Variation in housing design: identifying customer preferences


Hofman, Erwin and Halman, Johannes I.M. and Ion, Roxana A. (2006) Variation in housing design: identifying customer preferences. Housing studies, 21 (6). pp. 929-943. ISSN 0267-3037

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Abstract:House builders in different countries are exploring ways to deliver higher levels of customisation in housing design. To create such variety at acceptable cost, it is important to know how potential buyers of new houses prioritise the different elements such as bathroom, kitchen and roof type of a house design. For parts with a great variety, several alternative solutions could be created in advance while parts with a low variety can be produced as standard solutions for all homes, thereby taking advantage of economies of scale. This paper presents the findings of a vignette-based survey about the requirements for customisation among potential buyers of new houses in the Netherlands. Based on the survey, a list of priority housing attributes is derived. This priority listing is of great importance for building developers who offer (or are considering offering) customised housing. Although people generally prefer to have the opportunity to select from options, they will be less inclined to do so if this option also means a considerable increase in price. Therefore, this study also examines the trade-off relationship between the value customers place on variety and the maximum price that can be asked for a customised housing proposition. The paper concludes with implications of the study's findings for evaluating trade-off decisions between standardisation and customisation.
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Copyright:© 2007 Taylor & Francis
Engineering Technology (CTW)
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