How to build homes in America: a view from the inside

How to build homes in America: a  view from the inside

No matter what the supporters of frame-plywood houses say, but “practical” is far from being synonymous with “good.” I don’t try to judge how much such a house is “warmer” than a brick one, but in hot weather the brick one keeps the coolness better.

My friend lives in a brick house – in order to maintain a comfortable temperature, his air conditioner turns on much less frequently than in standard houses, all other things being equal. At the same time, he does not complain about the increased expenses in winter either.

Sound insulation in frame houses is also very mediocre. The design of two thin walls with air inside, by definition, cannot effectively dampen the sound, rather, it will resonate like a soundboard in a guitar. The sound is well absorbed either in a massive material or in loose insulation, and it is not put into the interior partitions here.

The roofs here are exclusively ruberoid – after 10-15 years they need to be replaced. And the “air system” of heating is a separate song. Of course, this is very practical and inexpensive, since it is combined with an air-conditioning system, but anyone who has ever been in a house with a heated floor is unlikely to appreciate this solution higher than 3 points: with an air system, the distribution of heat flows is far from optimal and the air goes over dried. In order not to electrify things and not dry skin, you have to use a humidifier.

Then, the technology itself is still half-trouble. In the end, it’s normal when cheap solutions are used to create cheap things. The problem is that the same technologies are used in the construction of expensive and prestigious housing. Yes, and modest homes have recently grown in great price, especially new buildings. This is less and less consistent with the thesis “let the plywood, but it is available.”

For comparison, the cost of Moscow apartments is not entirely correct – somewhere in New York a poor American is unlikely to be able to afford any home at all. And vice versa – just 200-300 km from Moscow and for the cost of a regular (not elite!) Moscow apartment you can build such a house that no American one is lying next to it.

Of course, the main reason for the popularity of frame houses is their high manufacturability: such a house is really being built very quickly. But is it worth it to adapt to what is more convenient for the builder when it comes to the house, where you live?

You also need to take into account the peculiarities of mentality. Americans – a nomadic people: a tempting job appeared in another state – they took off and went. With such a lifestyle, you will inevitably treat your house as something temporary and do not care what it is made of and how much it will stand. But do you plan such moves?

In short, my opinion – it is better not to build, as in America. In any case, if we are talking about the house where you intend to live your whole life. Moreover, in Russia “normal” building materials are much more accessible than in America, as well as the work of specialists who know how to handle them. 
There may be disposable paper tablecloths and plates more practical than an expensive set and linen tablecloth, but what do you use when setting the table for triumph? And which table would you prefer to sit at?

Feedback

I myself built houses in America and I know that, first, the Americans are NOT nomadic people and most builders work only in their districts. Secondly, the first principle of work is customer satisfaction. There is nothing common in life with the opinion expressed in the article that, they say, “went off, left, don’t give a damn about the result.” I am ashamed to be nonsense to write in the newspaper. 
Yuri

The author correctly writes that in America they build houses “it does not matter.” I don’t know where Yuri built houses in the States, but by design they are fig: no sound insulation, heat insulation is also not thick, and it is also necessary to repair it in 15-20 years. Inside, of course, they are well equipped, but the quality of the building itself is poor. For comparison: in Europe it is much nicer. 
Sergei

Well, again they prove to us that Lada is better than Japanese cars, because Lada is made of thick iron, and Toyota is made of foil! Well, do not expose yourself to ridicule! Especially statements about sound insulation and roofing felt. 
Vaughn Khrushchev in Moscow – a brick! Another two hundred years stand, no bulldozer demolished. For centuries built. And to whom did this become good? 
San diego

Ltd! Already the saints in conversation come! Khrushchev, dear San Diego, for the most part is not at all made of brick, but from what the boy in the famous joke was made of by the policeman. The worst thing about them is the footage. If there are more rooms and ceilings higher – than not housing? 
Santiago

I built houses in the USA (since 1993), a civil engineer by training. I agree that Americans are nomadic people, especially at the age of 50 years. On average, an American changes 6-7 places of residence during this period (official statistics on the country on average). Built from g ***: frame, plywood, outside plaster. Sometimes they will make the outer walls of foam concrete blocks. Overlaps in low-rise buildings are often wooden; when you walk, everything shakes. Planning in new homes is getting worse and worse, they are doing a few formal hips, and the family room is smaller and smaller in area, as is the diving room. In Russia, such building materials go at best to the garage. But what they can do is wrap it all up in a beautiful candy wrapper. Ennoble the territory, put a club house with a pool, normal roads … 
Sergey

I live in one of the frame-plywood (or rather, frame) houses in one American city … The 
price per square meter in such houses in the States ranges between $ 700 and $ 2500 – depending on the city and district, of course. The average price of a house in the United States, judging by the latest statistics, is around $ 130,000 (at 120-130 sq. Meters of average footage) I judge by eye), that is, not much more expensive than in Moscow – one and a half times the maximum. The average salary in the United States is $ 36,000 per year, that is, 10 times higher than in Moscow …

Why talk about money? Let builders estimate the cost of 1 square meter in a private brick house (especially the builders’ salaries) and compare it with the cost of building a wooden house.

