When someone sets out to select a site for his house, he keeps many factors in his mind. It is important that a suitable place must be selected because the home will be the center of the family life for years to come. Children will brought up here and in its surroundings.
The household work will be done and most of the leisure time of the family members will be spent there.
A beautiful good house built at a poor site would neither contribute to happiness not prove to be a good investment. When you buy a site or a house you also buy with it the environment and the neighborhood prevailing there.
The family members should carefully analyze and ascertain in detail the routine, consisting of household activities, community facilities available so that the site must be convenient for the family. Following considerations should be borne in mind while selecting a site:
A good neighborhood includes schools, religious places and recreational areas. A shopping center should be within walking distance of the house. The police station should be conveniently situated and its general location and situation should be such as to safeguard residential properties against theft and burglars. Adequate parking space should be provided off the main streets. Besides these an adequate medical service and nearby hospital facilities, must be given due importance while selecting a good neighborhood.
A house should not be situated near factories, garbage dumping areas; main sewage line, a busy main road and railway track because all these cause one or the other type of pollution.
The site should be selected with utmost care keeping in view the health and happiness of its inmates. It should be expressive of the some distinct character and beauty which makes it distinguished out of the ordinary.
An elevated ground should be chosen as it is advantageous in two ways. Not only the outlook becomes wider and brighter, but it affords facility but damage also. Rain-water flows away from the building as soon as it falls and the immediate surroundings are left dry. On the contrary, a low lying site is likely to remain damp and this dampness is not beneficial for the health of its inmates as well as to the foundation of building.
A good foundation is laid in a rocky surface due to its low absorbability of water. This avoids dampness in the building. But the disadvantage is that it gets hot day by day and does not readily cool down by night, especially in summers. Again, if any deeper excavations are to be made or leveling of the site becomes necessary, it becomes difficult. Laying of gutters and drains can not be done satisfactorily even at high costs. This type of area is also not suitable for garden or for growing plants.
Soft murmur at surface with hard murmur or rock within 3 to 4 feet is a good soil. Gravel and sand are also equally good. They easily drain of rain water. But the possible rise of sub-soil water table is an undesirable feature, unless the site is on a higher level. There is also a chance of their absorbing impurities from defective drains, pools, etc., thereby contaminating underground water supply.
Soils containing sand and gravel tend to make the house hot. In this respect clay is better, and if it is firm, gives a good foundation. But the black cotton soil is waste of money in this respect as it requires special treatment of foundation and special arrangements for sub-soil drainage.
The site should not be on a reclaimed ground, i.e., the ground which was once a depression and has been filled up with some animal and vegetable refuse. Because such soil absorbs water, becomes water-logged and very often the stuff putrefies, giving out foul gases which are detrimental to human health. Besides, there is a likelihood of the nuisance of flies. The most important is that it does not provide a good foundation and there is always a risk of an uneven settlement of the foundation which may cause serious damages to structure of building and danger to the life of inmates.
If possible, then it is good to have a house near the sea. The range of temperature is very small. A pleasant breeze blows towards the land by day, away from it by night. The land gets hotter by day and cools down sooner by night.
The sea-breeze is very exhilarating as it contains Ozone. But the air near the sea is always humid which induces perspiration and causes discomfort. Moreover, the breeze carries with it a thin spray of saline water, which acts upon iron and causes it to rust. Trees and gardens also do not properly flourish here.
Man’s health and happiness are influenced directly by environment. It is impossible to segregate evil influence of bad housing conditions from those of poverty and ignorance.
Every living being whether it is a plant or animal or human being, needs a proper environment in housing conditions may suffer from illness or the house also affect individual’s state of health. Insanitary housing conditions, which favour the growth of flies, mosquitoes, vermins and rodents, make proper care of food impossible.
The drains, pools of stagnant water, tanks and wells should not be in dilapidated condition in the neighbourhood of residential sites. Good drainage is most essential. Damp, swampy sites are bad for health and highly undesirable. A slight slope is always advatageous for drainage and provides a good appearance. A site sloping upon from the street is better than one sloping down the street or sideways.
A busy commercial street, is preferred from the business point of view, but it is quite unsuitable for residential purposes, since the nuisance of dust caused by heavy vehicular traffic is definitely harmful and the constant noise created thereby deprives one of rest.
While selecting a site for house, one must see that there exists an effective sanitary regulation regarding the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse, the constant removal of stagnant water, an adequate supply of pure drinking water and sewage disposal.