Some clients demand large terraces, as they are tired of cramped terraces which are mostly wider balconies in apartments of the cities.

 Still, I try my level best to capture beautiful vistas. At times argue with my clients, and convince them about my designs. Then comes the interesting part of the roofs, and as we are building in the remote areas, where one experiences heavy rainfall, roofs should be very carefully designed. The house should sustain the wild, and ruthless nature, and it should stand tall, and should not wash away with heavy rains! Adding to the discomforts of the architects are the so-called contractors which have a very poor experience when it comes to handling materials like R.C.C. or steel or even brickwork for that matter. As an architect, I am forced to make changes to my design, as the people who are going to build the design, must know how to and what to, also one needs to keep costs under control. Still, I am been able to build good buildings, which stand tall, in ruthless natural settings and which do sustain heavy, rains, mud, and heavy erosion of soil. I always tell my clients to plant trees, as trees stop the soil erosion to a great extent.

House offering vistas of Torna, Rajgad, and the Dam, designed for Yathartha Developers.

The large terrace designed in front of the house, as clients demanded a large terrace, tired of cramped terraces offered by builders.

Photograph of the house during construction

As an architect, I made many compromises while making the above house, but, at the end of it, I was happy that I could design and build a house, on a very challenging site. Covering a large terrace meant increasing the area of roofing, and increasing the waterproofing cost of the slab. The slab was constructed by local laborers, and hence it was designed as a very heavy and bold slab. I was extremely worried about the leakages, and I was equally worried about soil erosion. Last year Maharashtra experienced the worst rainfall of last thirty years, and I had my nightmares, but the house sustained these high rains, and stood tall, in ruthless nature. Using exposed laterite stone also meant an increase in cost. But the laterite stone actually creates an illusion of a typical, vernacular, house in a village, and during the summers, the house remains cooler inside. I had suggested a layer of six-inch brickwork internally and a layer of laterite stone externally, but that ideas were rejected by the client, as it would have increased the construction cost. The house offers many interesting vistas, and I had to change my design, and be satisfied with an eight-foot wide door to the terrace and not a wall to wall door for a terrace. To cut the long story short, if the client would have accepted my designs, the house would have become more beautiful and more comfortable during summers. Interestingly looking at this house, other clients came to me and asked me to design their houses.

14 replies on “Farm House or a Second home:”

I have a farm house and like all home owners, post construction, I had to depend on my architects for all the defects in the construction. My architects were such a let down as there was no help from them in repairing defects which we have suffered for 4 years with leakage in a heavy monsoon area. My advice to those wishing second homes is that they choose architects with terrain experience and who will be available to repair faults as a result of their design or expertise as and when they arise. A hone at a remote location is good idea but for the maintenance difficulties, one needs a good technical back up which my property lacked. Today, I am struggling with leakage in my living room floor, ceilings, staff quarters because of design fault, master bedroom leakage again because of design fault etc and there is not a lot I can do a d we dread every monsoon and spend money temporarily painting the stained walls year to year, because our architects let us down so badly. Lessons to be learnt are 1. Architect must be established. 2. He must be responsible and not give lip service 3. His team of agencies must maintain the home 4. Get a second opinion always on anything the architect tells you

Well, experience does matter, leakages are an issue everywhere,as we are working with unskilled labour nd one should listen to architects for same reason. Most of the time to cut down cost, some elements from original design r eliminated, and then it leaks, and leaks nd leaks.Also it’s not a job of an architect to come to ur site nd ask u are u alright. Normally in building industry we appoint a contractor who does that, as in the contract document we make a provision that contractors last retainer is to be paid after an year, so he is liable to come to ur site, check the leakages,rectify them, nd solve all of issues. Contractors then quote a rate that is certainly more, but it solves our headache.Plz read my next blog article it talks abt the same issues. Another thing is ur staying in an area where rainfall is crazy, and there are no skilled labour around. So even well constructed buildings will leake.Now mam,yours is a classic example of work done at low rates by unskilled labour, so no one is ready to take responsibility.Ur architect is a young architect who doesn’t know the reality,nd once he has finished his job he I’d not ready to attend to u.No architect likes to do a leftover job. I charge Rs 15000 for site visits, nd make a note of issues,prepare a plan of repairs nd submit it to clients. If it’s a beyond repair condition, I say its beyond repair nd charge Rs 5000. I do hope from the bottom of my heart that urs is not a beyond repair condition. NO ARCHITECT LIKES TO D
O THESE JOBS, AS EVERYONE IS BEHKND DESIGNS, SO I CHARGE AN AMOUNT,ND DO THD JOBS WHICH ARE LEFTOVERS OF OTHERS. NORMALLY REPAIR JOB IS MORE CRITICAL AS CLINT IS ALREADY FRUSTATED, SO HE SHOULD BEAR THE COST.
Thanks for suggestions mam, it’s good to listen to ur experience.BUT ONE SHOULD LISTEN TO ARCHITECTS IF HE/SHE WISHES TO LIVE PEACEFULLY.DESIGN OF AN ARCHITECT DOES GIVE U SATISFACTION, IF ITS DESIGNED AS PER HIZ DESIGN, PLZ DO READ MY NEXT ARTICLE, IT TALKS ABT ISSUES THAT U HAD GONE THROUGH.

It’s a good article and you have bridge the gap between architectural design and budget of the client.From this blog it clearly stated that how architect budget and sturdy,long lasting construction,and while balancing you never compromised for design.Its a beautiful

I enjoyed you design very much. The lines are very appealing. The colour blends very beautifully with the terrain and the size is my dream size. The concept that the home must equally enjoy the exterior and allow it to enter the interior is very well expressed in your design. I am curious to know how long if took to build it. Are there any interior photos you have to share please. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

I must mention that when I wrote my comments, I forgot to add that Mr. Pratinidhi was not my architect! I wish I had met him so he could have taken on my project. I was writing about my own experience with my architects to hear Mr. Pratinidhi opinion on such issues and perhaps how to rectify them.

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