Column Layout for a Residence | Civil Engineering

Column Layout for a residence using the Thumb rules | Building Construction

In my earlier article, we discussed three important thumb rules that are to be followed while making a column layout for any building. They are as follows:

  1. Size of the Columns
  2. Distance between the columns
  3. Alignment of Columns

In this article, we will see an example of a residence of which column layout is done keeping the above three thumb rules in mind.

Column Layout for a residence

The residential villa comprises of 1 and half floors. Initially, the column size 9″x12″ had been used with the use of M15 grade of concrete. The builder wanted to save on his budget by making the columns smaller in size. That is why, the columns in the Floor plans below are 9″x9″ in size but the Engineer made sure that M20 grade of concrete would be used for Columns.

Column Layout for a Ground Floor
Column Layout for a Ground Floor

Column Layout for First Floor
Column Layout for First Floor

Thumb rule no1:

Size of the Columns

The size of the columns are 9″x9″ with the use of M20 grade of concrete.

Thumb rule no.2:

Distance between the columns:

The distance between the columns does not exceed 4.5m.

Thumb rule no.3:

Alignment of Columns

The Columns have been arranged on a iron grid pattern. So there is absolutely no question of zigzag walls and zigzag beams which reducing complications in the structure.

Also read:

Introduction to design of RCC Structures

Building Design Guide which includes design of:

  1. RCC columns
  2. RCC beams
  3. Foundations
  4. Staircase

You can hire me for your structural design need. Contact me.

63 thoughts on “Column Layout for a Residence | Civil Engineering”


    i am as civil engineering student i want to ask how can we design the stirrups to decrease the inclined cracks in beams due to combination of axial and shear forces. that is 45 degree.
    how can we bent the stirrups as usual or there is special method.

  2. Hello,
    It has been advised in the example above:
    When we use a column size of 9″x9″ using four 16 mm bars and the distance should not exceed 4.5 m/13.5 feet.
    Question 1:>My question is when I use a column size of 10″X12″ using four 16 mm bars for a G+2 residential house ->What is the distance between the centre of the two columns that should not be exceeded ?
    Questio2:>Also please let me know the maximum distance between the two columns that should not be exceeded when I use 12″X18″ column sizes with six 16 mm bars for a G+2 residential house.
    Please advise.

    Thank you for talking to amateurs and improving our knowledge.

    • I am constructing a low cost small house of 30’X16′ with only ground floor and hall size 16X17 , 12X8 bed room and open kitchen. Whether 9″X9″ columns & 6 nors sufficient. can the column distance be 5mtrs instead of 4.5 mtrs

      • There are no set rules for the distances between the columns and the sizes of it… There are minimum standards which are used in the supervision of a structural engineer and are not meant for use by layman like yourself. Please contact a civil engineer and get it designed properly.

  3. Dear BenzuJK,

    Thnaks for the articles which were very useful. Could you please help me on the below subject?

    I plan to extend my home, the extention will be completely seperate from the foundation of existing building. The size of extention shall be of size in feets 26* 8. The land is a filled land which was paddy filed in the past and the ultimate soil is clay which is not much strong.

    Due to limited space, I wish to plan for a roof top swimming pool at the roof of first floor of the extention. The water capasity at same size with 4 ft depth shall be around 24 Tonnes. Can I do it considering the nature of land. If possible, can I do it with colum footing. Can I avoid piling by adjusting size of columns. Please help on this matter.



    Doha Qatar

  4. HI,

    I am constructing my house, The Hall is of 32’*15′ size, Hall has 4 rcc columns in line of 32′ .
    columns are of size 9″*9″ with 6 rods of 12 mm.
    There are no cross beams in the 15′.
    now construction of walls is complete and going for lintal work.
    Please advise is this structure correct ? and how many floors i construct on this … ? do more load been applied on the columns … ?

    • This is clearly a weak design. If you go for one additional floor above the current one, it would reach the max load carrying capacity limit of 30 tons for the column.

  5. Respected Madam,
    I am a regular follower of your civil engineering articles and honored to admit that the information shared by you always enhanced my knowledge in the field and helped me in practical implementation,since I am a practicing civil engineer.Whenever i need any information or want to clear my doubts,will always turn to your page and believe me,it never disappointed.
    Looking forward for more articles.
    With Best wishes

  6. Hi,
    I don’t have civil background.
    My Q is – Is there any possibility to make house G+3 without having any columns (or pillars) inside (or within the) space of the house.
    (Sorry, if question is even weird)
    Thanks for reply,

      • Hi,
        Thanks for reply. But, hiding is not the option I’m looking for.
        I have seen some of G+2 buildings with no pillars or columns inside the space. I want to do the same for G+3.
        Please let me know how this is technically possible. I would appropriate if you explain in simple words.
        Thanks a lot,

  7. dear sir
    please give me information about is there any book written by you on thumb rules on building construction in civil engineering? if yes give full information

  8. Hi, I Have a basic doubt. I want to design a bench for sitting purpose for 5 people using concret. It will be maximum 6ft long. Is reinforcement is required or can I use it using plain cement concrete

  9. Hi I am Planning to built a residential flat G+2 or 3 with distance of 15′ to 18′. What is size and distance of the column and any other precaution to be taken.



