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Pros and cons of occupying flats on topmost floor

A fact that all prospective homebuyers would have noticed is that the topmost floor flats in an apartment building are the last to be sold. Moreover, buyers have to shell out the highest rate per sft for the topmost floor flat. Regarding the heat factor, interior designer Shantanu Chaudhari says, “The topmost floor flats are usually 4 to 5 degrees hotter than the rest of the floors. Leakage is also a potential problem if the builder hasn’t done a good waterproofing job. Getting a false ceiling done throughout the house can reduce the heat considerably. Cooling agents such as thermocol, mineral wool etc. can be used in between the false ceiling to reduce the heat even further.” Residents who occupy top floors will vouch for the breathtaking views, more so from a 16th or 25th floor! Seema B, has been living in the third floor flat of a three-storied building for the last 10 years. Seema’s home is surrounded by treetops and the sight of lush green canopies is a rare delight in the concrete maze that the city has become. She feels that topmost floor flats offer ample sunlight, and lights need not be switched on till it is dark. She says, “Heat is a problem, but only during summer time. Every year, before summer starts we get the terrace roof painted with a coat of white cement. That provides considerable relief. We have never had any leakage problems though. However, this flat has an open balcony which is easily accessible from the terrace. Grills on all the windows and balconies become a necessity.” Techniques such as using window blinds during the day, thick curtains that don’t let the heat pass through, placing potted plants on the roof and in the house, will help to beat the heat during summer. Air-conditioners may be need to work overtime to cool the room during summer which will add to the electricity bill. K Sreevikas Seenaiah, GM, sales and marketing, Emami Constructions, says, “Most customers are concerned about the ceiling alone but forget the walls of the apartment that are exposed to the sun also get hot. Nowadays, with most developers adopting new and better methods of construction, heat shouldn’t be some troublesome. For instance, developers now use AAC blocks that are more heat resistant.” He feels that topmost floors offer hassle-free living. He says, “The ventilation for the higher floor is the best. It’s like having an altogether different lifestyle with great views, fresh air and sunlight streaming into the house. Since there are no upper floors, noise such as shifting furniture or children running around and so on is not there. Even if it is expensive, some prefer to stay on the topmost floor. Since 100 percent power backup for elevators is now common, living on the topmost floor shouldn’t be a problem.” Another factor that may dissuade some buyers is the resale value of the flat, since the builders themselves find it difficult to sell top floor flats. All said and done, buying a top floor flat is not such a bad idea, if you are willing to overlook the slightly higher temperatures during the summer months. Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Hyderabad