We started Esthete Fab Homes because we were tired of the idea that building a house in India has to be a stressful experience, and that's it’s just the way it's going to be.
We found it ridiculous that in this day and age we had to treat a lack of professionalism, bad workmanship, cheating on bills, constant delays, mess, wastage and aesthetic compromises as a part of the package.
If you're an Indian, you know that these are all things we've long accepted with a collective resigned sigh, and not just in home building.
So we researched a lot of technologies before, two years ago, we finally knew we had found the material that would change the way India builds-- Steel. Or more specifically, Light Gauge Steel Frames (LGSF).
Turns out it was something the rest of the world had already caught on to, and we in India are just lagging behind. We were told that it's because "it is hard to change the mindset of the Indian buyer, who only wants concrete homes".
Yet, in our experience, that’s not at all true! So we'll give you a quick rundown on what it is, and we guarantee that at the end of this article you'll be thinking hard about using this for your next home.
LGSF is high-quality construction-grade steel that is manufactured on-demand by a dedicated machine into steel frames, into different shapes and angles. This steel is cold -rolled, which just means its shaped at room temperature, so it maintains many qualities that allow it to be used to make highly durable and robust structures. The machine is controlled by a computer with a dedicated software (perfected to the current version over decades), that allows this "3D folding" to be highly accurate, down to the millimeter. The computer manufactures exactly what you ask it to, and assists you in making many calculations for the structure and design of the building. Often, it can manufacture the frames for the entire home in just a day. These frames are transported to the site, and assembled there into the house structure. This is covered with a cement-fibre cladding, or really any cladding of your choice including wood, stone, brick tiles etc. This means the components of the building are prefabricated, and the resultant building process only takes weeks to complete rather than months and years, and is much less prone to labour errors. No concrete, bricklaying or cement needed (unless you want it!). It looks no different from a building made the conventional way. As it's only the manufacturing that's prefabricated, not necessarily the design, you have full creative freedom. (This is an important difference from a preassembled ready home, which most people associate with the word "prefab").
The way Esthete uses this technology to build homes solves nearly all the problems usually faced by the people involved. For the home owner, the architect, the workmen, the construction company, and even the government.
The home is finished in 12 weeks, free of mess, noise, errors, delays and hassles. You get updates with every milestone, and it comes to you. So you don't have to depend on visiting each time to monior progress. So say you intend to build it just to rent it out, or maybe you want to move in to your own place because you're paying a high rent elsewhere, you can do that in weeks. With the old way, you're losing money for months and sometimes more than a year. If you’re the architect, this technology allows you to truly express your creativity, it plays extremely well with other materials and even existing structures, and the computer-aided manufacturing process ensures that what you see on paper is exactly what you get in the actual building. For the workmen, they don't ever have to work overtime, and because of the nature of the structure and timeframe, their jobs are highly well-defined, with milestones achieved efficiently each day. It's also skilled work that's learned fast and attracts a better pay. At the civil and government level, it solves technical problems. The buildings are naturally earthquake-proof. They're easily optimized to withstand extreme weather conditions. It lasts longer than 50 years. Steel is eco-friendly, 100% recyclable, free of toxins, and completely resistant to pests and mold. It uses far less water and power, so doesn't have high demands for infrastructure. Breaking the house down is way simpler than a traditional construction, with far less mess and disturbance to the neighbours. And for us, the construction guys, it's simply a joy to build with. We get the satisfaction of building something truly beautiful for a client, exactly the way it was envisioned, and also get the time and freedom to manage multiple projects and ideas.
The advantages over conventional are numerous and well-known world over, so what are the disadvantages? We aren't exaggerating when we say there are just two:
- Advanced sound-proofing is not as straightforward as for a conventionally-built home. The walls are hollow unless they're filled with something (we offer many options with different properties).
- All aspects of the house, especially all service lines, have to be well-planned beforehand. It’s difficult to make changes after the design has been finalized.
We feel confident telling you these disadvantages right out because they're vastly outweighed by the pluses, and only apply in special use cases. For a home builder, choosing this way of doing things is a no-brainer. When you’re coming to us for this, you get all those advantages with very little downside, all for the same price point as conventional!
This technology is poised to replace conventional methods completely for building homes.
We believe building your home should be a memorable experience. We think you shouldn't be at the mercy of unscrupulous contractors and claims of force majeure, and that you require accountability and actual incentives to trust in the people you hire.
We're shamelessly selling the way Esthete does things, we’d like to think it’s with good reason!
So if you think we're really on to something, take a look at our Fab Homes website, and don't hesitate to drop by our offices. Our team would be happy to talk to you.
If you're interested in building a home with us, get in touch. We build all over South India. We'll get you a meeting with our chief designer right away, and you'll walk away that much closer to your dream home!
Happy home building!
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18 April 2017
Interview with Esthete's Founder
09 June 2016
Steeling the Show