What to keep in mind while buying an apartment – An Architect’s Perspective
A home is a space that we as users have personal relationships with; it is thus important that we choose carefully and wisely. As an architecture firm in India who specialise in design and build projects, we have a checklist you can use when you embark on a quest for your home!
- Under construction property: It is imperative that we save both money and resources, by customizing while the property is still under construction. Many builders offer customisation when you sign the deal.
- Pre-owned apartments: Check for quality and design of kitchen and storage, electrical points and hardware for the openings cautiously if this is your preferred go to option.
Site planning:Look at the site planning of the entire complex and see if the apartment is in harmony with its surroundings –
- The density of the apartment-towers on the site
- Landscape design
- Sun path and shadows
- Pet policy and pet areas
- Recreational facilities
- Universal access for senior citizens and the specially-abled
- If you follow the principles of Vaastu-shastra, this could be an important factor for decision.
Apartment planning & storage:
Our altered new normal post coronavirus pandemic and with new social distancing norms has set high levels of hygiene to be followed in our homes. A servant or store room at the onset of the apartment can double up as a ‘mud room’ for sanitation purposes. Once inside, it is necessary that the layout responds to your family’s requirement. Another key point to look out for in a house – is the storage. Both, the apparent spaces provided and the possibility of weaving in more in the design.
Specifications/ Quality of construction:
- Check if the walls form a precise right angle to each other.
- Check for wall surface undulations in good light.
- Check the quality of woodwork and hardware – Doors, storages and the kitchen
- Apartment complexes usually have flooring that has been purchased in bulk. Check the wooden flooring and its joints for sure. In case of tiling, check if there’s a deeper knock on any tile when you walk over them.
- It is very important for a house to be naturally ventilated. So do ask your builder if provision for bug mesh could be made.
Services:You can look for:
- Security screening levels
- Waste disposal services
- Charges for cleaning and maintenance, and the frequency of the process
- Firefighting system and fire exit staircase access
- AC type, ducting, trap doors & outdoor units
- Layout of all the washrooms and plumbing servicing points for ease of access.
- Distribution Board location, water meter and the piped LPG meter access
- Ratio of number of apartments per floor and the number of lifts per lobby.
- Ensure that the service balcony comes with a water point for the washing machine, a separate tap for cleaning washcloth & a floor drain.
While the above mentioned points would arm you as a buyer to go and check for the technical aspects, the emotional connect with the place is equally important. If you can visualise yourself living there and calling it home, then this is certainly the one to go for!