• A Guide to Residential Tile

    Selecting the right material is a crucial aspect of any design and construction especially when it comes to those materials that attribute to the aesthetics of your home. However, these days Tiles showrooms have become overwhelming to the point of leaving the buyer exhausted and confused. Showrooms display every type, style, size and colour of tile known to humanity leaving the buyer in decision dilemma. While the industry is coming up with more options since more options equate to better design choice and experience filtering information so that you’re left with an organized set of comprehendible decisions is equally important. This article is BuildingeKart ’s effort towards the same.


    So over the years we’ve rounded up a handful of tile options that work well for our cost-effective modern projects. Of course, manufacturers discontinue some (and release other) options, suppliers change what’s available, and the world is full of change. So in response, here is our guideline on selecting tile.

    Here are some characteristics to look for:

    1. They are conventional. Stick to those tiles that come in typical sizes and are consistent between one order and the next. Tiles should be familiar to work with and your tiles sub-contractor should be familiar with them. Bespoke, hand-crafted tiles are unpredictable and are not consistent between lots.
    2. They are available nationally. Exotic tiles imported from other countries have long lead times. Unless, your choice is exquisite, go for tiles that are available nationally. Otherwise, be prepared to over-order so that you are prepared for the variable of potentially needing more.
    3. These tiles avoid fashion. Yes, you heard me right. Flooring is a permanent feature of your home. While we are seeing innovation and new trends in tile designs it is tough to predict what will be timeless even after 10,20 and 50 years.
    4. They are not merely decorative. Yes, they are key attributing factor to aesthetics however they have major function that cannot be overridden for aesthetics and that is durability.
    5. They are bigger. Precision in manufacturing has improved a lot bringing down inconsistency in size and design to as less as 1/32” for an individual tile. However, to ensure that these fluctuations do not add up over tile courses, go for bigger tile sizes.


    Given the above criteria, I am now laying down the most common flooring options available in Indian market. They are all great options, so chose well and find out the tile on which your heart is set on.

    1. Ceramic Tiles: Ceramic Tiles, one of the oldest of the tiles clan, is made from clay or mixture of organic materials and is finished by kiln firing. They are available in various sizes and shapes, both glazed and unglazed. They are hard and brittle in nature, heat and corrosion resistant in the long run. These tiles come in various finishes like the anti-skid and mat finish, which are used on steps and in bathrooms. Floor tiles come in squares and wall tiles are mostly rectangular. Ceramic tiles are available in various brands like Kajaria, Nitco, Somany and Rak ceramics.
    2. Vitrified Tiles: Vitrified Tile is a type of Ceramic tile, however its making process makes it strong, porous and stain resistant. It is made by hydraulic pressing a mixture of clay, quartz, feldspar and silica, which make vitreous surface. Thus creating a single mass making them hard with low porosity.
    3. Glass Mosaic Tiles: Mosaic started as a piece of art with glass pieces. Manufacturing these tiles involves embedding small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or ceramic tile in a background material such as plaster or mortar. The resulting finish is unique and a variety of designs can be created. These tiles have multi-coloured block in them with a glass finish that makes them shine and are mostly used in kitchens, swimming pools, wash rooms and Pooja rooms.
    4. Marble floor: Now coming to the naturally available flooring material Marble, a type of metamorphosed limestone which is used since ancient times in making sculptures and as a building material. Unlike man made tiles, it tends to lose its shine over a period of time and needs polishing and regular maintenance. One has to be careful when choosing the right cleaning liquids and methods to give extended life.
    5. Granite floor: Another natural option, a common igneous rock composed of quartz, orthoclase, and hornblende, often accompanied by pyroxene or mica. It is called granite because of the granular surface. Granite is frequently used for buildings and monuments. It is a popular choice for not only flooring but also for countertops in kitchen and shelves. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to marble but very durable and stands for longer duration.


    Flooring options are however not limited to tiles. Some other variety of flooring materials that are in prominence are Carpets, Laminates, Bamboo, Timber, Vinyl and leather. In my upcoming articles, I will bring to you more information not just about flooring tiles but roofing and exterior tiles options ranging from our good old Mangalore tiles to Shingles. So, please look forward.

