Thursday, 17 January 2019

What is the Future of Marble and Granite Export Business in India?

Recently, when the dollar touched the ₹75 mark, almost every single trading business working with the foreign countries saw a decline in their financials. The companies which were heavily importing high quality machinery or had acquired any other current assets, were suddenly exposed to unprecedented currency fluctuation risk because no one saw a depletion of this level coming. The only group of people who were able to come out victorious out of this entire scene – were the exporters, because all of the sudden the purchasing power of their revenues grew drastically in a matter of days.

After that sudden downfall, rupee recently got its turn to stabilize; but that has brought the attention of several businessmen to the exports and imports industries, which are severely affected by the currency fluctuations. If you go deeper, you will find that it is not just about the money market fluctuations; the industries which are net exporters turn out to be a great investment opportunity for businessmen looking to dive into newer avenues of growth.

One of these net exporting industries is the stone and granite industry. Now, if you go out there to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry, you may end up with way too many industry reports and data, which will take a whole lot of your intellectual ammunition in just gauging the market.

Hence, to help you out, here is a wide outlook at the marble and granite export market in India:

1. India’s unique positioning globally. When it comes to this specific market, one may commit a mistake of just looking at the recent figures and trying to predict future growth. This will be naïve because in the recent past, India might not have capitalized on these industries but the world looks at Indian exporters in the granite and marble segment for several key reasons.

Number one, is the variety and quality of products available. India is one of the most creative producers of stones and marbles when it comes to colours, patterns, textures and even sizes. Call it our culture of stone engravings or just an adoption to market needs, India has been able to provide a wide product range.

Two, the highly competitive price range. If you look at Indian marble price list and compare it to the counterparts in developed economies post dollar conversion, you’ll see that the quality of product we have can be sold at a very competitive position to India exporters in the global market.

2. Headroom for growth. For several other possible industries such as jute, agricultural produce or even textiles, India has already gone through a period of saturation. Only way to grow in those industries will be through aggressive innovation and that is not controllable. On the other hand, there is favouring probability for the stone business growth in India.

3. Infrastructure opportunities and deficiencies. To start with, there are several key ports in the South and West India which are more than ready to export goods like stone and marbles. So, if you plan to export high quality marble and granite infrastructure in terms of international deliveries will not be an issue. Major issues come in the inter-state transportation and last mile delivery, both of which can be fairly outsourced.

4. Policy environment. For years, several governments have only talked about helping exporters in some or the other way; but, the way the current government has started working on the ease of doing business, it can only be positively estimated that there will be favourable policies coming for stone and granite exporters in India in the near future.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Difference Between Quick Setting Cement And Rapid Hardening Cement

How do you ensure that the home you are building stays there for eternity or at least till the time your family chooses to reside in it? This would be an extremely difficult question to answer, because no expert would want to run the risk of making a false claim.

Some would say it depends on the design or the location or even the budget you have had to build your house. Essentially, like all the things that matter in life, this is driven by the very basic materials; if you are able to take care of these basic materials, you would’ve ensured that you did the right thing for your own house or for your client’s construction project.

One such basic material is – Cement. Often, the bulk buyers or home owners building their first home, are running after the same logic of trying to keep the bill short without compromising on the integrity of the structure. While even the most basic quality of cement will help you build a structure, only the right type of cement in accordance with your project will keep the house you are building a steady structure for decades to come. Hence, it becomes crucial to understand two of the widely used cement types – quick setting cement and rapid hardening cement.

If you set to Google any of these terms or try to go on forums, you would be met with the technical jargons which sound complicated at their face and do not give the insights required to make a decision. Here, have a look at a point by point bifurcation of both the cement contains:

1. Quick Setting Cement

Sometimes, we are expecting things to be so complex that we do not see the very basic principles governing them. If you have not understood the ideal conditions of using quick setting cement, you might have made a similar error. As its name sounds, quick setting cement is a specific type of cement which settles very quickly and turns into a finished layer.

