Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I just watched the video below of a Simpatico home being built in a California factory. 

I've really tried to appreciate what the West Coast Lego Land manufacturers are doing but for the life of me I just don't see how they can make enough money to stay in business.

When you watch the video I want you to notice two things (there are others) that just can't sustain this business model. 

First is the size of the "garage" the house is being built in.  How can they even entertain even starting a second house when the entire floor area is covered with this house.  Secondly, all the modules are being built on cribbing which means that every tool and all the materials must be hauled from one module to the next.

If a factory is going to use cribbing for construction and they want to build multiple houses at the same time, they will need at least 40,000 sq ft of production area.  Enough to pull the carriers into and out safely.

If this is what the Lego Architects think is the future of home building, they are so wrong.  When the automobile was first built it was assembled in garages one at a time.  Then a smart guy named Ford developed the assembly line and cars started rolling off in record numbers. 

These Michelle Kaufmann types want the home building industry to go backwards by telling their clients that they will be getting better homes.  Maybe they will but who has 8 to 10 months to wait around for a house to be built in a garage and finished on site?  And for only $300 a square foot.

Watch the video along with some of the others from Simpatico and try not to get that deer in headlights look on your face.


Anonymous said...

Coach, I get the impression you really don't like West Coast Architects. You must be from the East Coast where all the houses built in factories look the same.

Randy said...

Coach is not saying anything about West Coast Architects. He saying that a one off custom SFR house built on cribs in a small warehouse is the tiniest niche of niches for our industry. In order to compete in the building world you need economies of scale and a true assembly line to produce your product. I have worked for crib builders and there is not economy/savings.