How to Construct a House

Article V


By: Sudhakar Dokhane
(Past President PEATA (I)
Basically construction of house/building is a product created by teamwork of different component agencies such as Owner/Developer, Architect, Structural Engineer, Site Supervisor, Civil, Electrical & Plumbing Contractor etc.
In this chapter basic information is given to those who intend to construct their own house/bungalow or apartment building. This is categorised in three parts: –
Appointment of professionals & contractor/s
Scope of work and duties of each component agency.
Types of contracts.

After purchase of land and before proceeding further one has to appoint principal
professional i.e. architect. Besides the appointment of architect, the owner/developer has to appoint other professionals and component agencies, in consultation with the Architect (being a principal Co-ordinator) such as structural engineer, site supervisor, electrician, plumber and respective contractor/s for the proposed work.
In every metropoly there are associations of professionals who can give list of architects & structural engineers, to enable to have a choice of professional. List of such professional associations in Mumbai is given at the end of this chapter.


To appoint professionals and to provide them all documents and payments of fees charges etc. payable to statutory authorities required for approval of the proposal.
To issue letter of appointments to professionals with scope of work, terms & conditions togather with schedule of professional fees payable.
To supply good quality materials to the contractor. (if the work is to be carried out on labour basis or departmentally).
To pay professional fees to respective professionals, as per schedule of payment.
To appoint contractor/s in consultation with the architect and to execute agreement-of-contract for proposed construction.
To pay to the contractor as per schedule of payment incorporated in the contract.
To appoint full time qualified site supervisor/engineer on site.

To prepare designs and sketch plans as per requirements of clients.
To prepare drawings for municipal submission, after the design is approved by the client.

To submit proposal and to obtain approval to the plans and commencement certificate/development permission from the local planning authority; and submit a set of approval to the client.
To assist & guide client for the appointment of structural engineer, electrician, plumber, site supervisor, and other agencies.
To prepare specifications of work as per the requirements of client & to prepare tender document.
On behalf and in consultation of client, to invite & scrutinise the tenders; and to prepare & submit report thereof to the client.
To assist & guide the client for appointment of contractor/s.
To issue working drawings and instructions to the client and to the contractor for execution of work.
To attend and co-ordinate meetings with owner & all other agencies.
To visit site for inspection of work in progress periodically.
To check & certify the bills of contractor.
To issue completion certificate of work, after the work is completed in all respects.
To obtain occupation permission or building completion certificate from the local planning authority.
Architect is a principal co-ordinator of all agencies connected to the project construction. Besides his above scope of work, before and or after purchase of property the consumer can avail following services and guidance from the Architect.
To advice on Technical Documents and Approvals issued by the planning revenue and other statutory authorities.
To advice on protection to consumers under various legislation i.e. B.M.C. Act, D.C. Regulations, Maharashtra Ownership Act, Rent Act, U.L.C. Act etc.
To advice and assist Advocates / Solicitors on Technical information required for preparation of various legal documents of real estate.
To act as arbitrator and or assist and guide clients in case of arbitration.
To prepare and provide Valuation Reports required for various purposes i.e. Purchase of property, Raising finance, Family estate partition, Capital gain tax.
To advice and guide client / consumer on general and periodic maintenance of building and its various services i.e. Plumbing, Electrical, Water Proofing etc. and timely structural repairs whether minor or major in consultation with the consulting Structural Engineer.
To advice and guide client / consumer on the drawings and specifications prepared by Interior Designer / Decorator, specifically taking in to consideration structural safety of building in consultation with the consulting Structural Engineer.

To inspect the site and investigate soil through appropriate agencies if required.
To prepare initial R.C.C. plans & specifications of the building for submission to local planning authority.(This is applicable in Mumbai)
To prepare detailed structural drawings of the building after verification of soil and to make modifications in earlier drawings if required for execution of work.
To issue detailed working drawings of structural work and instructions to the client and to the contractor for execution of work.
To check the reinforcement of R.C.C. work and if approved, allow the contractor to concrete the same.
To attend meetings and advice client & other agencies as and when required.
To issue Structural Stability Certificates in two stages i.e. firstly when the work is completed up to plinth level & after the completion of entire work.

