Keeping your house Cool

You can adopt many ways to avoid heat transfer from the roof to your living spaces.

The flat roofs of buildings are exposed, for the maximum duration of the day, to the scorching heat of the summer sun. It is but natural that the roof gets badly heated. The rooms below them also become unbearably hot as the heat gets transferred below. How can we avoid or reduce this heat?

Here is the logic of the cause, and the remedy. Concrete is a very dense material. When concrete gets heated, it retains the heat for a very long time. This heat is radiated into the rooms at night when the surroundings are getting cool. Due to the stillness of air below the roof, the air in the room also becomes hot. The ceiling fan revolving below the roof pushes the warm air down. Needless to describe the discomfort.

The remedies are:

Avoid the roof getting heated

Insulate the roof from above

Insulate the roof from below

Avoid the heat transfer from the roof to the room

Cool the roof with some means

Extract the hot air collected below the roof

Extract the heat from the roof before it gets transferred

Shade the roof

If the sun’s heat is unbearable, we stand under a tree or open an umbrella to shade ourselves. We have also experienced that the temperature inside houses shaded by trees are very low and pleasant, in summer also. We park the car under a tree to avoid the car getting heated. Similarly, if the sunlight is heating the roof, shade it with a lightweight roof made of GI Sheet, Mangalore Tiles or canvas. The shadow prevents the roof slab from heating. The shelter can also be used for gatherings.

The roof can also be sheltered by having shading features like pergolas. Creepers can be grown over the pergolas to increase the shade.

High walls or trellises along the perimeter of the roof can also shade the roof. However, it will be a costly affair.

Plants are the best material to shade a roof. Unlike a tin roof, the plants do not get heated. They absorb heat and light. Place potted plants on the roof, shelter the roof and enjoy the vegetables they yield. Make a terrace garden.

The topmost floor of an apartment is the service floor which contains the overhead tank, pressure pumps, lift machine, electric panels, CCTV camera recorders, access monitors, fire safety equipment, water tanks etc. It does not matter if this floor gets heated. It definitely prevents the last habited floor from getting heated.

Top insulation

Terrace gardens will prevent heat absorption. The plants and grass shade the roof. The earth will insulate the roof. Wetness in the mud will certainly cool the roof. However, consult your structural engineer if the roof can carry the garden load and a landscape architect to design a maintenance-easy garden.

Traditionally, “Surkhi”, a mix of brick bat, lime, maravajra (natural adhesive) and Antvalakai (gum fruit) was used as weather proof layer to protect the roof from getting heated. It is not popular nowadays because of lack of skill and know-how. Weather proof clay panels are commonly used for insulation. Each clay panel comes with three tube-like holes.

This void helps to avoid heat transfer. Besides, clay does not absorb and retain heat too much. It is laid over the concrete roof with cement mortar.

Foam concrete panels can be used instead of clay panels mentioned above, in a similar manner. The sponge-like perforation in the lightweight concrete block prevents heat transfer to the roof slab.

A layer of 40 mm gravel (railway jelly) laid on the roof can effectively prevent the roof from getting heated. The gravel shades the roof by day. The polygonal surface of the gravel makes minimal contact with the roof. This prevents heat transfer. At night, the gravel gives out the heat to the cool air. The disadvantage of this remedy is that we cannot walk comfortably on the roof to use the terrace.

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, roofs are painted white with lime. White lime reflects a great deal of heat that will otherwise be absorbed by the roof. However, the top will have to be painted almost every year.

Many manufacturers use the same technology and offer roof coatings that will last for many years. While some coats are white the others are silver in colour to enhance reflectance. The vendors claim 5 degree reduction of heat.

Bituminous sheets with silver coating on one side are available for top insulation of the roof. They not only reflect heat and insulate but also protect the roof from water leakage.

They are about 8 mm thick and have a silver coating on the exposed side. They are glued to the roof with bitumen liquid. Silver coating reflects the heat and the bitumen insulates.

In-built insulation

In buildings under construction, insulation can be built into the roof. Hollow clay panels and light weight foam concrete panels are available to be used as infills in the roof. Such roofs are called ‘filler slab’ roofs.

The technology has 3 benefits. The concrete consumption is decreased, the load on the structure is reduced, and the heat gain in the roof is controlled.

Source The Hindu

Fancy painting the walls of your house and making it a fun family activity

Wall to action


Fancy painting the walls of your house yourself and making it a fun family activity? We tell you how you can achieve just that.