Now, you may wonder whether you should be using this type of cement for your project. The real answer lies in these use cases where quick setting cement would be the ideal building material:
  1. If aesthetics is not the top most quality: If you are trying to have those exposed brick walls or building an exterior wall, it would be highly recommended that you avoid quick setting cement.
  2. If the only two things that matter are project costs and the speed of development: This is exactly where this cement can of tremendous value.
  3. It has quick hydration requirements: Quick setting cement can actually help you if a large part of your project will be in contact of water or under water; think in the lines of foundations or cement work around plumbing areas.
Quick setting cement settles down very quickly, in ideal conditions it will settle in a matter of minutes. Hence it can be useful in places where you have to control the labour costs and keep everyone on his/her toes; or maybe in places where you need a quick fix and the finishing of the final layer does not really make difference.

2. Rapid Hardening Cement

When trying to understand the pros and cons of quick setting cement and rapid hardening cement you should understand that both of them have great utility if you are not specifically running after aesthetic finishes.

Quick setting cement focuses only on the speed, whereas rapid hardening cement has utility in terms of attaining greater strength in lesser time. In simpler words, rapid hardening cement settles down quickly like its contemporary; but unlike other cement types, it has strength equal to that of your common Portland cement; the only difference being that rapid hardening cement settles in a fraction of the time taken by Portland cement.

Hence, rapid hardening cement should be your choice if you are looking for:
  1. Faster project development.
  2. No compromise on the overall strength of the building materials used.
  3. Are not looking for aesthetics but focusing more on utility, for instance, repairing a road or footpath.
Now, all you have to do is list out the requirements of your project and match them with the qualities of both the cements. A great way to actually make your project more profitable would be to get into the marketplace and have access to multiple sellers giving the same quality of material at more favourable prices. If you are in Ahmedabad, you should choose to buy cement online at Ahmedabad; it can be more convenient and help you cut costs by getting to know the market wide prices.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Tips for Selecting Best Contractor for your Project

Most of the things while renovating your space would require you to hire a professional and do the job in a professional manner for you then you do it yourself. So it is mandatory that you find a right person to do the job who has expertise in the project you are planning to do and also has a friendly workable nature so you can trust that person with your project. These guidelines will help you on how to select contractor and ensure a good working relationship.

1. Make a plan

Before going on a hunt for selecting best contractor you need to figure out what are the requirements of your project. Sit and write down the things which you would want the contractor to achieve for you. What is the exact thing which you need to accomplish and in what time would you require the contractor to finish the job?

2. Recommendations 

Ask people you know for suggestions regarding which contractor is famous for doing good finished jobs. A known recommendation would encourage the contractor to do your work in the best way possible and also reduce the price for you. Yes, things of this sort do happen in India. people work well if they have known yours through a recommendation. Other than that you search online for a recommendation or go through local newspapers or articles to get local contractors who are looking for work.

3. Make phone calls

After you have decided on a few shortlisted candidates who you would prefer to work with give them calls and ask them a list of questions which concern you. For example You can ask them if they did a similar project like yours before. Ask them if they can share which clients they have worked with before. How much time according to them it would take to do the entire project? Would they be doing some other projects at the same tie as well? How long have they worked as contractors or how much experience do they have in the industry?

4. A meeting

Now here’s where you would want at 3-4  contractors to come up with a detailed plan for your project so you select the best candidates for face to face meeting. You would want the contractor to answer questions about estimates and the time which will be needed for the whole process to complete. If the contractor isn’t able to answer the questions properly and give you a proper estimate for your work, you wouldn’t consider him as an option.

5. Get Bids

Money is one of the crucial factors in deciding which contractor to select is, tell them to improvise the plan for you and get bids for the work.

6. Get the facts

Let not money be the only factor which makes you decide which contractor to go for. Get your facts right. Ask about what the contractor specializes in and whether he has done a similar work before this and whether he can actually do this work to his best. Tell him that would like to have a look at work samples. Apart from that also research on his background and his work ethics with his previous clients. Never forget to also check for any criminal records. It is better to be cautious than to be in any trouble.