  • Evolution in Spatial Planning : A parallel with our ancestral homes

    Most homes today , boast of having a great amount of western influence in them . Not only, for their aesthetics in terms of design and treatment but also primarily in their spatial planning . From the inclusion of a laundry room to the proportion of a living room , we have a tendency to ape the western concept of homes in a bid to make our design more involved .

    On further introspection , this evolved planning , in a co-incidental fashion bears a startling similarity with our very indigenous ancestral homes !! Be it in their functionality or layout planning the resemblance is glaring .

    Barring aside almost a century or half of design ,which I consider to be the dark ages of design ,  the comparison lies with the homes  prior to this period .

    Lets have a look at some of the latest trends in comparison with our ancestral homes:

    1. Courtyard concept : Most ancestral homes revolved around a central courtyard . These courtyards , served multi faceted uses . They not only kept the wind circulation going( crucial to our weather conditions) , they also added vitality to the house with its abundance of light ,also at the same time keeping the spatial planning simple and uncluttered with all spaces placed around the courtyard .8a93115ad912f049d3fe83fc595301f5

      In new age homes , the central courtyard is back with a contemporary twist to it . These courtyards come in the form of internal gardens or waterbodies , which not only add to the aesthetics of the home but also do serve the exact same purpose of their earlier counterparts .


    2. High roofs/ higher ceiling heights  :

    Our ancestors escaped heat with the tried and tested method of having high roofs or ceilings . In addition to adding volume to the space , they cope better with our climatic conditions .

    The sloping roofs also did have a vent in them to let the hot air escape out , a mock version of a skylight . 


    The above images show the high ceilings enabling an ideal climatological solution . Over the years , due to various reasons the ceiling heights of homes have reduced to a standard height of 10 ' .

    In a contemporary spin off, double height living rooms , bedrooms etc are the rage ! The double height spaces like their traditional counterparts add aesthetic value and yet aid in the escape of hot air .


    3.Spatial organization :

    Homes prior to a century had either dedicated store rooms for grains , household items etc or one huge room dedicated to storage . Over the years , living rooms and bedrooms grew in prominance and in size , while storage was relegated to a lower rung of the order .

    In a completion of a circle , home owners of today insist on segregated storage spaces like a cloak room , grains store , household store etc.....even at the compromise of having tad smaller living rooms.

    4. Services organziation :

    We must all be aware of our ancestral homes having a huge backyards dedicated for mundane tasks like dishwashing ,clothes washing , 2 kitchens for ease of usage , so on and so forth .These spaces bought about a discipline in terms of tasks ,hence enabling better time management .

    Again , in a bid to have larger than large living rooms ,in houses built a couple of decades ago ,daily chore areas would eventually get compromised as they weren't visible to the eyes of a visitor . Strangely , in a bid to adopt a western lifestyle , homes today have dedicated laundry rooms , utility rooms for dishwashing and most importantly 2 kitchens , a dry kitchen and a wet kitchen !!All in the name of discipline and time management .

    5. Opening sizes / sizes of openings  :

    In pre dark ages era, the boundaries between rooms were very vaguely classified , thereby enabling a more open plan . The openings , in the case of windows were large allowing more than adequate light and ventilation to the homes . All this, bearing also in the mind  climatological considerations for sizes and heights .

    In the stages of evolution of design , windows became smaller and fewer . Rooms became more fortified in the name of privacy , in the process resulting in a more matchbox like plan .Today , more so from the past decade , in a wave of liberal minds owing to westernisation , our homes are also planned with a key ingredient : an open house plan !!


    With the advent of technology and further innovations , plumbing and electrical sectors have undergone a sea of change ,whereas what do the above points say ? Are we out from the dark ages of design  ? Are we completing a circle of evolution to come back to the same point our ancestors started from ? Or are we aping the west regardless of ur roots and bearings ? 

    To conclude, in my opinion , all of the above are true ..We have reached a point of contentment in a forward looking design by not looking backward but yet we have reached square one !

