Can the Building Industry Reinvent the Single-Family Home?

Allison Arieff says it is high time that the "dumb box" that makes up the majority of suburban housing be rethought to meet the needs of a new generation, presenting a small handful of homebuilders that are making an effort.
October 3, 2011, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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Arieff wonders why home construction doesn't evolve like the technology industry does:

Single-family homes, she writes, "...continue to be built the same way they have for over a century, and usually not as well. Walls and windows are thin, materials cheap, design (and I use the term loosely) not well-considered."

She explains that the root of the problem lies in the the industry (and the lender)'s fear of change:

"...despite (in spite of?) dramatic slowdowns in residential construction, an anticipated surplus of thousands of homes, a market besieged by foreclosures and still-dropping home values. Even though there's increasing demand for more diverse housing - especially smaller, more energy-efficient homes and multifamily units in more walkable communities - too many homebuilders are inexplicably committed to the status quo."

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2011 in The New York Times
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