Three key information to know while building your house

There are three main aspects to consider before embarking on building a house. Yes, engineers will make suggestions. Yes, there will be professionals to help you, but if you have the opportunity to obtain firsthand information about these basic yet significant information by spending a few minutes reading this blog then why not ! 

  1. Mix proportion/ ratio 

When the concrete is produced by taking standard proportions of concrete ingredients, that’s mixed proportion. Concrete ingredients consist of cement, sand and aggregate stones along with water. From a layman perspective, mixing concrete is a cakewalk and one might wonder “what the big fuss about it is; Simply, mix the cement, sand and stones with water and get it over with! Isn’t that straightforward”? 

No. it’s not as trivial as it is sounding because there is a specific RATIO in place. As engineering professionals, time and again we end up hearing people constantly asking us about which cement in particular to choose for their building. We firmly tell them that it is only relevant if the ratio is maintained while proportioning the concrete. 

So, what is the right ratio? 

The right ratio actually depends upon the grade of concrete. As far as M20 grade concrete is concerned, its 1:1.5:3. That means, for every 1 part of cement, 1.5 parts of sand and 3 parts of aggregate stones, in volume is required to prepare M20 grade concrete. Here we are talking about M20 grade because, in Nepal, mostly M20 grade concrete is used when it comes to residential buildings. 

Thus, compromising in ratio is compromising with concrete strength. And, compromising with concrete strength would be to compromise with the entire construction. Therefore, you; who is building your ideal house must be mindful of this fundamental yet significant information about mix proportions. 

  1. Cover block 

The major purpose of cover block revolves around the prevention of corrosion of rebar. The cover block must be firmly embedded in concrete between formwork and rebar. What that does is it shields the rebar from environmental effects that may result in corrosion. However, it would be a mistake if someone use stone or brick as a cover block. 

Therefore, the cover block raises the rebar 20 to 50 mm above the poured concrete and becomes a permanent and inherent aspect of it. As a result, it ensures that no rebar drifts and that the needed concrete covering is minimized during the pour. 


Cover block varies according to the structure. That means different structures require different sizes of cover block. For example: 

  • Slab- 20 mm 
  • Beam- 25 mm 
  • Column/Pillar – 40mm 
  • Foundation- 50 mm 
  1. Curing 

For a concrete to gain its optimum strength, three things stand out. Moisture, temperature and time. So, what we do to get these three crucial elements is we apply a curing process to it. It prevents possible shrinkage of concrete. Curing of concrete should commence as soon as the concrete has reached its first setting time (6 to 8 hours after pouring) and should continue for a fair amount of time according to the stipulated criteria.

In Nepal, we follow code of practice IS456:2000 to carry out curing and it says that we should apply the curing process for at least 7 days. Curing can be done in different ways. Let’s talk about the most efficient and cost effective method. 

  1. Jute Bag/ Gunny bag method of curing – This is a typical curing process, especially for structural concrete. Basically the whole idea of it is to prevent the exposed surface of concrete from drying out. Therefore, we keep on watering it daily for at least 3 to 4 times a day. Coverings for vertical and sloping surfaces must be adequately secured. It is an extremely effective method for various structures that include isolated footing, pillar, staircase and beams. 
Jute Bag/ Gunny bag method of curing
  1. Ponding method of curing: It is considered as one of the best methods for curing. We apply a ponding method of curing when it comes to horizontal slab, raft footing, roads and airfield pavements. Here the first and foremost thing is to make a mixture maintaining 1: 10 Ratio of cement and sand and divide it in areas as a number of rectangles, shaping it like a pond. Then, what we do is we fill waters between the ponds, not letting it dry out. 

Therefore, these are the three key pieces of information that one must be mindful of before building their house; that would be proper mix proportional understanding, usage of cover block and an application of curing process. Like we have said it earlier, yes there would be professionals to help you out but knowing these important things beforehand would not harm you at all. It allows you to supervise the construction in a rightful way. 

Ponding method of curing
Ponding method of curing

Key takeaways: 

  • The ratio should be 1:1.5:3 while proportioning the concrete for M20 grade concrete which we usually use in residential houses in Nepal. 
  • Cover block should be made to prevent the rebar from corrosion. It should be made and must not be replaced with stone or a brick. The sizes of cover blocks vary with the kind of structures. 
  • Curing should be carried out to provide optimum strength to the concrete and to avoid the shrinkage and cracks in it. The most efficient and cost effective method would be the Jute/Gunny bag method of curing and ponding method of curing. 

Using Creative Illumination Techniques to Enhance Your Bedroom

Bedroom is one of the most important rooms in any residential building. Since bedroom is a place where you look forward to going to rest at night and wake up in the morning, getting the lighting right is very essential. Properly executed lighting designs can make small bedrooms look bigger and create an atmosphere of your choice.

enhance illuminating

For having the best lighting design in your room, you cannot rely on just one main light source to illuminate the whole room. The creative techniques mentioned below will help you re-energize your bedroom and make it sleep-worthy.

  • Lighting in Layers

Introducing multiple layers of light seamlessly in a bedroom including natural light, ambient light, task light, accent light, dimmers, etc. is the key to creating the best lighting. This implies to searching for the right balance between all kinds of major lights in a bedroom. Layered lighting is an idea of using various lighting techniques within a same bedroom. Each variety of light will illuminate a specified zone or feature, whose results are greater than the sum of all the techniques.

  • Flexible lighting scheme

Lighting requirement tend to change almost every time the project implementation progresses. This is why one of the key part of lighting design in a bedroom is flexibility. For that, lighting controls have to have simple design, require few details and be able to change quickly to adapt over time. Flexible lighting scheme will help to address today’s requirements and tomorrow’s challenges. 

  • Balanced warm light

As a part of human rhythm, warm light feels natural and increases relaxation. The color temperature scale that range from 2700K to 3000K are warm lights. This kind of light help us finish the day and get ready to sleep. Warmer color resonates with us perhaps because of the color of evening. Side table lamps or pendant light with warm colored bulbs inside are very essential for a bedroom to be relaxing. 

  • Natural Light 

Capturing abundance of natural light is one of the best ways to invite outdoor elegance into the most private room in your house. Having a lot of natural light entering in your bedroom makes it feel spacious and opens up the space. When you are spending your time in there during the day natural light helps to make a clear and roomy feel. The best way to draw a lot of light is to design a wide, floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom. Another way is to build skylight windows if the room is on the highest floor.

  • Mirrors

Mirror are a great way to enhance all kinds of natural and artificial lights. If a mirror is placed well in your bedroom, it will help to reflect the lights into darker corners where it is needed or where the light can’t reach from the entry point at the window.

  • Primary Light

Having a main light in your bedroom is very important as it gives you the option for full brightness and a clear view all around. For this you can choose a lighting fixture that blends with the interior design theme of your bedroom.

Woodwork more than just dust

We design environments that complement the ever changing ways the world adapts. While each residence is unique in

Section 1.10.32 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum”, written by Cicero in 45 BC

“Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?”

1914 translation by H. Rackham

“But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?”

Section 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum”, written by Cicero in 45 BC

“At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.”

1914 translation by H. Rackham

Making it green, helping the environment

We design environments that complement the ever changing ways the world adapts. While each residence is unique in terms

We design environments that complement the ever changing ways the world adapts. While each residence is unique in terms

We design environments that complement the ever changing ways the world adapts. While each residence is unique in terms

We design environments that complement the ever changing ways the world adapts. While each residence is unique in terms

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