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Bungalow bungles

Bungalow bungles

Bungalow bungles

Old bungalows have their own specific problems that need to be addressed before you buy. Architect Bharat Gandhi provides some pointers

  • Cracks in the wall may or may not be due to foundation problems. Have them checked.
  • Monsoon leakages can make life hell if not detected and fixed before you move in.
  • Termite trails and other evidence of pests should be fixed pronto.
  • Old bungalows may have drainage / sewerage problems.
  • The interior plumbing may be corroded, which could result in up to 80 percent drop in water pressure.
  • Make sure there is adequate water storage available.
  • Check the strength of beams and columns. The reinforcement may have been corroded by proximity to salty sea water.
  • Look at the BMC’s DP (Development Plan) sheets to check if there is any reservation intended for the land surrounding the bungalow.
  • If there is no fencing around the property and you plan to build some, ensure that there is no ‘setback’ provision for road widening by BMC in the pipeline.
  • If the bungalow has period architecture, it may be included under the Heritage list. That means you cannot make architectural modifications.
  • Check if there are too many trees on the property and you want to cut some down. Friends of Trees may object!
  • Is the power supply adequate? Old bungalows may not support new appliances like air-conditioners and washing machines.
  • Permanent-style exterior finish (like tiling) may pose fewer maintenance problems than the non-permanent type.
  • Is there adequate parking?
  • What are the external noise levels? Moving from the silence of the 20th floor of an apartment block to ground level may damage your eardrums in this bustling city!