This week has been an eventful one in many ways as far as housing is concerned.
On Friday, last, the government launched its second ‘International Building Expo’ at the National Stadium. If we are to judge from last year’s success what this year should be like, then it will be the show of the year at the end of July.
In case you are about to build your new home and missed last year’s, it was an event ideally suited for folks who are as clueless as I once was. From banks offering advice on requirements for loans to cement companies showing the right mixture to furniture and hardware stores, it was clear from the 30,000-odd persons who visited that the occasion was long overdue. The products are dazzling and the private sector has now challenged construction companies to come up with new ways to building cheap, quality homes – a development that will be welcomed by many.
The right doors
The past week also saw us answering numerous queries. We will examine two of them.
In the first instance, one lady asked what kinds of doors would be ideal for the different areas, including front and back doors and the bedrooms.
Now, I think that these are a matter of personal choice. There are a number of doors ranging from metal to pine wood to the local hardwood. I would not recommend the pine doors for the areas that would be exposed to the elements. Many home owners are now choosing the metal doors because of security reasons…they have a number of locks fitted that are virtually unbreakable. However, the problem is that once the locks become too tight (this is due mainly to incorrect installation), the doors could be a problem as they do not shut properly.
Any decent hardware stores would sell wooden doors. The hardwood ones are good if they are treated correctly and finished with the sanding sealer and a few coats of lacquer to protect from moisture. The options of using local doors are better, for me, because it can allow a home owner to order any styles from arch to French-style to whatever one desires. The problem with these is that some door makers do not allow the wood to dry properly, and after a few mornings the doors are all hanging wrong. The pine doors are good for the bedrooms and bathroom because they cost as little as $15,000 each.
The point is…it is a matter of choice, but it should be stressed that generally, doors should not be exposed to rain and sun.
Does the bank pay for the land?
Another writer asked whether banks would pay off for land allocated by government. I recalled seeing advertisements that stated so. The folks at New Building Society (NBS) had indicated that they were willing to assist. However, it must also be noted that no bank or the NBS, traditionally, are willing to dole out 100% of the mortgage asked for without some show of commitment by the landowner. Nevertheless, it is an issue that can be researched.
This week, based on requests, we are continuing to highlight some of the more popular materials in use and their problems. For Gafoor’s at Houston, a popular hardware supplier, two of its biggest sellers are tiles and the PVC ceiling.
According to Colin Sookdeo, a supervisor in the tiles section, there have been a number of recurring complaints.
“From what we have seen, the biggest problems are that people are not supervising their contractors enough. It is either the contractors are not using the right tools or the right paste.”
In the first instance, as we have stressed time and again, homeowners who are about to build should have been shopping around.
There are different types of tiles. The rougher “non-skid” ones are recommended for the bathrooms and yard. The shinier, smoother ones are for the kitchen, living or sitting rooms.
“We import our tiles from Brazil and these are of the best quality. When someone comes to us, they have a rough idea of the space to be tiled…we can calculate how many they will need.”
To save cost, as some contractors charge by the number of tiles to be laid, Gafoor’s is recommending that for larger areas, large tiles should be used.
While from time to time there would be manufacturers’ faults on some tiles, in the majority of cases, the problem happens when the contractor’s tools are not working properly and can easily damage the tile while it is being cut.
Then there are issues of the wrong paste being used for tiles.
According to Sookdeo, there is wall paste and floor paste.
“Additionally, if the floors and walls are not level, the finished look would not be so good.”
While building my home, I was in a hurry to move in. The boys were tiling and we failed to insist that they clean the tiles. For some homeowners unclear what I am speaking about, it is simple – the mess from the grout or the stuff that is being filled between the edges of the tiles to prevent moisture from getting under the tiles should be wiped clean immediately. We had days cleaning our tiles from the ugly stuff that was left behind by the workmen.
Down in the Flat Pack section at Gafoor’s, Supervisor Kamla Budhi, says that PVC ceilings are a big seller for them. The material, because of low maintenance costs and easy installation, has become a popular thing for new homeowners. Not only is it attractive, but can last at least 25 years, according to Ms. Budhi.
All that is needed is some soap and water to wipe it clean from time to time. However, the official admitted, contractors are still making errors.
The PVC ceiling, each of which comes in 19-feet length, should be laid on wooden frames called noggins. These frames are made of soft wood, like silverballi.
“The problem happens when the noggin wood is not dried properly. It will shift and can cause the ceiling to sag.”
Another problem is when the incorrect screws and staples are used.
These noggins run crossways and should not be more than 18 inches apart, Ms. Budhi emphasises.
Although more expensive than the popular plywood ceiling, Gafoor’s is arguing that it costs about the same. This is because the plywood has to be prepared…filled with putty, primed and then painted. It may require more paint in later years.
“We have everything here for the ceiling. From screws to staples to the mouldings that go with it. All a customer has to do is come with the measurements and we will advise.”
I’m glad to have been able to share these ideas with you in this article. Enjoy your weekend.
For those who want to read the series of articles you can visit our website: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com. Click on Features, scroll down to Columnists and under Guyanese Literature, you can retrieve the entire series.
In the meantime, shop smart, plan properly and be on the lookout for rip-offs.
You can write us at [email protected] or call 225-8491.
May 28, 2020Says managerial, analytical & listening skills key to Captaincy By Sean Devers Guyana and West Indies cricketer Leon Johnson hails from the Amerindian Village of Aratac in Santa Mission, a...
May 28, 2020
May 28, 2020
May 27, 2020
May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020
Whenever a political party loses an election, there are always implications for the leaders of that party. The APNU and... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Caribbean countries are, once again, being placed in a difficult position as they try to navigate... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]