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Useful Advice From Bungalow Design Expert

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Author: Ir. Dr. Justin LAI Woon Fatt | 28 September, 2020

Some people may have a dream to buy a piece of land and then construct a 2-storey bungalow. This bungalow will become your retirement home. A big car porch which can accommodate 6 numbers of cars, a private badminton court, a swimming pool, and a big garden is a must in the building compound. In the building, you may want to have a gym room, game room, study room, prayer room, powder room other than the standard space such as living hall, dining hall, kitchen, toilet, and bedroom.

Image 1: 3D Perspective

For first-time bungalow owner, here are some advice to you from a professional point of view.

  1. Purchase a piece of residential land conditioned for bungalow development. If the land condition only allows you to build 2-storey bungalow but you wish to have 3-storey bungalow, then you must submit the application to the land office to change the condition to 3-storey prior to building plan submission. Approval from the land office is not guaranteed.
  2. Hire a good architect and engineer to design your bungalow. The architect hired by you responsible to produce concept designs and detailed designs of the bungalow. The architect also needs to ensure your building is complying to the safety regulations, and local planning regulations. Unfortunately, they are many bungalow owners does not hire an architect first, but they hire interior designer instead. Interior designer may produce a nice 3D drawing, but they may not familiar with regulations. When the design pass to the architect later, the design needs to be carried out major modification. End up the original design cannot be used, both interior designer and architect do double work.
  3. When everything is settled and ready for building plan submission. If you inform the architect, you have decided to hire a Feng Shui master to give some advice. Your architect will start sweating. You know why? 99% possibility the drawing will need to amend, either minor or major change after Feng Shui master giving his precious input. Therefore, first time bungalow owner please bear in mind to get your Feng Shui master in place when the architect doing space planning.
  4. Finally, the building plan is submitted to the local authority. Usually, it will take about 2-3 months to process approval. If any technical matter arising, the officer will contact the architect and request for plan amendment. Once all technical matters are solved, the local authority will endorse your plan after all statutory fees such as contribution fee, processing fee being settled by the owner. Please take note that building plan approval only valid for 12 months. You must make sure construction work commences when your approval still valid.
  5. A common mistake made by the first-time bungalow owner is to hire a renovation contractor to build their dream house. What are the differences between a renovation contractor and a project contractor? The comparison table below can help you understand better.
    You should do a good judgement before awarding the contract to the contractor. If you cannot do that, why not spend some money to hire a quantity surveyor to manage your contract professionally. A quantity surveyor will take off the material quantities, prepare tender documents, invite tender, analyse pricing submitted by the tenderers, conduct tender interviews, advise the client who to award the contract, prepare monthly interim certificate, etc. You can get yourself away from all these hassles.
  6. Hire a good inspector of work (IOW) to supervise the construction work. The main role of IOW is to act as the eye of your architect. We must accept the fact that submitting architect cannot be full time on the construction site, but construction work progresses every day. Therefore, a good IOW could supervise the work and make sure everything is constructed according to the specifications and approved plan. IOW also helps to discover defective work on the site and issue non-conformance report (NCR) to the contractor. In short, IOW duty is ensuring the quality of your bungalow.

Image 2: Swimming Pool

In conclusion, develop a bungalow not as easy as you thought. Hire a good team of professional and the sequence of appointment is important to ensure your project execute smoothly. If you need professional input, please do not hesitate to contact IPM. We ready to serve.

Ir. Dr. Justin LAI Woon Fatt
CEO/ Founder
IPM Group

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