Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Katrina Cottages

Lowes (the large home-improvement store chain) is selling pre-packaged houses for rebuilding after Katrina.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=pg&p=2006_landing/Katrina_Cottage/KatrinaCottage.html&lks=hpsv4

The concept reminds me a lot of the Sears mail-order homes of the 1920's -- namely, smaller homes that could be ordered as a unit, with all the pieces delivered on site.  The only difference is that the Sears homes had the materiel pre-cut, and the Katrina cottages are to be stick-built by your contractor.

Pretty cool idea.

It won't stop the spread of McMansions, but it should show that basic housing doesn't have to be ugly.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
July 1st, 2007 11:52am
Actually, those Sears mail order houses went back farther in time and some were large in size. I've been inside one that was a victorian gingerbread design, three stories, a tower with a cupola, about 5000 square foot altogether, and was delivered by Sears using mule convoys to the site.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 1st, 2007 1:51pm
The cottages are cool. Going in the direction of http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/. Nice to see this concept going mainstream.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 1st, 2007 1:53pm
Looks like a nice space in which to write a manifesto.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 1st, 2007 2:33pm
That one is really cool. These things are like super miniature versions of old farm houses. Haven't seen much done with this design in 100 years or so, but they are cool since you can dump off some lumber and plans on a lot and just about anyone, maybe with a little help, could go to it and get it framed.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 1st, 2007 3:58pm
"$4.99 shipping on all orders over $19.99" and

"Available online, ships via USPS or UPS" is just funny.

"Yeah, I'd like my new home shipped via US Postal Service to PO Box 345, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10018"
Permalink Send private email Impractical Economist 
July 1st, 2007 4:00pm
I'm confused by that page, though.  Is $700 just for the PLAN?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 1st, 2007 4:13pm
Sure enough.  $700 for the plan.  You get a $700 giftcard if you also buy all of your materials from them, after the fact.

Well, yeah, $700 seemed cheap for a complete structure.  But for just blueprints?  Damn.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 1st, 2007 4:17pm
Plans are pretty overpriced it seems, but maybe the architect can only sell 10 or 12 of them over the plans lifetime and they cost thousands to prepare?!?!?

Even mass produced plans for big fancy houses that they have in Home Plans magazine and the like will cost $400-$3000 for each set of blueprints, and don't forget you'll need a minimum of 3 copies in most places since you have to file copies with the county or whoever you get permits from.

So to build those little cottages it's gonna be $2100 minimum for the blueprints, probably you'll spend about the same amount on lumber.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 1st, 2007 4:39pm
I imagine that for your $700 you'll get 3-4 copies.  After all, it's a simple design intended for mass production, and will have minimal or no changes made to them.

In other words, you won't see this:

"I just love it!!!! Only I want the kitchen over here, and this closet turned into a bath, and bump out the master bedroom by 3 feet, and ...."
Permalink Send private email xampl 
July 1st, 2007 4:54pm
Unless the plans are A4 or A3, they're going to cost just for the paper and reproduction expenses to the provider.

Not to mention the IP embodied in the plan - despite warnings about unauthorised reproduction or construction ideas do leak out and architects are as paranoid as any artist about copyright.
Permalink trollop 
July 1st, 2007 7:04pm
If they're giving out a $700 gift card if you buy the materials, you do get the plans for free, provided you buy materials from Lowe's.  Of course, Lowe's is probably a very expensive option for lumber compared to what a local provider can do.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
July 2nd, 2007 9:03am

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