Do you know how much your box grille weighs? Has your contractor done any calculations to check that the wall below it can take that weight?
This is a prime example, say structural engineers, of how renovation and beautification efforts that seem harmless can go horribly wrong.
The As Built drawings, AUTOCAD prints and blue prints are not just a formality but important papers to refer to before you take up any repair works in your house. Most people don’t realise this.
“Having a sense of these drawings is so important, they help you know where exactly the columns and beams are and you don’t end up damaging them, know that even changing the light fixtures can cause harm if you are unaware of the structure of the building as most people are,” says Pranay Goyal, MD, Wedevelopment, a management solution company that specialises in self-redevelopment of societies.
Recently, a building in Ghatkopar collapsed killing 17 people. Residents blame a political leader for the collapse. “The political leader tried converting the building to commercial use in 2009 and starting a hospital on its ground floor,” residents say in an HT report. “He then planned to convert the hospital into a guesthouse. The renovation work for the guesthouse weakened the building leading to its collapse.” The changes you do to the structure, hence, weakens your building.
As with the box grilles, changes you make to the dry yard, walls you replace and even flooring renovations can, in long run, weaken your building. Ceilings can cave, cracks can form in walls, leading to destructive leakages.
“Even concealing an electrical socket can be harmful — it requires chiselling of beams and columns walls, and that doesn’t sound harmless, does it,” says Pooja Bihani, architect and founder of the Spaces & Design interiors and architecture firm.