Movies have a way of making us wish we were a part of it. Everyday mundane events are portrayed so well in movies that we wish our usual routine was half as fun as them. A scene where the protagonist is moving into a new home is often glamourised with a happy song set to a montage of happy things; tasks like colouring your home also seem like a cakewalk. Don’t we all want to have a fun weekend painting a statement wall with friends, just the way Ranbir Kapoor and Konkana Sen Sharma did in Wake up Sid? It’s not entirely unachievable after all.

Gather your friends, order in some pizza and follow the steps given below to get a new look for your home.

Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP, provides us with a step-by-step guide on how to paint your home yourself:


1. Find out what kind of paint is currently on your wall. You will have to apply the same type of paint when you are colouring it. If you wish to apply a different type of paint, then first sand and remove the current paint and then continue with the new;

2. Move the furniture away from the walls. You should ideally move them to the other room or gather them in the centre of the room you are painting. Cover your furniture as well as your floor to avoid getting any paint on them;

3. Clean the walls by using large cellulose sponge and a water solution blended with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid;

4. Ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned the wall to wipe out any kind of dirt or grease. Always check whether the previous paint is removed in order to avoid chalking / flaking of paint;

5. Make sure you do appropriate sanding of the wall with emery paper, so that you have a smooth surface to receive the paint;

6. Keep all your supplies and tools handy. You will need rollers, paint brushes, a spare apron (to prevent stains on your clothes) and a canvas cloth. Include a mask, which will prevent you from inhaling the strong odour from paint;

7. Using a blue painter’s tape, safeguard all the areas that you do not wish to paint. Door knobs, window and door frames, mouldings etc should be covered with the tape;

8. Dip the roller into the primer; slowly roll it back and forth across the ridges of the tray a couple of times in order to eliminate the excess colour and to prevent drips. Once the roller is evenly coated, run it up and down on the wall section. Apply primer evenly on the wall;

9. After the primer coat, it is time for the actual paint, which should be done over two-three coats depending upon the finish to be achieved. It is advisable to keep a plucker handy in order to remove any sediment / flying dust that might settle on the wet paint. It is advisable to check the walls under proper light before the application of the top coat in order to achieve the optimum finish;

10. Use the brushes along the edges and corner while you can use the rollers to paint the wall;

11. Check if the wall is painted evenly and if the finish is fine;

12. Allow it to dry;

13. An important tip for users to follow is to ensure they peel off the tape while the paint is still wet to avert accidentally eliminating any dried paint along with it;

14. And there you have just painted your own home! Step back and enjoy the moment.

Pooja Mahimkar, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Side by side: Coworking spaces bring in new work culture in Chennai

Side by side: Coworking spaces bring in new work culture in Chennai


The south has been at the forefront of the IT boom and today, south Chennai also is seeing several coworking spaces cater to a new kind of work culture that is on the rise.

Almost two decades back, south Chennai saw a new revival thanks to the mushrooming of job opportunities along the IT highway. IT parks were the new norm and hordes of citizens shifted their homes to southern parts of the city. But in the years that have passed, work cultures have undergone a drastic change and today, we are at the cusp of yet another transformation.

In the last few years, co-working spaces have become hugely popular and a preferred option among young professionals. “Buoyed by the central government’s efforts to create a viable eco-system for young entrepreneurs, India is witnessing the mushrooming of multiple start-ups and SMEs across the country. Such businesses are increasingly focusing on coworking spaces,” says Anuj Puri, a realty expert.

Chennai too has had several such spaces come up in the last few years and South Chennai has been abound with coworking spaces. Ashwin Shankar and his brother Shravan started a coworking space in Perungudi in 2014, when the culture was still nascent in the city. Today, their offices are spread across the OMR, Nungambakkam, Alwarpet, Nungambakkam, Guindy, Kilpauk and Anna Nagar.

“We started many of these office spaces close to residential areas as we realised that in our business, location is king. For people who use our premises for part-time work or for specific projects, these neighbourhoods seem to be the right choice. Also, all these offices cater to a different crowd. Our co-working space in Perungudi is largely IT-centric and the one in Nungambakkam caters more to people working in sales and business development. On the other hand, the one in Alwarpet is used for largely creative purposes,” says Ashwin, whose Perungudi and Alwarpet spaces have seen maximum footprint for his network of offices.

A year back Jinal Patel started a co-working space specifically for women in Adyar. She chose Adyar as there was a demand for such an idea in the neighbourhood and connectivity to other parts of the city was also good. “Being a residential area, there isn’t much noise around and it is well connected too. We realised that women are increasingly taking up the path of entrepreneurship (especially post maternity) and are looking for viable space options to work from. Besides, many college students also utilise this space for their work,” she says.