To co-ordinate between owner/developer and all other professionals / agencies.
To inspect the materials and reject if any when it is found not up to standard & to carry out necessary tests of materials as directed.
To supervise day to day work, and prepare work progress report weekly.
To inspect, check and get satisfied that the work is being carried out as per the approved plans, working drawings and instructions issued by the architect & structural engineer and other professionals from time to time.
To issue completion certificate for effective supervision and quality workmanship at the end of the completion of work.

To execute the agreement of contract of proposed construction, with the owner/developer.
To purchase & supply good quality of materials required for the work, (if the contract is with materials).
To carry out good quality work strictly as per approved plans and working drawings as well as instructions issued by the architects & structural engineer, from time to time.
To attend joint meetings with owner/developer and other professionals, and agencies as and when called for.
To raise bills as per schedule of work incorporated in the contract.
To issue completion certificate for workmanship & quality of work carried out; at the end of completion of work.
To remove debris, workers and unused materials lying at site at the end of completion of work, and to hand over the building to the employer.

Note: The contractor have no other rights on the property except his payment receivable under contract; and this clause should be specifically incorporated in agreement of contract.

i) To inspect the premises and check all the specifications and amenities provided therein and ensure that the same are in conformity with the agreement, before taking possession.
To obtain copy of occupation permission granted by the local planning authorities, from the developer or architect as the case may be.
To use the premises strictly for the purpose and users it is approved for.
Not to do any additions or alterations without prior permissions from concern authorities and without proper advice and supervision of concern qualified & experienced professionals.
To attend timely repairs and keep premises in good working conditions, for all the time.


There are two types of contract: –
Labour Contract / Departmental Work Contract
Contract with materials.

In this contract the owner himself acts as a contractor, wherein he supplies in time
all good quality materials & gets the work done through labour contractors appointed for different work i.e. civil, plumbing electrification etc. Liability of labour contractor is limited to their labour work only.

In this case owner/developer only makes the payment as per schedule of
payment incorporated in the contract, to the contractor & the contractor arranges all the materials, labours etc. and carry out the work at his entire cost and risks. The contractor is responsible for quality of work. The contract under this category can be given in two different methods:

In this case Architect has to work out total quantities of all items of construction
involved. Separates rates are invited of each of the items. After completion of each of the item the quantities of work carried out should be got checked from the site supervisor and submitted to the architect for certificate of payment.
In this type of contract it is essential that the owner has to appoint qualified site engineer to check the quantities at every stage. It is experienced that if the quantities are not correctly / precisely worked out or checked in time, the estimated cost of construction may vary. This type of contract is mainly in practice for the construction by corporate companies and different private & Govt. agencies, public trust and such bodies.

In this contract, after preparing specifications of entire work, the total built-up
area of building is worked out, and accordingly tenders are prepared and invited to ensure and fix the rate of construction on per square foot basis. This contract gives fair idea of total construction cost in advance. This type of contract is popular because of its simplicity & easy understanding.

While appointing the contractor, owner/developer should see that following provisions are incorporated in the agreement of contract; for which document should be specific about: –

The specific terms and conditions of contract.
Detailed specifications of all type of works involved i.e. civil, plumbing, electrification etc.
Total built-up area of construction.
Rate/s of construction agreed by the owner & contractor.
Total cost of construction.
Schedule of work for stage wise construction.
Schedule of payment payable to the contractor.
Time limit for completion of construction.
Penalty per day for late completion of work.
Defect liability period during which the defects should be got rectified by the contractor at his cost.
Deduction of payment made by the owner/employer for purchase of any materials from the bills of contractor.
Insurance for construction workers at site.
Deduction of retention money from each bill of the contractor for rectification of defects if detected within defect liability period (of one year or one monsoon which ever is earlier minimum) from the date of completion of work.
Guarantee for good work-man-ship, and water proofing, from the contractor.
Provisions of Arbitration clause in case of dispute.
Details of payments of deposits, charges, fees payable to respective authorities, by the owner and contractor respectively.

Notes: i) The contract should be executed on Rs.20/- court fee stamp paper in triplicate i.e. one copy each for owner, contractor & architect.
ii) The agreement of contract should be prepared through the concern architect who is competent & experienced in such documentation.
iii) The report on credibility of contractor as to his experience, number of works completed, number of skilled & unskilled workers, financial performance, should be obtained from the architect before contract is awarded.

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One thought on “How to Construct a House

  1. What if approval from Govt. Agency is not taken prior to construction. Is there a way to get the approval after construction.

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