In order to serve the diverse needs of home buyers in terms of the choice of apartments, real estate developers have always come up with innovative solutions ranging from studio apartments to row houses, villas and duplexes. Each form of construction is different in its structure, concept, cost and acceptance. Skyscrapers might be a vertical solution for rising urbanization, but everyone doesn’t enjoy living there. On the other hand, having your own space in the form of a bungalow or villa can prove to be very expensive. In all these scenarios, the concept of builder floors provides a middle path. Prevalent in north India, builder floor concept is slowly gaining popularity in other parts of India as well. A typical builder floor building is a 2 to 3 storied building wherein an independent floor is allocated to each family. In this scenario, despite staying in a multi-storied building, the occupant can enjoy the privacy and experience similar to living in a villa or bungalow, at a comparatively affordable price.
Builder floor apartments are gaining rapid popularity in places such as Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad where land is cheaply available, population is less dense and low-rise apartments are feasible. In locations like Mumbai, where the land cost is high, the builder floor concept or low-rise apartments doesn’t exist.
Builder Floor vis-à-vis High Rise Apartment
In a typical high-rise apartment, there is no restriction on the number of storeys (depending on project clearance); with four to six families sharing each floor. The high rise will be loaded with common amenities like swimming pool, club houses and community halls; for which they charge higher maintenance cost from the occupants.
As against this, the builder floor is usually a 2 to 4 storied low-rise building; where each floor is allocated to one family. These projects usually lack the common amenities; except for basic amenities like security and water, thereby reducing the total maintenance cost. Cost-wise, builder floor command premium pricing for all the privacy and the higher standard of living of villa and bungalow obtained.
Builder Floor Formats
Most builder floors are usually developed by small local real estate players, often in collaboration with land owners, with the two sharing equity. Generally, the builder puts in money for development, while the owner contributes land. As land prices account for 80-90 percent cost of a property in metro cities, the builder gets one out of four floors. In some cases, builder floors are made by redeveloping an existing structure; wherein the original owner adds more floors (on his own or in collaboration with a builder) and sell them.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Majority of the people have the aspiration of staying in a bungalow or a villa; however with the escalating prices it is not always possible. For them, builder floor apartments can serves as a perfect option without having to pay hefty amounts. Further, a single family per floor having its own separate water and electricity connection helps in providing privacy as well as in avoiding disputes or misunderstandings which are common in larger communities, where floors are shared by many families. The only flipside to the concept can be the lack of additional common amenities such as a children’s park, gymnasium, clubhouse etc. which have gained popularity in today’s fast paced world.