    Sapna .C.S 

    (The author is a practicing architect in Bangalore with a professional experience of over a decade , and a keen observer of international trends to indian context ) 



  • Sump: Know your multipurpose water storehouse

    One important structure present in every house but often goes unnoticed is the sump tank. Since, municipal water is not provided for construction purposes, Sump became a mandatory structure that has to be erected before commencing any other construction activity. In Bangalore, there are many areas wherein either the frequency of municipal water supply is less or there is no supply at all. Water purchased from private water tankers is stored in sump that acts a supplement to the mandatory overhead tank present in every house.

    How to Build a Sump:
    Here are some simple guidelines in planning, locating, and constructing the sump.
    Location of sump:

    Close to the road: the sump location should be located close to the road as the water line runs along the road. Being close to, the road is also advantage when we hire the water tanker to fill-up easily.

    Under the porch: Usually sump is planned below the car parking because there is ample space available here and it’s usually near to the road.

    According to Vastu: As per Vastu, sump should be located in the Northeast corner of the site. This sometimes needs adjustments in the overall planning of the house in cases where in the site is west facing. Hence, it is recommended that the location of sump is finalized before the architect commences with the actual house plan.

    Planning for capacity of sump:
    For most families, a sump of 3,000 litres and an overhead tank of 1,500 litres capacity is more than sufficient. However, since a regular tanker load comes with a capacity of 6,000 litres, most of the sumps in Bangalore are constructed with 6,000 litres capacity.
    If you are planning more houses for rental purposes then it is suggested that you add the additional capacity of 3000 to 4000 liters per extra house. A bigger sump is more expensive and it takes more space but it is very useful especially when there is a water scarcity.
     Depth of the Sump should be 5 feet and not more because a person should be able to stand in the sump with his head sticking out so that he does not feel suffocated.
     As a rough guide, we should consider that 1 cubic feet area can contain approximately 28 liters of water. So divide the proposed sump capacity with 28 to get the required sump volume in cubic feet and build accordingly.
     Calculate the sump length and breadth by diving the sump volume with the depth. The shape of the sump should be either rectangle or square.

    For Example:
    If we have decided for a sump capacity with 15000 liters, then divide it by 28 to get a volume of approximately 536 cubic feet. This is the sump volume. Then divide this figure by 5’ depth to get required sump area hich in this case is 107 square feet. Then, decide the length and breadth of the sump based on the shape and available area.

    Construction of sump: sump can be constructed by concrete and bricks/blocks depending on capacity of sump.

    By using concrete:  Concrete is ideally preferred for constructing the sump because it eliminates problems like water seepage and contamination of the stored water from the soil or underground water or sewage.

    By using bricks/blocks: Bricks/blocks are often used owing to cost constraints however there is a risk of leakage. Use of good quality bricks, rough plaster in the outside, and smooth plaster in the inner side of the sump is recommended. Make sure that a plastering mesh is used while plastering to avoid cracks.

     Water pressure will be more on the internal corners of the sump. So avoid constructing the sump/tank corners in 90 degrees like room walls. Instead, have rounded corners so that the water pressure is distributed over a large area and also corners are easier to clean.
     The depth of the sump must be below the depth of the footings.

    Case study:

    Recently we constructed a sump in a 32’x50’ site where we planned to store 15300 liters of water capacity in a sump. Hence, we excavated the depth as 6’3” from plinth beam bottom with length & breadth of 11’&16’6” respectively.

    Construction Process:         
    Clean the site
    Step 1:- Cleaned the site.
    Step 2:- Marked the plot for sump as per above figures.
    Step 3:- Filled the area with alternative layers of mud & stones up to 9”. This is called soiling.
    Step 4:- Covered the area with PCC (plain concrete cement) in the ratio 0f    1:4:8. Up to 3”.
    Step 5:-Steel mat placed for entire area. Mat constructed by using 10 mm rod as rows and columns with the span of 5”.

    Step 6:- Covered the area with concrete in the ratio of 1:1.5:3 up to 5”.
    Step 7:  Four sides of wall marked with width of 9’3” outer to outer and length of 15’ outer to outer. While marking time we need to leave some space along the outer side walls to fill up wall joints.

