R2I Housing – Landscaping, Balconies, Shower Doors, and Painting



The better half of the year after our R2I was spent on installing necessary items we did not avail of from the builder, items the builder failed to complete before handover, and replacements to certain builder items due to shoddy workmanship. We also made several ‘optional home improvements’ in and around the house such as landscaping our yard space, closing balcony areas, and painting. From our perspective, the builder should have definitely provided/offered solutions for some of these items as an upgrade.

A minimal front-yard landscaping (lawn) was standard fare for all houses and the remaining yard is left bare. By the time we moved in, the yard had taken on a mini-forest appeal with full-grown weeds and several acacia trees. Parts of the front lawn were visible but the weeds outdid them easily. As the water situation was dire, we decided at the very onset to eliminate the lawn and laid an interlocked-tiles walkway for 4.5’ along the perimeter of the house. Barring a small vegetable patch, we spread river-stones over a very thick layer of crushed rocks (metal) to discourage weeds for the remainder area. A few spots were boxed to plant fruit trees as well. This met our purposes well – minimal maintenance while providing gratification for our well-concealed green-thumb. The interlocking work came to Rs 32K (~$650 – around a dollar per square feet in a total area of 640 sq ft) and the rest 700 sq ft was around Rs 25K (~$500) which included river-pebbles (Rs 14K - 70 sacks at Rs 200), metal, bricks, and labor. On hindsight, the wiser option would have been weather-proofed tiles in place of the standard ones as weather-proofing the tiles set us back an additional Rs 7K ($150) later on.

Open balconies are what came standard with the house. For certain floor plans, the builders did offer concrete roofs although that meant the balcony area would be added to the total square footage quoted. We had around 250 square feet of balcony space in the front and two separate balconies in the back covering around 75 square feet each. Keeping those balconies open in the long monsoon season was out of question. As the purpose we wished to derive from each of these balconies was dissimilar we did different things to each of them and the process was a real learning experience:

a)      Front balcony: The roofing of this area was done using brick tiles and the remaining area was covered with aluminum fabricated glass sliding windows. The area was mosquito-proofed using false-roofing and mosquito-frames. Numerous options abound on fabrication frames as well as for the glass. Looks wise, brick tiles are the best but then they are very expensive and require maintenance during the monsoons – roofing came to ~Rs 75K ($1500). Quoted rate for the mid-range aluminum fabrication work with coffee brown glass windows came to Rs 150 per sq ft for a total of ~Rs 45K ($900). False roofing came to Rs 15K ($300) and mosquito proofing to ~Rs 25K ($500). All told, the front balcony was brought in with an outlay of ~Rs 160K ($3200).
b)      Back balcony (adjacent to the main private road within the community): This was finished with aluminum fabricated privacy glass windows along with aluminum sheeting for the roof. False roofing and a minimal amount of mosquito proofing brought the grand total to Rs 42K (~$850).
c)      Back balcony (with nary a view on the east): This area ended up as our laundry area. As electricity is dear, we opted for the air-dry option over a dryer. To serve the purpose the area, got cast-iron fabricated grills instead of glass-windows. Aluminum sheeting was still used for the roof and an opening was designed for roof access. Including plumbing the total for this area came to ~Rs 30K (~$600).

Shower doors were another item the builder did not offer. With no separation for the shower area it was impossible to keep the flooring of the bathroom dry. Shower doors come in different materials and the popular options are acrylic fabrication and toughened glass panels – toughened glass panels are more than twice as expensive. Our choice was acrylic fabrication for the two upstairs bathrooms and toughened glass for one of the downstairs one. One bathroom was left the way it was for disability access. The entire installation was done in 2 days and is less intrusive than some of the other works done inside the house. The total for the three panels came to ~Rs 37K (~$750) including installation.