  10. Hi, Sir
    I am a Civil Engineer and want to ask and consult with you about a technical problem in building, as we know that when we Design the Dimensions of a RCC Column we calculate than the load which is on the top of the column so if we have a column in size of (0.30*0.30) m in second floor of a building and want to change the dimension of the the side columns of building to (0.20*0.40)m is correct or not and if not correct what is the side effect of this changing?
    thanks Eng Olfat, Kabul Afghanistan

    • There will be a big issue with the slenderness ratio of the column. Such a slender column will lead to a drastic rise in bending moment in the column, as well as the connected beams. In that case, I would recommend recalculating the stresses on the column, and increase the steel quantity in the column according to the new calculations. There are a lot of factors involved which I know nothing about. Use caution.

  11. Hi BenzuJK,
    I (Vikas Misra) am very much impressed from your articles. After spending several days on internet to understand how to design and build the house i landed on your website. I have something good to share with you (based upon learnings) as well.
    I need your expert help to design my house in Lucknow India. Please share your contact details. I tried to avail your services from some of the links you posted but none reaches to a place where i can connect with you.
    Thanks & Regards
    Vikas Misra

  12. Hi BenzuJK,
    I am designing a building,its a extended part of a with old building,in area of18’x27′. In which 14’*14′ bedroom 10’*7’kichen and a small store room of 5’*7′
    Can i give column of 1’*1′ at 14′ spacing between two column. And should i give 7’foundation , with 12mm bar everywhere with M15.
    Its a G+2

  13. Sir,

    It would be a great help; if you guide me in these queries:

    1.we are planning to build 5 storey building in which GF is stilt parking . Area is 560 Sq. ft. Is is possible to build the building without pillar or coloumn in centre of the parking.
    Architect has given us the structure design with 11 coloumn out of which 2 are in centre of the parking.

    2. In different coloumn he has given different footing. what does footing signifies?

    3. If we go for parking floor w/o column at centre. Then what would be the width of latak beam minimium to be reqd. at every floor and at least at UG Floor.

    Hope you will respond as soon as possible.


  14. Sir,
    1 feet offset between two horizontal beams, if i need to connect in column, that column size around 9″x21″, this much column is standard one or any other option is there?


  15. For a four story building, what could be the sizing of the ground floor column?

    What is the maximum C/C distance between the column? And the adequate beam section for the ground floor.

  16. I am a graduate engineer and I want to make structural design of buildings, but my first question is how can I divide the above given floor slab(slab with unaligned columns) into number of panels? inorder to design the floor slab by sectioning in to different panels. In other words what is the criteria to consider part of a slab as a panel.

    • You divide the slab with the help of beams. Even if the slab is not exactly rectangular, you can still design it for the entire area. Consider it increased factor of safety.

  17. For a 16ft Span, 2 floored building, 12″*9″ Column, what could be the apt Rods Diameter.
    Eg 16-12-16 (6 Rod combinations – 16(4Nos) and 12(2 Nos)) or
    16-12-16 (8 Rod combinations – 16(4Nos) and 12(4 Nos))

  18. Hi, I am contracting my house and appointed structural engineer, he is very young guy he suggested C1, 4 columns 9″x 12″‘ column with 16mm 6 bars and 12mm 2 bars for 15 fts distance in all sides, and C2, 4 column 16mm 4 bars and 12mm 2bars, and C3, 3 column with 9″ x 9″ with 12mm 6 bars, my Plot size is 24′ x 49’, and contracting G+2, Please suggest, is it OK or need to increase any strength.

  19. I am studying final year civil engineering i have one debut i will attend analysis and design project . I had to line plan but how and where place to put an column sir pls

  20. My house total 1650 Sq. Ft.. We plane ground and First floor. So how many pillars need if 12mm road of 6 nos for each pillar and 9’9′ inch.. pillar size. approximate how many pillars need?? Please..

  21. Good day ma’am!

    I am a civil engineering student and I would like to ask if it is safe to design a 250 mm by 250mm column with 4 bars that is12mm in a 7m span, since this column is already in the roofdecks and is only carrying the roofload and trusses.

    Hoping for your response soon.

  22. hi sir? what is the best way to put a beam that cannot bend in a garage in distance of 6m between two column..with the column of .20x.20?and we want to put a room above the garage.

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