“Look for ways to get in more natural light”

“Look for ways to get in more natural light”
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First Published: Sat, Jul 07 2007. 12 05 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Jul 07 2007. 12 05 AM IST
I purchased an apartment some time back and want to renovate parts of it. First, there are no windows except at the north and south ends. What can I do to bring more light into the house and not make it feel like I live in a hallway?
You definitely need to get more natural light in. Examine your perimeter view and determine where you want to place a window. Next, you need to determine where you can puncture the wall. You’re busting a hole in the wall, so you better be sure the wall can support it. If your home was built in the last five years, it’s likely to be an RCC-framed structure, which means the building is supported by columns and beams. You can generally bust the wall in these structures wherever you want. If it was built earlier than five years ago, it’s a load-bearing structure, meaning the walls support the weight of the house. In this situation, you must speak to a structural engineer. If you’re on the top floor, put in a skylight.
Second, I’ve got a great rooftop, with lots of space. What can I do with the space?
First and foremost, you have to determine if you can build it. You usually have to apply for permission to build from the municipal corporation of the city. Then you need to determine what part of the house can support extra weight. If the house is an RCC structure, you’ll have to follow the lines of the beams. If it’s a load-bearing structure, you’ll have to follow the lines of the walls. As for what structure to build, in India, the top-most room is always the hottest. Therefore, it follows that the functions for that space must not necessarily be day functions. Create a recreational space, a lounge area, or maybe a gym for early morning workouts.
Finally, I want to take out a bathroom. Will this be difficult?
Getting rid of anything is easier than building it. Just find the proper person who can dismantle a bathroom setup and make sure all the pipes are properly plugged up before you build over it. The biggest nightmare with renovation is finding a good contractor. It’s hard getting good people to do small jobs. One solution is to use a young, start-up architecture practice. Someone who has been out for six months or a year would take on an extension and it would be a lot easier than trying to figure out everything on your own.
Write to Manit at decordilemma@livemint.com
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First Published: Sat, Jul 07 2007. 12 05 AM IST
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