The essence of beauty of a house is apparently told by the quality of wall plaster.
Here are some valued advises. If you live in an older house, say 50 or 60 years
or older, there is a good likelihood that you have plaster on your walls. Plaster
walls were very common, especially in the late 18th century and 19th century.
Plaster was fairly readily available, was workable, and was capable of producing
very smooth walls and ornate embellishments. It was and is however, very difficult
to worth with. It took a fine plasterer many years to learn his trade under the
careful instruction of a master plasterer.
Plaster is still widely available, though rarely used. Just check the painting
aisles of your local home improvement center and you'll see it mixed in with spackle
and patching compound. The reason for its demise was the invention of joint compound.
Unlike plaster, joint compound (or drywall compound) is easy to work with. It
is slow to set up and harden, is very easy to sand, mixes easily, can be purchased
already-mixed, and is easy to clean up. Joint compound works by simply letting
the water evaporate out, leaving the hard, white stuff on the wall.
Plaster, on the other hand, sets up quickly, hardens like cement, is very difficult
to work with once it starts to set up, is hard to clean up, and must be mixed
up as needed and in quantities that can be worked with quickly. Plaster as it
sets up, is actually a chemical reaction between the solid plaster and the water.
For this reason, joint compound is the natural choice for most new homes and patching
jobs. However, plaster is by far the superior product. A plaster wall is rock
hard, has a solid sound and is not easliy damaged or scratched, and can withstand
some abuse. These properties make for some interesting remodeling and repairs.
A simple task such as hanging a hook for a picture frame can cause large chunks
of plaster to break free from the wall and come crashing down. Try to drive a
drywall screw into plaster can be an exercise in frustration as chunks break out
of the wall and the screw getting dulled by the plaster. Drill bits and saw blades
dull instantly on contact. Because of these challenges with plaster, here are
few tips for working with it. Be aware, that these work for me in most situations,
but plaster can be different and behave differently in different locations, so
work very carefully.
1. When hanging a picture frame from a hook with a nail in it,
first tape a large piece of masking tape over the area where you will drive the
nail. This will help prevent chip-out. Once the nail is in place, remove the tape.
2. Another way to insert a wall hanger for a picture frame is
to drill a small pilot hole for the nail. The pilot hole need not be deep. Just
deep enough to penetrate the topcoat of plaster. If you see brown dust coming
from the drill bit, you are through the topcoat and into the brown coat. 3. To drive a screw through plaster. always drill a pilot hole.
4. Never use a drywall screw in plaster to hold anything. Even
though it may seem that the plaster is holding it in place, you risk tearing out
a large chunk of plaster. Always screw through the plaster and into the studs.
5. When screwing through plaster and into the wall studs, make
sure you are into the wall studs and not the wood lath that holds the plaster
on the wall! Pulling down lath is one of the worst things you can do, as it will
pull down large chunks of plaster with it.
6. Standard stud finders don't work on plaster walls. You need
stud sensors that feature some sort of deep penetrating technology. Common stud
finders are designed for half-inch drywall walls and can distinguish plaster thickness
7. Use the tapping technique to find studs. Plaster has good
harmonics and by tapping or rapping it with your knuckles, you can usually hear
the hollows between the studs fairly easily.
8. Like anything else in an old house, be extra careful! There
weren't building codes when many of these houses were built so there is no guarantee
that you wall studs are evenly spaced, that there aren't old pipes in the walls,
or that abandoned and antiquated plumbing and electrical lines exist in the walls.
Remember, work slowly and smartly. Take a few minutes to think things out several
times. You will still run into surprises, but if you work slowly and deliberately
hopefully, they won't ruin your day!
Pune, till a few years ago was the Oxford of the East. Finely established as an
academic city; with the best and the brightest, having many avenues to advance
their educational growth. A highly educated workforce was what made Pune attractive
to the IT companies and they slowly started setting up shop here. Today more and
more IT companies are eyeing pune. Infosys was the first of the big ones to come
in. The IT parks have sold out all available commercial real estate to companies.
Other IT companies followed suit and now Pune is firmly entrenched as one of India's
premier IT hubs People are being hired by the droves everyday.
This was what triggered the housing boom in Pune. Pune started expanding from
it's Western end at Hingewadi where the IT Park was situated. Property is selling
in the Hingewadi area for around 1200/- Rs per sq feet. Flats are in the 2500
-3500/-Rs per sq ft area. Land prices in surrounding areas like Wakad, Bhugaon,
Aundh, and Balewadi have risen in multiples, in the last few years and still look
very undervalued compared to cities like Bangalore and Chandigarh. Pune is also
growing from it's South East end. Kondhva, Kharadi, Vimanagar is fast emerging
as a quickly growing suburb. Flat prices in Pune range from 2000Rs6000Rs in most
areas. Prices have escalated in the last 2 years and people are still buying.
As long as the technology and automobile industry boom continues and companies
keep expanding in Pune, the real estate boom has no reason to dissipate.
With the educational institutions and more students coming in hostels are also
spring up all over the place. A lot of people from other places are investing
in flats and houses that are rented out to students. NRI's who studied and lived
in Pune and later moved to the US, are the biggest investors in Pune today. Pune's
proximity to Mumbai has meant a lot of people with extra funds in Mumbai, are
investing their money in real estate in Pune. This has added fuel to the spiraling
Pune is undergoing a tremendous change, developing rapidly and offering its residents
a whole new international lifestyle. Innovative world class housing complexes
are being developed in Pune. Large malls, international brands and specialty stores
have changed its face, bringing new zing to the retail scenario. Young professionals
and migrant white-collar workers are increasingly zooming in on these new spaces,
and the result is an evolution in organized retailing that one could not have
imagined even ten years ago Developers like Panchshil, of International Convention
centre Fame and Vascon Engineers, Kumar Builders, Kolte-Patil and Kakde have come
up with a number of malls. Some of the well known malls in Pune are the Nucleus
Mall near Camp, Pune Central, City Mall, Shoppers, Stop and Magnum. Pune is the
cultural capital of Maharashtra, with booming software, manufacturing and education
sectors. "Property rates have been increasing dramatically for the last five to
seven years. For the retail hubs, like Deccan camp etc, the rates vary between
Rs 90 to Rs 150 per sq. ft per month. Pune offers a good combination of the educated,
upwardly mobile and more demanding consumer.
Developers in Pune, seem to have realized the need for specialized malls. The
Ishanya mall, spread over 5 1/2 lakh sq ft on 10 acres of land will, apart from
offering specialist shopping, allow for relaxation in a pleasant environment and
cultural entertainment "Organized retailing is happening faster in Pune than in
other cities. In other words, the expected mall space will be more in Pune compared
to other cities. There is huge amount of growth taking place in the city.. The
coming months will see it emerge as number two in terms of organized retail space.
The city is moving fast towards development also because of the coming of big
industries, the satellite city coming up and automobile industry growing, and
to complement it all are the IT industries. Pune today is amongst the fastest
growing cities in the world. Since there are no space restrictions for Pune as
in Mumbai and Bangalore, the city is proudly growing in all five directions."
The glitz and glamour that are making their presence felt is only the beginning;
as the year progresses, and competition increases with both new and large players
in the fray the Pune retail scene will undergo a metamorphosis. Without doubt,
Pune is an extremely good investment destination for real estate.