Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Personal Reasons for Liking and Disliking Big Homes !

One of the biggest fascinations of human beings have been their fascination for building homes. In the animal kingdom, though there are a few other species of animals and birds who might be devoting time and efforts for building shelters or homes, human beings are the only kind who devote much time and efforts for building homes for them in sizes and facilities much exceeding their genuine needs. Perhaps the involvement and addiction towards clothing and shelter makes human beings a unique species of living beings different from other species of animals. 

Given the opportunities and the resources, every human being would naturally aspire and desire for making homes for them. Usually the individual who venture in to home making might even try to make such huge homes called palaces or mansions having facilities for sheltering not only for him and family but also for his servants and even for their future generations. The homes people make becomes larger and larger and is an indication of money and wealth the person has at his disposal.

For example, the following is the picture of the Biltmore house built by a wealthy american in the USA some time in the 1890's.

This building is now an american historical monument and a tourist attraction.

In the recent times a successful Indian businessman surprised every one in the world by making the most expensive home in the world in the Indian soil. It is a high rise building having a height equivalent to a sixty storied building built for a family of five and a staff of six hundred. However, the look of this building in the sky line is too ugly. Look at this picture:

Perhaps in another few decades this building too would likely become a national amusement!

I have given just two illustrative examples to make my readers understand more about this human passion with home making. 

Invariably, all human beings would spend huge sums of money for making homes for them. The degree of their passion and obsession with home making is directly proportional to their wealth. But there are some exceptions to this.

For example, one of the wealthiest persons in the world, Mr Warren Buffett, lives in a modest house in the USA. Let us have a look at his house in the image below:

It is indeed a simple house and such homes are common among middle class and moderately rich persons across the globe.

If you ask me about my personal opinion about big homes, my answer would be both in the affirmative and in the negative. I admire the architectural beauty of creativity that is seen in some big houses, mansions, palaces, bungalows, sky scrappers and row houses. But I dislike staying in big houses.

If the moneyed people spend their money to make big homes, let them do it. That way they are providing opportunities for the building architects, engineers, masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians scope to work and create buildings. In turn many fold economic activities are generated and it is good. These buildings, both good and bad, add up to give some contrasting views of human creativity on our lands. So, it is good. However, if some of these moneyed people exploit their workers in any way as was the practice during the periods of slavery, it is a matter which is repulsive.

Personally big houses are not good for a comfortable living. It generates some kind of a phobia for me. If big houses could give me a comfortable sleep, I could get such a sleep even in the open, the biggest shelter nature has given us!

Big houses prevent privacy. It cannot be maintained by one or two of the family. You have to depend on scores of others having different mindsets living with you in the same building. It is like living in a hotel room. Better own a hotel and keep a reserved room for you always rather than living in huge homes! But those who are driven by passions of  for a royal living let them fulfill those passions.

My home state Kerala is now a place of big houses. High value of foreign currency in India has enabled emigrant workers and businessmen of Kerala to enhance the value of their foreign earnings to enormously high proportions in the home land. They have been passionately making use of this opportunity to make larger and larger homes in their home state.

This has helped many young Kerala based architects to express their creative talents in designing big homes for the wealthy Malayalees. This Kerala Home Design website illustrates this.

But home building is an affair which causes heavy depletion of natural resources such as sand, wood, minerals, etc. Big palatial homes drains these resources considerably and these resources become too expensive for those low income groups to build their small dream homes. And the the practical utility of big homes is very low except that it perhaps elate the ego of the owner for a limited period.

Hence, people with some sensible and saner mind should not build palatial houses for them.

They could use their money for much more sensible things.

But homes are essential and people keep dreaming of having good homes built for them. Home building is indeed a costly affair.

Construction costs keep varying in India across the cities and places due to the cost variations in building materials and labor.

How much money would be required to construct a home? The estimation is a time consuming exercise and most often one may need the help of an engineer or architect for this. There are thumb rules which are commonly known to many who are a bit familiar with this.

But recently I have come across an Indian website which gives many useful information about home construction. This site has a very useful tool which helps people to calculate the approximate home construction costs online with just a few clicks. The site also gives a detailed cost estimation sheet also and one can compare the costs across a few select cities in India. 

This is where you can calculate your home construction cost online.[Click Online Home Construction Cost - Quick Calculation & Detailed Calculation] This site gives the present cost of steel, cement and sand - Click for today's indicative prices! You can also get some essential ideas about the important home construction materials.

In short I would advice all to be a bit careful while planning their home construction. Make it beautiful, useful and modest. That is what sensible people should do.

Forget about those insensible fellows!

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