Home-builders' designs cater to diversity of individual tastes
A house-design concept by home-builders can differ from that of developers or architectural firms. This is because home building is the kind of service that caters for the individual customer whose distinctiveness varies according to location, direction, land area, environment, geography, budget, needs, likes, beliefs and taste.
The individual tastes among customers and their influence can be a blessing in disguise, as they will support design ideas, or limit them.
This distinctiveness and diversity set apart the design work of home-builders from that of developers and architect firms - because the customer's design has to take into account appropriateness and diverse needs.
Therefore, the principal design has to be universal and applicable to customers who may not have specific needs, and at the same time flexible enough to adjust to the personal needs of each customer.
For example, in determining the height of a standard house model: the ground floor has to be at the same level, the fascia has to be extended from the house at a standard measure, and the choice of ground-floor materials and sanitaryware has to be considered to ease the construction system and reduce problems derived from diverse patterns and forms.
In designing a standard house, we have to look into the market both in terms of general behaviour and changing trends.
In essence, standard house design is determined by market needs.
Architectural design is therefore based on climate, the direction of sunlight, wind and rain (which influences the design of sun- and rain-proofing), orientation for privacy, space utilisation, appropriate colours and materials, the convenience as well as the safety of occupants, and special functions (reflected in the style of both interiors and exteriors), creating diverse house models.
All these factors will be measured against structural work and materials to suit the price level and target group and can cater to the needs of customers of all groups and covering all price levels.
The choice of materials for design
We choose construction materials and design standards that are well accepted by consumers, which are:
_ Strong and durable or with a life-long warranty;
_ Safe and harmless to the health of users;
_ Suitable for the climate in Thailand - very hot and very humid;
_ Easy to care for, or care-free for a lifetime with special properties for the occasional home improvement, such as colours and other areas that can be easily maintained;
_ Easy to find parts when repairs and replacements are needed;
_ Construction work needing neither special equipment nor relying too much on special skills for workers;
_ Variety of materials, sizes and surfaces that can be worked on with user manuals for both design and installation, to ensure construction meets standard requirements of producers;
_ Product lines developed to suit their continuing use;
_ Good before- and after-sales service and trustworthy products and producers.
Apart from these factors, one more consideration important for the present and the future is the environment.
Materials must reduce or control the acceleration of degradation the environment, so they eventually return to nature or co-exist with it.
To illustrate this point, the 2011 flooding crisis prompted Seacon Homes to develop a design to meet the needs of customers who face flooding problems or live in flood-prone areas.
The design serves the need to co-exist with the floods, protect the house from damage, prepare for furniture transfers when flooding occurs, prepare spaces adjustable for a variety of uses during the flood, and choose materials immune to flood waters. Therefore, materials used must be appropriate to the environment's demands: replaceable natural materials, reusable and reparable.
In sum, a home-builder's design has to strike a balance between individualism and mass appeal, worthiness and price, standard and skilled labour, and with due consideration of the environment and living conditions.