The Corpus Callosum

The Future of Housing in the USA

Tiny houses
.  Sensible way to live.  As
long as everyone gets

Much less resource-intensive.  Nothing wasted.  

Not good for dog owners.  No room to wag tail.
 Otherwise perfect.  Writers become economical.
 No extra words.  No commas.  To Hell with

HT: Hillary


  1. #1 Aubrey
    November 9, 2008

    This is slightly off topic, but…

    I live out it the suburbs, and I frequently see houses being built, I just saw one that was smaller, and on a smaller lot, than the one I grew up in (in the middle of the city) go up in 6 months, and it’s price is $750,000.


    I refuse to be told I have to be a demigod just to own a normal house.

    I saw that house go up, and it’s not made of solid gold. It’s just a wooden box with insulation and some decoration.

    Does anyone know why on earth housing costs so much? It can’t be the market forces, because when the “cost” outstrips the production cost, people would just build their own houses and save a ton of money…… At least where I live, there is plenty of land.

  2. #2 Casz
    November 9, 2008

    The house in the video wouldn’t work for me. I like to have visitors and my dogs wouldn’t be able to sleep with me.

    When we left Calgary there was talk of “jewel box” homes. Very small homes for retiring couples that had very expensive technology and interior finishes. Small floorplan, huge dollars.

  3. #3 stumpy
    November 9, 2008

    Don’t confuse paucity of speech with economy of style, Monsieur Corpus. Even the semicolon has its place.

  4. #4 Joseph j7uy5
    November 9, 2008

    I have nothing against semicolons; in fact, I am looking forward to a massive resurgence under the Obama Administration. Scholarship will be cool again.

    I also have nothing against the wagging of tails. There is a season. For everything.

    Housing prices went up because of the securitization of mortgages. See The Current Economic Crisis: Hell, Meet Handbasket, for a partial explanation; The Crisis & What to Do About It, for additional perspective. The whole picture is very complicated, but those two articles convey the most important part of it.

  5. #5 stumpy
    November 10, 2008

    Housing prices and semicolons are two different topics entirely. Same as George McGovern and D maj7. Impossible to digest. But contagious. Catching. Indemnify. Verbiphrase. Parse. Dulcimer. Go figure.

  6. #6 Bret
    November 21, 2008

    The cost of housing is high because it’s not an assembly line. Each house is (even tract housing) a one off event, event though some items are pre assembled or standardised (wall and roof trusses, windows, doors, kitchen cabinets) but all these are made to suit each house and still require some adjustment to be weather tight/fitted.
    Let me give you a run down on friends house I was involved with and where the money went to some extent:
    Cement slab had to have holes drilled in it to accommodate bathroom and data cabling needs.
    None of the holes left in the brickwork for windows, 22 in total, (21 standard sizes) fitted cleanly, 2 required a brick saw to fit. A hole for a water heater had been left out completely.
    Designer changed his mind.
    And Owner changed his mind 3 time on the roof finish. Wall finish, flooring and lighting, once.
    6 days lost to bad weather.
    2 days lost for late deliveries.
    4 days lost to sickies
    1 day for an injury.
    Still this was a $800,000 dwelling, with the land selling for about $320,000 AUD. Approx top dollar Hourly Rates for builders are about
    $35 Carpenter
    $32 Brickies
    $45 Plumbers
    $42 Electricians
    $35 Roofers
    $28 Concreters
    $25 Painters
    $25 tilers
    $35 Cement Renders
    $30 Plasters
    Most 60-85% will have an apprentice at $18-25
    All will have laborers (except Plumbers and Electricians) at about $25 an hour.
    $18K for cement slab
    $12K for Bricks
    $11K Wall and roof trusses
    $9K Roofing Fascia, Gutters, Corrugated Metal Roofing
    $21K Windows, Big floor to ceiling wall of glass in main lounge.
    $6K Air condition
    $8K Electrical, Data network and home automation/sound system
    $14K flooring, really shouldn’t of changed his mind after ordering.
    Labor is the biggest single cost of building because houses are assembled by hand one brick at a time, Bathrooms are tiled one tile at a time, with lots of cutting and fitting still occurring.
    All delivery dockets have a clause saying “All dimensions are to be verified onsite by a tradesmen”.
    So high wastage of time and the time hungry nature of correctly sizing everything gets in the way of cost cutting/making a living some times.
    As an aside (or on topic) I’ve lived in a boat for the last 3years. On a 32ft boat on a 1 week off 2 weeks in Dongers (converted shipping container) at remote mine sites. You learn to plan everything, and being tidy helps.
    But I really enjoy the freedom from being possessed by my possession. I travel with a laptop, Ipod, mobile and small bag of cloths and toiletries. I can accommodate 5 close friends on board for a weekend or 3/4 squeezed for a week. Going small doesn’t mean I go with out, well except long hot showers or long soaking baths with a good book.

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