Also Read: Building Materials: Types of Building Materials and their Uses

7. Decide on a payment schedule

Major disputes between two parties happen on money matters. So it is healthy to decide this payment schedule well in advance to avoid any confusions. It should be an agreement for both the parties keeping in mind the contractor would need some advance for materials and pay workers and the owner should not also have to pay everything before the entire job is done.

8. Make a written contract

Never only trust the words of what a person is saying orally. Lock the price and the time in a written agreement.  Make a detailed contract in place mentioning all the details related to the scope of work. Do not miss out on any important details regarding when each installment of the painting would be made, insurance, workers compensations, start date and the projected completion date, raw materials and products which would be used , rules which the contractor and the workers would adhere to while they are in your premises and each minute detail which you would want to mention in an agreement. It does not show mistrust between two parties it just makes things simpler between two parties working together. So, never let the person fool you in having no written contract.

These would be some tips which you may keep in mind before hiring a contractor to renovate your place.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Tips for buying right Cement for Construction

Cement for constructing a house is one of the most important materials of all. Cement will give strength and structure to your house. The cement is used as binding material while construction. Hence it is used for different purposes like RCC work, plastering, flooring, filling cracks, making of compound wall, septic tank, etc. The purpose will define the type of cement you need. You will need different types for different purposes. There are 3 major kinds of cement which are used for construction work. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) and White Cement are major cement used. As we have proved how important cement is in construction work we will list some basic tips for buying cement.

  • Check the brand before ordering bags of cement. Whether you buy the cement online or offline make sure he is an authorized seller of the brand. It would be better if bought from a company outlet itself. Any cement manufacturer should have ISI mark on it. Each bag will have ISI mark on it. If it doesn’t make sure to return it back.
  • Check the date of manufacture. Any cement bag older than 3 months or precisely ninety days is considered to be expired. make sure you check dates on each bag which is delivered to you before using.
  • Check the weight of the bags arrived. Put at least 3-4 bags under a sample test to check if the written weight matches with the actual weight.
  • Closely check the packaging of the cement. There should be no double stitching of the packaging. You must do a close study of product literature on the bags of cement. Carefully read all the ingredients used and you should match it with the properties mentioned on the manufacturer's site.
  • Check the texture of the cement.  It should not show any hard lumps. Presence of hard lumps means moisture has entered in the cement. The cement should feel smooth when touched or rubbed in between fingers. The best way to check the consistency and texture of the cement is to throw water on the cement and if it floats then consistency is good.
  • Also, don’t forget to check the color of cement. The color should be a uniform grey color.
  • Check the condition of the bags. they should be in a good condition and stored in a moisture free area. You shouldn’t accept bags which have turned hard as there is no meaning of buying such cement bags because now they have lost their original properties and have had a chemical reaction. So never use such defective bags.   
  • The amount of cement required for your work will depend on your individual purpose. If you require cement for only the walls or also for the flooring. Your contractor can help you in giving a rough estimate on the number of bags which you may need and then you can place your order.
  • You can transport the cement bag by truck if you are buying in bulk otherwise you can use another small vehicle. The cost of transporting cement bag depends upon the location of the site from the cement plant or manufacturer’s depot. You should also include all the taxes like service tax, loading, unloading, etc.
  • You need to manage your budget well. So it is important that you stick to your budget and not give all the money in advance to the supplier of the cement or for transportation. You can give some advance but leave the rest when all the cement bags have arrived and you have thoroughly checked all the bags and then only make the entire payment to the supplier.

Read More: OPC and PPC Cement: Which Cement is Better for House Construction? 