Anuj feels that while many players are jumping on the bandwagon and venturing into co-working space, what bears watching is how they keep pace with the increasing demand for such options from the millennials without really impacting their profit margins. “As long as they are able to sustain a sound business model and earn decent returns on their investments, coworking spaces will continue to thrive,” he says.

Arjun Narayanan, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Google gets ‘Neighbourly’, to add more cities in India including Chennai

Bengaluru, Delhi top waitlist; Chennai, Hyderabad on cards

Google has announced the national roll-out of a new app from its ‘Next Billion Users’ team called ‘Neighbourly,’ which helps people source local information from their neighbours.

With more than 1.5 million downloads and half-a-million people on the waitlist, Google is rolling out ‘Neighbourly’ starting with Bengaluru and Delhi, which topped the waitlist.

Over the next few weeks, more cities will be added every day, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Some other cities include Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore.

The ‘Neighbourly’ app has already made inroads in popular neighbourhoods in Mumbai first, followed by cities like Jaipur, Mysore, Vizag, Kochi and Coimbatore.

Ben Fohner, senior product manager on Google’s Next Billion Users team, said humans are the core part of the app as the information that users get from ‘Neighbourly’ comes from people based on their ‘experiences’ and not from a website.

Mr. Fohner said the process of creating ‘Neighbourly’ starting from research, testing, to the launch and expansion of the product was all focused on India. “But looking beyond [India] obviously this need exists everywhere and our hope is that we can take what we’ve learned from building ‘Neighbourly’ here and expand that to other countries as well. [But] it is not something we are doing immediately,” said Mr. Fohner. However, he did not share insights about how Google was planning to monetise this product.

‘From gas to jumbos’

Google said people are integrating ‘Neighbourly’ into their routines, asking just about anything from finding the source of an LPG odour to knowing “why there are elephants on the street outside?”

Each city’s distinct personality came out in the types of questions people are asking and answering. For example, Mumbai saw questions about flooded areas during the heavy rains, finding the nearest ‘Dahi Handi’ celebration and the time when a ‘vada pav’ seller comes to a particular locality.

Families and housewives in Coimbatore sought advice on shopping for festivals. Jaipur’s student community, which is active on the app, asked questions relevant to their studies such as finding information about “good accounting coaching.” Recent shifters in Mysore use ‘Neighbourly’ to help them find information about their new routines such as “getting a water purifier service,” according to the company.

The Hindu

For a home makeover – 360 Property Mgmt

For a home makeover

Teja Lele Desai gives us eleven tips for a quick and easy home re-do

If you groom and style yourself as the season turns, doesn’t your home, your haven, deserve a styling session too? We let you in on 11 décor secrets that every stylist worth his or her salt knows but won’t tell you.

#1 The statement piece

There’s no need for a multitude of things in every room. It only results in the eye going all over and finding no focus. Just one statement-making piece does the trick.

#2 Scale with height

Use artefacts and accessories of varying heights to create a sense of scale and proportion. A statuesque floor lamp, a vase with overhanging branches or a small sculpture on a table can create a new look.

#3 Get some trays

Every table or counter has things that seem to run away from you —cosmetics in the bathroom, remotes on the coffee table and odds and ends in the entryway. Keep things together by putting them all in a stylish tray.

#4 Tea towel tales

Apart from drying-up duties, a tea towel may be used for various odd jobs in the kitchen — to spread over cooked food, cover a tea tray or mop up a mess. Pick up good looking ones and use them to add style to the kitchen.

#5 Mixed throw pillows

The throw pillows on your couch should never be the same size. Mix them up when it comes to shapes, sizes and textures to add colour and depth to your sofa styling. Odd numbers tend to look better than even.

#6 The Rule of 3

There’s a reason why the third rule is the adhered to by designers across the world. When things come in threes — be it photo frames, candles or nesting tables — they tend to look better as a group.

#7 Kitchen counter

Sure you scrub and keep it as clean as you can. But we’re referring to keeping the counter top free. So tuck away as many appliances as you can into the cabinets or wall-mount them. A cleaner counter top gives you the illusion or an airy kitchen.

#8 Put out white towels

They may be a pain to keep clean — yes, we feel it too — but there’s nothing like fresh and fluffy white towels to inject a spa-like feel into your bathroom. But make sure you keep these white babies white.

#9 Not too many

Instead of a riot of colours that seems to take you all over the place, do as the stylists do: Select a monochromatic scheme and add pops of colour. This gives you a cleaner look, one that can be changed more often.