A single coat of distemper (whitewash) was what came as standard from the builder. For the uninitiated, distemper is among the most economical paints available in India – the ingredients of this paint include lime, chalk, water, and color. Weathercoating the tiles was not part of the deal and at handover, the roof tiles were already showing signs of mould. We reused the color panels the color-consultant had suggested to paint the insides of our previous house. As for brand selection, we went with Berger and Asian paints. Berger Easy Clean was our choice for the inside – based on the feedback that Berger’s premium paints are wonderful although it attains less coverage compared to the competition. The living rooms used emulsion but we had to compromise and use exterior weathercoat for the kitchen and bathrooms. The distemper job in the bathrooms and kitchen are a disservice by the builder as one cannot go for enamel paint in those areas, once distemper is applied – the enamel coat will just peel off. For the wooden windows and grill-work, we used glossy enamel instead of satin and semi-gloss as the glossy one is supposed to resist dust and mold better. For the exterior walls, we went with Berger All Guard and for the roof tiles Asian Apex Ultima. Given our experience in having done a paint job in a couple of different houses, we highly recommend paying the extra premium for better quality paints. The total paint job came to just under Rs 140K ($2800).

With painting over, our primary wishlist was met – we postponed the secondary items for the time being. Those include plumbing upgrades, floor tiling upgrades in several areas, etc. While these things would all be quality-of-life enhancements, our desire for peace-and-quiet won hands down – any work inside the house essentially involves throwing one’s schedule off.


Related Posts:

No comments :