    Step 8: Raising of Wall:
    Height of the wall should be decided based on plinth beam level.
    If the plinth beam comes on the top of raised walls then walls should be raised up to plinth beam bottom level. If the plinth beam does not come on top of raised walls then we should raise the walls up to the below the thickness of sump slab which is 5”. In addition, it should be leveled to be beside the plinth beams.
     In this case, we constructed 9” inch walls with length 14’, width 7.75’, and depth/height 5’ inner to inner. Hence, we can store approximately 15,300 liters of water.


    Step 9: Plastering
    => Mesh to be placed:
    PVC pipe conduits for rain water or electric wiring placed inside the masonry walls where plaster has tendency to shrink and crack. To prevent this, prior to plastering, a chicken wire mesh should be wrapped around the PVC conduit. Similarly, chicken wire should be placed over the brick work junction to prevent hairline crack in plaster.
    => First, we plastered one layer of cement mortar mix in the ratio of 1:3 and then attached a chicken mesh. After that we left it for one day for drying. Waterproofing chemical should be added to the mortar mix (140 ml for one bag of cement). Also check that the mortar is not hollow at corners.
    => The walls are then plastered with 1:4 Mortar mix, Rounded corners, as recommended earlier, are made while plastering.
    Step 10: Curing:
    Curing is mandatory to any structural member. Hence we should cure the walls, sump bottom surface, and top surface for two days. And finally we can store the water in sump.


    Come back here to get more construction and design tips from BuildingeKart engineers. Consult our engineers today to plan your dream home in a better way!

  • Hire an Architect – Save your Money!!

    You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site. – Frank Lloyd Wright

    This article just goes about explaining what the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said. So, before you jump the gun and hire your contracting crew, consider the benefits of architectural input. Architects plan and design buildings, remodels, and major renovations. If you’re thinking it’s just more money spent, it might be the opposite. You could save a bundle with their building code and structural requirement knowledge, as well as ensuring your vision comes properly to life.

    Whether you are about the renovate existing home, adding some floors to it or going for whole new construction of your dream home, your building project represents a major investment of your life’s savings. Smart decision-makers know that the way to maximize such an investment begins with consulting an architect. Architects are the only professionals who have the education, training, experience and vision to maximize your construction spending and ease the entire design and construction process.

    Early involvement is key. Architects, with an early involvement, can provide meaningful guidance for design. They can conduct site studies, provide secure planning and structural drawings taking care of all compliances and approvals, and perform a variety of other pre-design tasks. Plus, when architects are involved at the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand your requirements, develop creative solutions, and propose ways to reduce costs. The long-term result is a house that adds to the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness needed to make it home.

    Speak with an architect who is a member of BuildingeKart at the earliest stage of your planning process.

    Meet and Architect today

    Why a BuildingeKart architect?

    BuildingeKart ensures to enrol only those architects who remain current with professional standards through continuing education and subscribe to a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct that assure clients, the public, and colleagues of their dedication to high standards in professional practice.

    BuildingeKart architects can help you:

    Clarify and design as per your needs - BuildingeKart architects can fully examine your requirements, budget, and building site to help define the scope of what’s to be built. The design process is a theoretical exercise to determine the most functional and aesthetic solution for a client within a given program and budget. Essentially it is the paper version of what will become your home. As you can imagine, it’s much cheaper to make changes on paper than it is to make changes during construction.

    Professional Advice - There is no way for me, or anyone, to adequately quantify the value of professional advice that is born out of solid experience and knowledge from the earliest stages of design through to construction. Simply put very few clients are knowledgeable enough about design, ergonomics, and history and engineering to be able to do the job that your architect does every day. Having access to that professional advice through all stages of your project is invaluable, because, a well-designed building that is properly detailed is a more sound investment for years to come.

    Experienced Oversight - They say that a great set of drawings is only as good as the contractor organizing the process of construction. Before I go further, let me state that there are a lot of very good contractors out there, but contractors are just one part of a team that should include your architect. Architects take the responsibility to assist the contractor during construction to interpret and translate the construction documents into built form. By retaining your architect during construction you will have the benefit of sound design, good details, and professional advice and avoid any oversight of your project, because, again, this is the largest investment you’re likely to make in your lifetime.

    Manage your project - From the first draft plan to the last interior design implementation, BuildingeKart architects act as project leaders. They manage and coordinate key project elements, allowing you to sit in peace during entire home construction process.

    Maximize your investment - BuildingeKart architects are up to date with latest construction technology trends and design building as per the latest trend. They also guide you on the right materials choice for your needs. A building designed for maximum energy efficiency can reduce bills now and down the road. Plus, efficient use of space can reduce the total square footage you require. And a well-designed building can reduce initial costs and also increase its long-term value.

    See the big picture - BuildingeKart architects don’t just design four walls and a roof—they create total environments, both interior and exterior, that are pleasing and functional for the people to settle and make it abode.

    Solve problems - Most projects start with a want or a need. “I need morespace in my home.” Or, “We’ve outgrown our house.” But how does that need or want get translated into square feet and three-dimensional space?

    That is what architects are trained to do solve problems in creative ways. With their broad knowledge of design and construction, architects can show you alternatives and options you might never think of on your own.

    Need more room for your growing family? An architect can show you how to enlarge your home so you don’t have to move. Not sure how fast your business is going to grow? An architect can design an office that meets your needs today and can be adapted for tomorrow. Have a limited budget? The architect looks for ways to make your project cost effective.

    The architect can save you money - The architect’s services are a wise investment for the money, not an added cost to your project. Why?

    Because a well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically.

    Architects plan your projects with you. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper much less expensively than later on when construction is underway. Thorough drawings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project.

    Because energy efficient buildings can save you money on fuel bills down the road.

    An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing your heating, cooling and electric bills over time.

    Because the architect can work with your budget and help you select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price.

    Because an architect can help you choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs.

    Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brick work, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for your project.

    Because good design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.

    The process of designing and building a structure is messy and complicated and requires a number of knowledgeable professionals to make sure things are done properly and according to the standards set forth by the architect. A home is also an incredibly personal building type and should be designed by someone who will take the time to really dig into your needs, wants and desires to create a home that truly meets the needs of you and your family. The small investment you make in your architect will more than pay for itself in the end.

    If your project requires engineering or other design services, BuildingeKart architects coordinate with this team of experts so you don’t have to. BuildingeKart can help you find qualified construction contractors based on your requirements. BuildingeKart architect visits the construction site to help verify that the project is being built according to plans and specifications.

    Whether you are ready to get started or you would just like to make an enquiry, contact us for a no obligation chat about what we can do for you and receive a free design quote. Discover why we have become so successful — pick up the phone and give us a call!

    Call Us: +91-9108498104

    Email Us: mailto:support@BuildingeKart.com or Post your query on our website today!!

  • Five Things to consider before purchasing property in Bangalore

    As I have worked with many people as well as my own family’s search for land in the building of our own home, I organized the many questions and considerations into five categories with additional questions within each category. It’s now time to share this information hoping it will somehow help you or your clients. It’s a living document, so as other questions arise or as you share with us, I’ll keep updating it as we go.


    1. Personal: What is your gut feeling about this land?

    Dream – Can you imagine living on this land? Spend some time (an hour or more) sitting and walking around it and envision what it would be like living there permanently.

    Neighbours – who are the neighbours and what impact may they have on you and your lifestyle (or vice versa). Avoid places where neighbours don't leave setback space.

    Location – how will this location work into your lifestyle (school, work, shopping, and recreation)? Will the transport facilities available suffice your daily travel needs?

    Solar Orientation – where is the sun in the morning (east), afternoon (south) and evening (west). If the house faces the street, how will the sun impact the layout of the house? How will your design incorporate passive strategies?

    Vastu - The major factors to be kept in mind while selecting the plots are Geographical surroundings, Level of the land and Roads around the plot. Square and rectangular sites are the preferred sites. As our Saints and Rushis expressed that Vastu Purusha fits in perfectly in a square and the body parts of Vastu Purusha fit in well in a square or rectangular structures or plots. Vastu is a vast science, please approach a Vastu consultant with the layout plan before venturing into buying.