#10 Add little touches

Simple additions and touches can add more style than big-ticket pieces. A fresh flower in a group of vases, a pretty plant in a brass planter, a comfortable throw placed on the back of the couch — small touches can elevate your styling.

#11 Less is more

When in doubt, remember that less is always more. If you can’t think of what to do to make your room look better, consider paring it down.

Move to make ‘pattas’ mandatory for property registrations in Tamil Nadu

In a bid to avert scams and make property registrations more secure, the state government is considering making ‘pattas’ mandatory for transactions. At present, properties can be registered in Tamil Nadu by furnishing either the parent document of the land or the ‘patta’.

The parent document is the registration deed by which the previous owner acquired the property, ‘patta’ is a revenue document detailing all the previous owners dating back to a specified date.

According to revenue department sources, the move would provide a double layer of protection during property sale.

“When ‘patta’ is made compulsory there would be engagement of two departments (registration and revenue), enhancing the security cover for property registrations,” a senior revenue department official told TOI.

The revenue department is sending study teams to other states, including Karnataka, that have introduced the system.

“If we decide to launch, it will be on a pilot basis (in selected places) to look at how it works,” the official said. A certifying surveyor would be nominated for scrutiny of land ‘pattas’ ahead of registration of properties, sources added.

Move to make ❝pattas❝ mandatory for property registrations in Tamil Nadu

The number of land documents jumped by 20,000 over 2016-17.

Registration department sources said they were yet to get a formal communication from the revenue department regarding the proposal. “But, it is good development that would benefit the buyers at large,” a registration official added.

However, a few said mandating use of ‘pattas’ would be a challenge in view of the prevalence of forgeries. An official cited instances of ‘poromboku’ land being sold by forging ‘pattas’.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai

Chennai development body land-use maps to show disputes over survey numbers

Property owners can no longer take prospective buyers for a ride while selling land in and around the city by hiding information. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is set to make disputes over survey numbers public.

GIS-enabled land-use maps that will soon replace their outdated predecessors on the CMDA portal will feature information over ownerships disputes.

CMDA sources said the new maps in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) have been upgraded on GIS.

“In addition, a user selecting a survey number will be able to view all details related to restrictions on development owing to location in the vicinity of ASI-notified sites, defence establishments, besides objections and whether the land comes under the purview of any acquisition,” a senior CMDA official said.

Currently, the multi-colour coded land-use maps have data such as residential or commercial and locations, where restricted development is permitted apart from construction banned areas such as water bodies and reserved forests. Details regarding disputes are absent.

Different agencies and departments of the government notify the CMDA regarding the areas identified for land acquisition for public projects. According to sources, objections to ownership is also brought to the notice of the planning authority by the people concerned. “These details would flash as people click on the survey number. A majority of the disputes are about ownerships,” another official added.

The CMDA portal has a decade-old land-use map, which has not been updated though the CMA has witnessed massive urbanisation over the last ten years. Even as peripheries of the corporation have been expanded adding the fringe areas, these localities continue to figure as town panchayats or municipalities despite the upgradation. OMR resident Satish rued that Perungudi and Sholinganallur on Rajiv Gandhi Salai that were merged with Chennai district continue as town panchayats.

When contacted, a CMDA official said that these issues would be addressed and necessary updates would be executed.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai

Follow this procedure in order to get back a certified copy of the property document

Get back

Legal documents are absolutely crucial when it comes to property related transactions. For instance, the sales deed is a proof of purchase and enumerates various important aspects of the property and transfer of ownership. So, without it, the property is legally unsafe to buy and technically also, unfit to be transacted.

If you are unable to locate your documents despite rummaging through your house, you can follow this procedure in order to get back a certified copy of the property document:

Step 1: Lodge a police complaint. The minute you realise that property documents have been lost, lodge an FIR immediately. “Lodging a police complaint is very crucial because a sale deed determines the ownership transfer after paying the required stamp duty. The deed is typed on a stamp paper which can’t be made again but can be copied,” says a real estate lawyer. Keep the FIR copy safely with you, as at the time of sale, buyers may ask for that as well.

Step 2: Give an advertisement in newspapers. Two notifications in two newspapers (one in an English newspaper and one in local daily) under the seal of a lawyer has to be given. “The notification usually states that for any issues or claim, if the copy is found it has to be returned to the owner/ lawyer,” says a real estate expert. Then wait for 15 days to see if anybody finds it and returns it.

Step 3: In case of a flat, you can furnish the copy of the police complaint to the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) seeking a duplicate share certificate. If the application gets approved, the RWA issues you a share certificate after charging a nominal fee. It’s advisable to also ask for an NOC (non-objection certificate) from them as it will help you while transacting the property at a later stage.