Labels

401k ( 15 ) Abad Turtle Beach ( 1 ) Abrams Capital Management ( 5 ) Acoustic Electric Guitars ( 1 ) Acoustic Guitars ( 1 ) ACT ( 1 ) Activist ( 4 ) Address Change ( 2 ) Advanced Placement ( 4 ) air asia ( 2 ) airlines ( 2 ) Akre Capital Management ( 18 ) Alex Roepers ( 5 ) AP ( 4 ) apartments ( 2 ) Appaloosa ( 15 ) ARIUS ( 1 ) Arlington Value Capital ( 3 ) Atlantic Investment Management ( 5 ) Ayemenem ( 1 ) Bangalore ( 3 ) Bangkok ( 2 ) Bannerghatta National Park ( 1 ) barbuda ( 2 ) Battery Park ( 1 ) Baupost ( 2 ) Baupost Group ( 17 ) bay area ( 2 ) BDCs ( 3 ) Benjamin Graham ( 2 ) Benjamin Graham Model ( 2 ) Berijam Lake ( 2 ) Berkshire Hathaway ( 30 ) best sites ( 9 ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( 14 ) Bill Ackman ( 19 ) Bill Gates ( 15 ) Blue Ridge Capital ( 14 ) Blum Capital Partners ( 12 ) books ( 4 ) Boone Pickens ( 2 ) BP Capital Management ( 2 ) Brave Warrior ( 3 ) Brave Warrior Advisors ( 12 ) british honduras ( 2 ) Bruce Berkowitz ( 19 ) Bruce Fund ( 13 ) Camcorders ( 3 ) canada ( 4 ) cancun ( 3 ) CANROYs ( 7 ) Cantillon ( 12 ) carl icahn ( 9 ) Carl Ichan ( 8 ) casino ( 3 ) Casio ( 2 ) CBRE ( 2 ) CEF ( 2 ) Charles Akre ( 15 ) Charlie Munger ( 15 ) Chase Coleman ( 14 ) Chou Associates ( 19 ) Christmas gifts ( 7 ) Christopher H. Browne ( 7 ) Chuck Akre ( 13 ) Cisco ( 2 ) Class Action Settlements ( 2 ) CLEP ( 1 ) Coatue Management ( 14 ) Cochin ( 2 ) coin collecting ( 266 ) collectibles ( 266 ) Consumer Product Reviews ( 29 ) cook islands ( 2 ) coonoor ( 2 ) Covered Calls ( 2 ) credai ( 4 ) Daily Journal ( 15 ) Dalal Street ( 8 ) Dan Loeb ( 10 ) DAT ( 1 ) David Abrams ( 5 ) David Einhorn ( 22 ) David Swensen ( 17 ) David Tepper ( 15 ) David Winters ( 15 ) DCF ( 2 ) Digital Piano ( 3 ) Dinakar Singh ( 14 ) Donald Yacktman ( 10 ) dry bulk shipping ( 2 ) Duquesne ( 19 ) Education ( 37 ) Edward Lampert ( 15 ) Egerton Capital ( 14 ) Egypt ( 3 ) Elementary Education ( 10 ) Elementary School Textbooks ( 5 ) eReaders ( 2 ) Eric Mindich ( 13 ) ESL Investments ( 10 ) ESPP ( 6 ) ETF ( 2 ) ETN ( 2 ) Eton Park ( 13 ) Everyday Musings ( 58 ) Exam Prep ( 7 ) Exiting the rat race - how to? ( 19 ) EXPLORE ( 1 ) Fair Value Estimates ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial Holdings ( 14 ) Fairholme ( 19 ) Fairpointe ( 14 ) Family Office ( 5 ) FD Laddering ( 1 ) Financial Independence ( 93 ) Fisher Asset Management ( 10 ) Flash Camcorders ( 3 ) flat ( 4 ) flats ( 2 ) Flip ( 3 ) Francis Chou ( 19 ) free ( 17 ) frugal ( 3 ) Frugal Living ( 34 ) Fund Holdings ( 776 ) futures ( 2 ) FVE ( 2 ) gambling ( 3 ) garmin ( 2 ) Genting ( 2 ) george soros ( 21 ) giveaway ( 15 ) Glenn Greenberg ( 16 ) Glenview Capital ( 10 ) GMAT ( 1 ) Google ( 2 ) Gotham Asset Management ( 7 ) gps ( 5 ) GRE ( 1 ) Greenlight Capital ( 22 ) Guitars ( 3 ) Half Marathon ( 2 ) Hawaii ( 2 ) Hedge Funds ( 795 ) HELOC ( 1 ) High School Education ( 7 ) High School Textbooks ( 6 ) HOA ( 3 ) hobby ( 17 ) holiday shopping ( 7 ) Holidays ( 3 ) Holyland ( 11 ) Home Improvement ( 2 ) home ownership ( 5 ) Homes ( 18 ) Homeschool ( 18 ) Houses ( 2 ) Housing ( 3 ) Hykon ( 2 ) Ian Cumming ( 15 ) Icahn Enterprises ( 6 ) india real estate ( 5 ) Infinuvo ( 6 ) Insurance ( 2 ) invesco ( 17 ) investing strategies ( 2 ) Investment Portfolio ( 94 ) Investment Research ( 10 ) Investments ( 7 ) iRobot ( 5 ) Irving Kahn ( 10 ) israel ( 5 ) Jason Maynard ( 10 ) Jefferies ( 2 ) Jeffrey Bruce ( 14 ) Jeffrey Ubben ( 12 ) Jerusalem ( 2 ) Jim Chanos ( 14 ) Joel Greenblatt ( 7 ) John Armitage ( 14 ) John Griffin ( 14 ) John Paulson ( 17 ) Joho Capital ( 15 ) Jordan ( 3 ) Joseph Steinberg ( 9 ) Julian Robertson ( 4 ) Kahn Brothers ( 10 ) Kakkanad ( 4 ) Kanyakumari ( 2 ) Kawai ( 2 ) Ken Fisher ( 10 ) kerala real estate ( 5 ) Kids ( 49 ) Kids Yamaha ( 3 ) Kindle ( 2 ) kochi ( 8 ) Kodaikanal ( 2 ) Korg ( 2 ) Kraft ( 2 ) Kuala Lumpur ( 2 ) KWA ( 2 ) Kynikos ( 14 ) laptop ( 5 ) Larry Robbins ( 10 ) Las Vegas ( 2 ) Leon Cooperman ( 15 ) Leucadia ( 2 ) Leucadia National ( 13 ) Lone Pine Capital ( 9 ) long ( 6 ) long call ( 2 ) long puts ( 3 ) Lou Simpson ( 15 ) LSAT ( 1 ) Mahabalipuram ( 2 ) Malaysia ( 3 ) Marathon ( 2 ) Mark McGoldrick ( 10 ) Markel ( 14 ) Mason Hawkins ( 4 ) MCAT ( 1 ) Melinda Gates ( 8 ) memorabilia ( 266 ) MFP Investors ( 14 ) Michael Dell ( 16 ) Michael Price ( 14 ) Middle School Education ( 4 ) Middle School Textbooks ( 3 ) Mini Notebook ( 3 ) MODUS ( 1 ) Mohnish Pabrai ( 21 ) mortgage ( 2 ) Mount Kellett ( 10 ) MSD Capital ( 16 ) Music ( 6 ) Mutual Funds ( 5 ) mysore ( 2 ) Nelson Peltz ( 9 ) Netbook ( 4 ) Notebook ( 3 ) numismatics ( 266 ) O-Duster ( 1 ) Oahu ( 2 ) offers ( 2 ) Ole Andreas Halvorsen ( 10 ) Omega Advisors ( 15 ) online tax ( 4 ) ooty ( 2 ) Options ( 4 ) Pabrai Fund ( 17 ) passive income ( 7 ) pattaya ( 2 ) Paulson & Company ( 7 ) Paulson and Company ( 9 ) PEG ( 2 ) Pershing Square ( 19 ) Phil Fisher ( 5 ) philately ( 283 ) Philippe Laffont ( 14 ) Piano ( 9 ) PLAN Test ( 1 ) portfolio ( 4 ) Prem Watsa ( 17 ) product reviews ( 13 ) Property Taxes ( 2 ) PSAT ( 1 ) R2I ( 24 ) R2I Finances ( 3 ) R2I Housing ( 5 ) Raising Kids ( 41 ) Rat Race ( 15 ) RBS Partners ( 13 ) reading ( 5 ) real estate ( 6 ) Reducing Expenses ( 2 ) REIT ( 3 ) Retirement Portfolio ( 9 ) Reviews ( 81 ) Richard C. Blum ( 12 ) Robert Bruce ( 14 ) Robert Karr ( 15 ) Robotic Vacuum ( 4 ) Roland ( 2 ) Roomba ( 10 ) schooling ( 2 ) Sears ( 10 ) seeking alpha ( 2 ) Services - Reviews ( 33 ) Seth Klarman ( 19 ) Shipping ( 5 ) Shopping ( 3 ) short ( 5 ) short calls ( 2 ) short put ( 2 ) short puts ( 2 ) short selling ( 8 ) Ski ( 5 ) Sled ( 4 ) Solar Stocks ( 13 ) Soros Fund Management ( 14 ) Southeastern Asset Management ( 4 ) Southwest ( 2 ) spin-offs ( 2 ) SQ Advisors ( 15 ) stamp collecting ( 283 ) Stanley Druckenmiller ( 19 ) Statue of Liberty ( 2 ) Stephen Mandel ( 9 ) Stock Analysis ( 84 ) Stock Investments ( 4 ) Stock Portfolio Updates ( 6 ) stocks ( 3 ) summer ( 2 ) tax ( 6 ) TaxAct ( 3 ) TaxCut ( 1 ) Teacher's Editions ( 5 ) Technology ( 4 ) Test Prep ( 11 ) Thailand ( 3 ) Thekkady ( 2 ) theme park ( 2 ) Third Point ( 10 ) Thomas Gayner ( 14 ) Thyra Zerhusen ( 14 ) Tiger Cub ( 31 ) Tiger Global ( 15 ) Tiger Management ( 12 ) Time Square ( 2 ) TOEFL ( 1 ) TPG-Axon ( 14 ) Travel ( 278 ) Travel Reviews ( 82 ) Trian Fund Holdings ( 9 ) trip report ( 21 ) TurboTax ( 3 ) Tweedy Browne ( 10 ) Vacations ( 28 ) value investing ( 12 ) ValueAct ( 5 ) ValueAct Holdings ( 6 ) Vancouver ( 2 ) Video ( 3 ) Viking Global ( 10 ) Wallace Weitz ( 10 ) Warren Buffett ( 30 ) Wayanad ( 4 ) Weitz Investment Management ( 9 ) wilbur ross ( 17 ) William Von Mueffling ( 12 ) Wintergreen Advisors ( 15 ) Yacktman Asset Management ( 10 ) Yale Endowment ( 17 ) Yale University ( 7 ) Yamaha ( 7 ) YDP ( 1 ) YPG ( 1 )