    Views – What is there to look at from your house? How would that affect the layout of the house?

    Access – How will you access this land from the street? Will it require a long or uncomfortable driveway?


    1. Financial: Confirm that a lending institution would support this effort.

    Loans - Check your CIBIL Score to understand the likelihood of getting a home loan. Due diligence is needed in checking the land ownership. Unlike a built property, due diligence in case of a plot is more complex because land records are not digitised and buyers will have to refer to manual records. Obtain all the necessary copies of the documents and submit them to a bank or home loan agent who can do the due diligence on your behalf.

    Budget – Unless you are buying the land for investment purpose, keep in mind to factor the house construction expenses into your overall budget. Since the price of the land is exclusive of the cost of the house, roping in the construction costs into the budget in very important.

    Backup plan – This is necessary if things do not go the way you plan them. Therefore in addition to investing large sums on realty, a concurrent savings account could help you overcome any financial shock.


    1. Utilities: Confirm the availability of service and means to bring service to the lot or house.

    I recommend contacting each utility company to get confirmation that they would provide service to the site.  It seems obvious that they would, but there have been unusual cases when they would not or could not provide service to some areas.  Also, it may be feasible to bring utilities to a site; however one must consider the cost of this effort and is it in proportion to the cost of the new house.

    Check for water resource and power and sewage system – Bangalore relies on Kaveri water and bore well(which is actually in a very bad shape). If you’re staying in an apartment that reuses water, you’re safe. Kaveri water isn’t available all throughout Bangalore, so you might want to keep that in mind.

    Inquire about Telephone/Cable/Internet services.


    1. Legal: Confirm that there are no legal issues or ordinances prohibiting construction of a single family house.

    Only approved layouts - try to limit to BDA layouts, BMRDA etc. Layout approval is also given by BIAPPA (North Bangalore Devanahalli & Doddaballapur Areas), Chickballapur Planning Authority, Malur Planning Authority. Stay away from plots near to Rajkalve, bandidhare, kaldhare, lake, garbage, quarry.

    Try to avoid B Khatha, green belt etc. Follow rules for your own good. You never get something perfect. But make sure at least a good number of preferences are met.

    Collect a copy of documents and check with your legal adviser regarding the title of the property. Obtain Title deed, sale deed, encumbrance certificate, property tax receipts and bills.


    1. Rental rates and resale value

    If you are are planning to invest in a rental property, homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal. Knowing the rental rate in the area helps you to choose the right property and location. Resale value is an important thing to consider before you plan to invest or buy a property. Property buyers never consider resale value when they buy. They make the mistake of focusing solely on a prime locality or the budget of the property. If you choose the wrong property or location, it is possible that your future sales price will always be less than the other homes around it.


    Do you wish to build a new house? Did you think you should consider all of these questions? Would you invest hundreds of thousands of rupees in a structure only to place it on top of a huge unknown? Slow down, do your homework and better yet, call our experts today on +91-9108498104/102 or email us on contact@BuildingeKart.com . We’ll know how to answer these questions and the others you don’t know exist or thought to ask.

  • CEO speaks - Mamatha Kamireddy about BuildingeKart.com

    It has been a challenging yet rewarding journey for those of us at BuildingeKart. What makes it all even more exciting is that within two months of launching Building and Construction Materials Marketplace we have got many loyal customers praising our products, timely delivery and service. The Interiors and Construction services is challenging with very exciting growth opportunities. When we started our venture end of last year we were very positive about home services sector but we did not anticipate such a drastic growth that will lead us to stepping into Interiors and Construction Services and then into Building Materials. Today, we are glad to announce that we are bringing all our products and services under one single platform - BuildingeKart.com.

    This large portfolio gives us a great scope to cross-sell customers to various categories. Our vision is to provide A to Z of building construction under one roof. We see ourselves as the most well-diversified company in this space right now - we are not a one or two category players anymore. We aim to serve the entire construction vertical to offer a high quality experience to customers. This is a long term game and we plan to strive in this making the quality of supply and service as our pillars of strength.

    Please visit www.BuildingeKart.com today for your home construction needs.

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