Step 4: Register with a notary. The next step is to notarise the loss of document on a stamp paper. Along with the two newspaper advertisements and the copy of the FIR, get the documents attested and registered with a notary. “The documents are attested and registered with the notary to ensure that your undertaking becomes legal,” explains a lawyer.

Step 5: Seek a true copy from the sub-registrar’s office. With the copy of the FIR and clippings of the newspaper notifications, the next step is to write to the concerned sub-registrar seeking issuance of a certified copy. “A sales deed has two copies. One copy lies with the purchaser while the other copy lies with the registrar. If the sales deed gets lost or stolen, the registrar issues the certified copy,” says the real estate lawyer. The letter, along with the relevant Application Form 22 (which can be downloaded from the department’s website), is to be submitted. Documents such as identity proof, FIR copy, passport and utility connections bill also have to be submitted.

After paying a nominal fee, the certified copy is granted in a couple of days.

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Buying a second house is the best bet

Buying a second house is the best bet

A second house is definitely a good investment. Lessons from the purchase of the first house can help you make a better choice the second time around.

Buying a second house can provide numerous benefits to a home-buyer. Primarily, a second house would serve as a good investment and may prove to be a money saving mechanism, in the long run. That apart, one can always make a better and more informed decision, owing to their prior experience, when they buy another house.

Kumara V, a city-based marketing professional, concurs. “In 2012, I bought my second house in Chromepet (Thiruneermalai Road). I purchased my first house in Bengaluru. But since I have been working in Chennai for more than 20 years, I decided to invest here. The experience of purchasing my first house gave me a lot of clarity while sealing the deal. For instance, I knew that all the legal documents relating to the property would have to be properly verified. The design of the house is also important when you decide to buy a house,” he says.

He purchased the 3-BHK flat, which cost him Rs 3,700 per sqft. He says that in six years, the price appreciated to Rs 4,200 per sqft. He said that the house would be for self-use as well as be an investment. “I wanted to live in a gated community that had all the amenities like a gym, swimming pool and plenty of open space around, where children could play. I also ensured that the builders were of a good repute. Also, it fit my budget besides being located in a place that is well-connected to the rest of the city,” says the marketing professional.

He suggests that buyers ought to purchase a house that will fit their budget, for which the EMI or loan is not a big burden.

Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Upward and onward – Chennai Real Estate

Several realty reports are suggesting a comeback for real estate across the country and a huge demand is being seen in the affordable segment.

The year 2018 has been a year of revival of sorts for the property market in Chennai. Recent reports suggest that new consumers now rule the previously investor-driven market.

The last two years saw a slew of reforms and regulatory measures being implemented and there was a certain degree of a confusion before the market could touch the new normal. According to Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultant, “With the now discernible impact of RERA, DeMo and GST, housing sales are seeing an upward trajectory in 2018 q-o-q. New launches have also gone up this year with affordable housing witnessing significant growth. NRIs see India’s rebooted real estate market environment conducive enough to justify property investments, especially on the back of the depreciating rupee.” That is the national trend at large.

Earlier this year, many real estate experts observed a 50 percent jump in overall new housing launches in the second quarter of 2018 over the preceding quarter, with the maximum supply being in the affordable segment (less than 40 lakh). Interestingly, the affordable housing supply increased by 100 percent in Q2 2018 over Q1 2018, and this supply has led the overall growth.

The city connect

To be more specific, Chennai’s new supply doubled to 4,200 units in Q2 2018 compared to only 2,100 units in Q1 2018, which is an increase of 100 percent. Over 64 percent new supply was added in the affordable segment.

A report by Knight Frank also said that buying interest was more inclined towards projects that were closer to completion and more so in the affordable segment, between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 40 lakh. And with 6,520 units launched in H1 2018, it was the highest in the last three years. The prices also declined by 4 percent YoY as developers doled out discounts to lighten inventory load.

“The Chennai office market that has been reeling under an acute supply crunch over the past three years has seen some respite in H1 2018 with the supply scenario easing somewhat with 10 percent growth in new completions. The paucity of quality office space also led to a strong rental growth. The residential real estate market, on the other hand, has begun on a positive note as H1 2018 shows the promise of a potential recovery in residential market volumes. H1 2018 saw the highest number of units launched in a single period during the past three years and the persistent drop in sales was largely muted as well, compared to the preceding period,” says Kanchana Krishnan, Director – Chennai, Knight Frank.

Arjun Narayanan, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai