Doing end to end Interiors for your Home? – Here is a work schedule you should follow

A number of readers of this blog have asked questions around what work sequence one needs to follow while doing interiors for their home. We all know how painful it can be in Bangalore just to secure availability of good vendors like electricians, carpenters, plumbers, painters, the false roofing guy etc. Having them come in at the wrong milestone not just delays the work but also leads to rework & adds to the loads of stress that home makers are already stacked under.

Given below is a step by step work schedule that I have been using for my own work, it has gone through multiple iterations and incorporates the learnings from multiple projects over the years.

If you choose to follow this for your home then you will have to do one thing back for me – make sure that you provide your feedback on whether this helped you. Also send me any inputs that may help improve this further – to do that you have to just drop a comment on this blog post using the link on the left or at the bottom.

So, without much ado… here goes. Note that the list is in the order of sequence, also note that some of the steps can run parallel – you will be able to determine which ones based on common sense… if you are not able to figure… then…what should I say … :).

Sequence of steps to follow for End to End Home Interior Design and Construction :

  1. Detailed Site Measurements
  2. Closure of designs – Note that this can be done all together for the whole house OR iteratively for any of – (1) each room, (2) each unit (3) separately for factory made/ imported units (Kitchens, Wardrobes etc.) and onsite manufactured units
  3. Order factory manufactured / imported units (Usually Kitchen, Wardrobes).
  4. Material procurement for on-site work.
  5. Start onsite carpentry
  6. False Roofing
  7. Electrical & Plumbing
  8. Wallpaper / Texture/ Colour Selection
  9. Bought out Furniture/ White Goods Selection
  10. Furnishing/ Curtains Selection
  11. Wooden Flooring Selection
  12. Fixing furniture carcass/ boxes – As they arrive from the factory / abroad OR as and when they are built onsite
  13. Kitchen Countertop & Wall Dado Fitment
  14. Shutter Fitment
  15. Wall preparation for painting
  16. Wood Polishing and Paintwork
  17. Light Fittings Selection and fitment
  18. Wall Paint & False roofing – Finishing
  19. Electrical Plates Fitment
  20. Furnishing/ Curtains Order
  21. Shower Partitions Order
  22. Bought out Furniture / White Goods Order
  23. Wallpaper Fitment
  24. Wooden Flooring Fitment
  25. Bought out furniture/ White Goods Fitment
  26. Shower Partition Fitment
  27. Deep Cleaning
  28. Furnishings/ Decor/ Curtains Fitment

Twenty-eight steps to your home sweet home – done, dusted and ready. Heee…far easier said than done :), but sure it’s one hell of a journey that you will undertake, just once or maybe twice in your lifetime.

So, here’s wishing you a happy journey, happy home making & happiness in your new home.

Signing off


The Home Makers Guide to Painting your Home in Bangalore – An Interior Designers Perspective

This has been a topic that a number of readers of this blog have been requesting for since quite a while. Was finally able to pen this down over the weekend.
Painting of the home has been a major area of grouse and confusion for home owners. Grouse because vendors have started charging per sqft. rates and no longer work on a labour only basis. Due to this overall costing has sky rocketed. And Confusion because there is too much choice in paints and wall finishes available in the market – much more than what an average human mind can evaluate & fathom. The increasing cost of paint has made options of good quality wallpapers viable adding further to the confusion on whether to use paint or wallpaper.
Net-net customers are struggling to balance their budgets with the coats of Putty, Primer, Paint and Paper that it will take to give their homes that desired look.
To demystify this home painting problem lets first start with the basics i.e. what is the painting process. We will then get into best practices, rates, options and so on.

 The Painting Process:

The Painting process  can be summarized as a step of P’s …and now this is starting to sound like a Poem by Philip Kotler (Google him if you don’t know who he is :)). Let me explain – Painting has 2 main steps – Wall Preparation and the Paint Coat. The Wall preparation itself includes alternate coats of Primer and Patti/ PoP. The coat of Patti is to even out the damaged surface and to smoothen the wall while it’s the Primer that holds everything together. Without the Primer the whole surface will flake and fall apart.
The Painter would start with sanding the wall. Once its smoothened, the first coat of Primer is applied. Primer itself is of 2 kinds – Water based and Oil Based…more on that later. Once the Primer dries out, usually in about 12 to 14 hours , the damaged portions of the wall are repaired with the putty. In case the wall is uneven then a coat of PoP (Plaster of Paris) is applied followed by sanding. Once that dries its back to another coat of Primer, another 12 hours of drying time and another round of sanding. NOW the wall is ready to be painted. Usually two coats of Primer separated by one coat of Putty/ PoP is enough. Painters will tell you that the wall needs 2 coats of each but that is usually and overkill with no effect on the final output and can be avoided to save cost.
Remember we spoke about Water based and Oil Based Primers – these exist to add to the overall confusion. Most top coats (Paints) are fine with a Water Based Primer, however some top coats – such as enamel or Textures, do better on an Oil based primer. In addition, say if you are applying wall paint on a plywood, something that you should do only under expert supervision, then an Oil based primer is recommended. Net – net, when you choose the paint , check with the paint vendor on the right Primer to be used as that directly impacts the longevity of the paint.
It just started raining outside and fortunately that reminded me of something that I missed. If your wall or any portion of it is damp or algae/ fungus infested then it will need waterproofing or algae treatment before you venture into the Primer Putty & Painting bit. While Waterproofing is a bit complicated and requires an expert ‘s attention, algae/ fungus treatment just needs the chemical to be mixed with the Primer and applied to the wall. If you have any such issues on your walls then be sure to bring it to the attention of the Painter so that he treats the wall appropriately.
Now that the wall is treated and ready it’s time to Paint. Any paint that you buy will need to be diluted (usually with water) in the ratio given in the tech specs of the paint. Once the paint is diluted the process is simple and something that all of us learnt in Kindergarten. Dip the Brush (or roller) in paint and apply. Usually roller finishes are better and more even compared to a brush hence it is recommended to use rollers. The painter would evenly cover the wall with paint with a W shaped motion (thank God it’s not a P again). There are a number of videos available on You Tube on the W motion and you can refer the same. Each coat of paint needs min 8 hours of drying time, however in Bangalore weather its best to wait 12 to 14 hours before applying the second coat.
Usually 2 coats of paint are enough to mask the Primer completely and give the desired colour, however if you want it darker a third coat can be applied. Do however be careful because the Paint colour usually deepens with time, you are therefore better off with a shade too light rather than a shade too dark. If even after 2 – 3 days it seems too light for your taste only then consider a third coat.

Home Painting Rates & Options:

Home Painting rates in Bangalore vary. The cheapest way to get it done is to find someone who charges for labour and you provide the material, howwwever – there good reason why that wwww is longer than what good English demands – it is impossible to find someone who would do that….I mean pick up the contract without the material. Even we designers nowadays are forced to give out our paint contracts on a “with material” basis due to this issue.
Typical rates would start at ₹ 14 psft for Tractor Emulsion (or Equivalent) all the way to ₹ 30 PSFT for Royale or equivalent. If one is on a budget then Premium emulsion at around ₹ 20 PSFT is something that you will settle at.
Between ₹ 30 to 60 PSFT the option of good quality wall paper also opens up. Wallpapers are strong contenders for theme and highlight walls since specialty textures in paint cost approximately the same. Additionally, wall papers offer more variety, ease of use and time savings. The only drawback of wall papers is that they cannot be applied on a wall that has even a bit of dampness, hence exterior facing walls that face the direct brunt of rain are a no – no.
That completes it I guess. There are other best practices around masking the skirtings and door window frames before painting, how best to paint on the wall edges by alternating between a brush and a roller etc. You should be able to Google those and find out. Do also refer to the websites of Asian Paints, Nerolac and Berger where loads of details, best practices, technical specs, application processes for EACH of their range of paints etc. is available.
As always would welcome your comments, questions and feedback
Signing Off
PS: Here’s me now Pushing the Publish button….uggghhhhhh!!!