Area: Super built up: 1615 sq ft. Apartment
Get a good interior designer. If you know a good carpenter, that also works. Benefits of an Interior design company is that you don't have to monitor every detail everyday. They take care of the carpenters themselves, and they share design ideas with you. Having said this, it is your house. Reasearch as much as possible. Be pro-active. Visit the site at least once a week and monitor the work even if you hire an Interior Design company.
Always negotiate the price. The woodworks will be charged per sq ft based on the type that you want.
Kitchen: You can go for modular kitchen or get it done. Research on the ply boards to be used. You don't have to buy them, but at least you won't get cheated. Common Interior designers do not use good brands like Kitply. Ask for hot water resistant ply boards, not just water and termites resistant ones. Trust me, they'll fight back on this, or ask for a lot more mullah. You can go for pre-laminated boards; factory made ones, or laminated ones. I will give you the details if you want. You will be guided by your designer on this. Things that you may have to take care are:
• Check if your kitchen area already has a granite slab. Nowadays, most builders do not give it. If they do, check where are the supporting rods underneath the slab. When you have to cut the granite to fix your hob and chimney, you cannot cut it right where the rods are. I had to make design changes based on this and had to move a shelf on top of the hob for symmetry. Check where the plug point for the hob is. Remember to mark it. Your Interior design guys could miss it. Mine just did. They had to go to another apartment, measure with a scale and get it cut after they had covered the area with ply.
• Research for the suction capacity of the chimney. For a normal household with non-veg cooking 750 to 1000 m3/hr is good enough. You can install chimney by 2 ways either using duct mode or by recycling mode. I went for Duct mode. It requires some carpentry work, whereas recycling mode will save you from such modifications but it requires periodic charcoal filter replacement. Ensure the duct doesn’t have many turns and is as straight as possible. 10 ft is the ideal length for the duct. Plan where do you want to keep the gas cylinders. Pipe gases will take some time to reach Bangalore. I used copper wiring and kept the gas cylinders in the utility area. This will avoid any catastrophe in case of a leakage, and I save storage area in the kitchen. Gilma, Faber, Kaff, IFB are popular brands. Go for one with good service. Do not go only for looks, but also for utility (hob and chimney). How easy is it to clean? You will be frying, spilling milk etc.
Tiles: Knock each and every tile and see if there are air bubbles. They tend to break if there are air bubbles.
Wardrobes: Vineer, laminate. Vineer is more expensive than laminate. Options are: Outside Vineer, inside paint, Outside veneer, inside laminate, laminate inside-outside, laminate outside, inside paint etc. You can replace the laminate after some years. Vineering, you have to paint it. It gives the shine and natural polished look, but laminate is good enough too. If you have laminate inside or outside, touch with your palm and feel the laminate for air bubbles. If there are, ask your carpenter to remove it, else it will tear in a few years.
Most important thing is to ensure your carpenters or Interior design guys cover your tiles before the woodwork starts and do not break them. The polish and paints stain and it is a pain to clean. Also, if you are in an apartment, it may be very difficult to get the same type of tiles that the builder has provided if they are broken.Didn’t know this post would get this long, will add more points later. Or you could add your points too. Hope somebody pays me for this. :-)