So, to conclude these are a list of some tips for buying cement and summing them all of you should keep in mind these factors. But even before these factors you have a list of checks before ordering cement, which is you need to set up a budget for your project, you need to ask your contractor for the quantity requirements in your project, you need to initially calculate all the cost involved in buying of cement like transportation, warehousing, workers in charge to do the work for you etc. Make sure everything about the finances is clear in advance with the suppliers and there are no hidden costs involved. Then after your cement arrives you should do all of these mentioned quality checks.
  • Do a brand check
  • Do a check on the manufacturing date
  • Do a check on the texture and consistency
  • Do a check on the packaging when it arrives
  • Do a check on the color of the cement
After carefully inspecting all these points, you will have to make the full payment to the supplier, the transportation and other parties involved.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Tips on picking the right outdoor materials to design your patio

The choice of materials which you prefer to use on your patio depends on various factors. You need to keep in mind the aesthetics to the architecture of your house and the place where you plan to design paver patio. The goal here which you should keep in mind while selecting a texture for your patio is that it should be in sync with other materials used your landscape. You can keep two things in mind for the designs of paver patios is either you can complement the existing textures and prefer to match them, or you can do the exact opposite and prefer to contrast with the existing textures. While both of these looks good, you should know exactly what will go with what. Here are some of the textures ideas which will answer your question on how to design paver patio.

1. Concrete

It is the simplest form of texture which you may want to use in the patio. It can seem a bit boring sometimes which can be made a bit elegant looking if you consider a stamped pattern using a dying agent making the look more natural. There is still a lot of maintenance involved in using concrete as you would have repaint almost every 2 years. The best concrete paver patio design near the poolside where there are chances of wet floor and slippery as a danger. Concrete paver would make sure that you do not slip and also will look natural and elegant with the poolside theme.

2. Natural stone or limestone

This is the best material you should consider if you want a really natural and elegant finish in your paver. This work really well if you want to create the same pattern everywhere as it would not sync that well with any other stone. If you have limestone at one place you place it everywhere for the best look. The best setting for this would it be in your backyard with a nice sitting and a cozy feel attached to it. It would go well with the indoor flooring of the house and the flooring used near the entrance. This will make the entire house put together in a nice way.

3. Bricks for your paver

Bricks are actually less preferred these days due to their characteristics.  Bricks are said to be so porous that they can retain moisture. In cold weather, it cracks up and has to be replaced. In a shady area, a slippery moss tends to grow on them and which has to be removed with bleach solution a brush which again means a lot of maintenance.  The same problem also happens in a very sunny area where moss would grow on the brick and needs to be cleaned with bleach. But when we talk about the aesthetics which the bricks give is a charming old world look. This will help you achieve antique finishes with a traditional architecture look with the rustic color that it has. So if you have something in mind for that sort of arrangement and you can manage the maintenance of the bricks, you should definitely go for bricks.

4. Unilock Artline pavers

The look which we can achieve by using these texture would be of sleek smooth pavers for modern elegance. If this is the look you are considering for your outdoor paver patio design then you should choose a greyish color scheme in this texture and contrast it with lineo dimensional stone at various places to achieve a neutral and modern look with these muted yet classy shades and textures. The key here is to keep it minimal and elegant by highlighting the chrome finishes in unilock and contrasting it with rusty shades of the other texture lineo dimensional stone. This would be a perfect backyard setting in contrast with the greenery of the grass and a nice fireplace in winter evenings.

5. Townhall pavers

These textures are used in suburban homes in the walkway or the driveway of the house. Rich shades from burgundy red to oak old are used in the setting which looks great with the green landscapes surrounding these suburban homes. These textures go really well in sync with the architecture of homes in suburban areas and bare feet friendly as well.

Follow these design ideas while you are planning to design patio for your house which will help you visualize a good aesthetic for your house and outdoor and the tips you should keep in mind before finalizing a texture to go with according to your usage and weather conditions where you live.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Difference Between Nominal Mix and Design Mix

Firstly, before understanding the kinds of mixes in concrete we need to know what is mix design? Mix design is a process of selecting suitable ingredients and determining their relative proportions with the objective of producing concrete of having certain minimum workability, strength, and durability as economically as possible.

There are broadly two categories of concrete mix available which are different from one another for various reasons and are used for different kinds of jobs.

1. Nominal mix concrete
2. Design mix concrete 

Now further, we shall dive into understanding these different concrete mix and compare nominal mix and design mix.

