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Title:A Demonstration of New Techniques for Low-Cost Small House Construction
Author(s):Harrell, Raymon H.; Lendrum, James T.
Abstract:This study was undertaken as a field demonstration of those construction techniques, design features, and structural details which have been proven to materially reduce the cost or increase the quality of small house construction. As a part of the study, a program of objectives was written, and a lowcost house, of approximately 1000 square feet of floor area (30' by 34') was designed. Working drawings were made for the basic house and for one alternate orientation. These combined the usual description of size, shape, and location of material with specifications of quality and a step-by-step sequence description of the assembly process. Variations in the placing of the house on the lot for different orientations were studied, and a site plan was made for a small development showing how these variations could be used by a builder to produce an interesting street scene. Two houses were built in Champaign-Urbana, and a detailed time and material study was made, as well as a 16 mm. motion picture covering the construction assembly procedures. Two additional houses were built in a neighboring state by another contractor, and additional time records were made during their construction. Recommended practices which were shown to have a definite cost reduction effect include modular design, simplified foundation details, precutting of materials, preassembly in jigs, tip-up wall construction, roof trusses and pre-assembled gable ends, simplified plumbing practices, simplified trim, and the extensive use of small power tools. All of the practices which were used were selected to take advantage of the control of assembly techniques possible with modular sized materials. Material quality was controlled, and the lowest in-place cost was secured by balancing material cost against labor time. The techniques used were also limited to those which could be adopted by a small builder or would be equally successful when used by the larger operator.
Issue Date:1954
Publisher:Small Homes Council - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Series/Report:Housing Research Paper No. 29
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:Housing and Home Finance Agency
Rights Information:Copyright 1954 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-23

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