The nominal mix is established through observations which are done at the site level for small quantities where load calculations are not necessary. In this mix, there is no need of accuracy needed. The work is done on a volumetric basis at the site level itself. In technical terms, we will not need the specific gravity of cement, silt content of sand or any weight proportions. It is said to have volumetric batching because it specifies the proportion sand, cement, and aggregates without knowing the individual properties of the products. Nominal mix ratios are established through the observations of the field people and thus they represent the ancient wisdom of people working in this field. Understanding ratios further would be like 1:1.5:3 is a ratio in which 1 kg cement, 1.5 kg sand and 3 kg of aggregates will be mixed together to form a mix. Since this not really done in a professional manner, this mix is mostly used for relatively simpler and unimportant concrete works.

Design mix as the name suggests itself is made in the laboratory under the supervision of a designer. Design mix is a process where each and every ingredient of the concrete is first tested in the laboratory and Weigh batching is also a must for this mix. It is a performance-based mix where the choice of ingredients and proportioning are left to the designer to be decided. The user has to certainly specify only the requirements of concrete in fresh as well as the hardened state. The requirements in fresh concrete are workability and finishing characteristics, whereas in hardened concrete these are mainly the compressive strength and durability. In the laboratory, the designer will keep in consideration these points for making a concrete for sure weight of each ingredient, brands, mix proportions, type of exposure, properties of cement, properties of fine and coarse cement, slit content, unit weight, fineness modulus and crushing value. It is a long process and takes 28 days after trials and testing in the laboratory to finally pass the product for work. We can sum up design mix to be a performance-based concrete which has high-quality control and is adapted for higher quality concrete.

Let us sum up the nominal mix and design mix of concrete, the Nominal mix is for small projects and design mix is for major projects. The nominal mix is a prescriptive type of mix whereas the latter is a performance-based. In nominal mix water content can be modified on the site whereas in design it can only be modified taking in consideration compaction factor value. Last but not least the quality control plays an important factor in the design mix whereas the nominal mix does not consider quality control as a crucial factor.

Friday, 14 December 2018

How To Choose The Right Bricks For Construction Site?

Homes becomes a silent backdrop to our entire lives. We seldom acknowledge their importance but we do know that without them, we would be pretty much robbed of our peace and happiness. When homes are so crucial to the quality of life we and our families lead, shouldn’t we pay more attention to what kind of homes are we building for ourselves?

You may wonder – up to what extent can you pay attention, and the answer would be to the most granular level possible. You should be starting with the very basic units that actually build your home – the bricks.

Bricks have been used for several years and have given mankind some of its most magnificent monuments and structures. That said, many people are now avoiding bricks and shifting to other building materials. There are indeed some unique benefits of bricks:

1. Bricks for construction in India are easily available and transportable; hence, they are relatively cheaper.
2. Bricks give a modern day home an aesthetic feel and help your house stand out from the cohort.

Now, if you are wondering how to choose a right brick, here are a few key points to evaluate:

1. Geographic location of your home/construction project:

This is by far the most fundamental part to be looked into. You have to determine the geographic conditions of your construction project or home since this will determine whether you can use a brick in the first place or not. There are some regions, for instance the ones which are prone to frequent earthquakes, where bricks are not the best choice of building material. Other factors such as humidity, rainfall and climatic conditions such as temperature are also to be looked into. If this seems like a lot, your local brick dealers and manufacturers will actually be able to help you decide the ideal ones according to your geographic requirements.

2. Handmade vs Wire Cut:

This may not seem that important and many people believe that handmade bricks give a more aesthetic look, but in reality, this can change the entire aesthetic layering of your home. Now, people who just want to use bricks while staying on budget use wire cut bricks; these bricks give you a uniform finish and still keep the ‘brick feel’ alive. At the same time, the handmade ones are not that uniform and give you more options to play with customization in terms of size, patterns and colours; at the same time, they can cost a lot more than the machine made ones.

3. Material Used:

Raw materials for brick would actually determine the strength and other physical properties of the brick. There are sand lime bricks, engineering bricks and concrete bricks to choose from. Depending on where you use them and the overall design palate of your home, you can choose the one which fits the best in terms of both aesthetics and utility.