Now the vast majority of American families can afford to live in their own home. The average footage per “person” in America is 50 square meters. m – 4 times more than in Russia … and 2 times, probably more than in Europe (where, by the way, only a small percentage of the population are homeowners – largely due to the high cost of construction).

But the main thing here is that Americans prefer large footage and homeowner status over construction quality … Are they right or not? As the owner of such a girder, wooden house, I think – yes, absolutely right. I don’t feel the difference between mine and brick – although I probably spend more on air conditioning than the inhabitants of brick houses. 
Dmitriy

Are the Swedes also a nomadic people? 
Frame houses are NOT an American invention. Their homeland is Scandinavia. This makes the statements that “Europe is much nicer” and the references to the climate are rather funny. Without taking a lot of time and space: here is the address of the Irish site with a discussion of the advantages of such houses, including their better thermal insulation: http://www.scanhome.ie/philosophy.php (you can translate Babelfish). 
Teach materiel, gentlemen! 
… And the stone houses just prevail in southern Europe, the Mediterranean and Latin America. 
San diego

In Detroit, full of solid brick abandoned houses, and even residential for ridiculous money you can buy … 
Paul

yes … the article is written in the very usual style from a distance, i.e. complete non-mastery of the topic. There are different houses in the North. America, but most are still built wrong. 
And the most important thing is that almost everyone who works here can buy a house and enjoy life, 
and not grumble about the shortcomings of air heating. 
And if you consider that you have a garage (and a pool – if needed), and your yard with a barbeque, and a quiet area, then you just have to try to do it, and not wait for the coming of the second Khrushchev with his architectural delights. 
And you don’t even need to be the owner of your own and successful business. Although it does not interfere :)) 
Igor

I hear who has sex with whom and …
You know, maybe somewhere in America they are building good housing (I mean, high-rise is important for Russia), but in the city of New York there is a lot of housing just from paper. I live in a beautiful house in a nice quiet area. No sound insulation – the impression is that the neighbors just walk in your room. I have already learned from whom the telephone rings and who will engage in sex with whom. I already know that my neighbor’s best friend on the right is called Sheila, she works in the Nokia office, and they chat in the evening for at least 40 minutes. At the same time, you can hear not only how the neighbor laughs, but how this damn Sheila in the phone laughs. I want to go home! 
Alexander

I live in America in my own home. Before that, I lived in apartments that I rented from Land Lands, i.e. owners, including in Manhattan. What you write about America is partly correct, but, to a large extent, not correct. 
Any simplification suffers from mistakes, and you, naturally, simplify very much. In America, everything is good and bad. The first difference between America and Russia is the climate. In the northern areas here are built differently than in the south. Here are completely different building materials. In addition, in America, every 10-15 years, the fashion changes to the size and design of houses. Therefore, they are often rebuilt.

My house was built in 1901 and rebuilt at least 10 times. In addition, the house was replaced by at least 4 owners. I do not agree that Americans are a roving nation. Although, when compared with Europe, people move much easier for the following reasons: people move, if they find a job far from home, for example, in another state, they move, if family income changes significantly and people improve or worsen the quality of their housing (there are more money or urgently need money).

And, finally, the house – the main value in family savings. On the east coast, very often, upon retirement, a house is sold and left for warmer, cheaper regions with money … One 
can talk endlessly about the peculiarities of America. Perhaps the most important thing I want to say to you is the following: you need to borrow experience from everyone, but taking into account your own national and climatic features. This extremely banal thought is, from my point of view, the most correct.

And the last thing – I really like your “newspaper”. I browse your site every day on weekdays. 
Good luck to you in Russia! 
Eugene

I can not say about the United States. He lived in Canada, Edmonton. The climate is severe – northern lights in winter. So the houses are the same as described in the article – plywood. The owners have such a small dog – so I woke up every morning from her tramping over my head. The houses are beautiful on the outside, and the materials are nonsense. The same had the opportunity to observe in Toronto. 
But it seems to me that we still need to take into account the cost of electricity – after all, it is much cheaper than ours. Whole (and not the richest) housing estates are lit with dozens of light bulbs, even if the owners went on vacation … Therefore, air conditioning or heating for them is nothing. 
And I also want to draw an analogy between houses and cars. Recently, in the automotive industry, it has also become fashionable to make the model as cheap as possible, but to make candy into it. The first time goes, but then …
But I don’t want to compare with our history. Ungrateful business – we are completely different nations, peoples, cultures. 
Alexander Mikhailovich

About plywood: my house is worth 1.5 million (Princeton). And also one-time. 
I got used to it. Arriving sister, who grew up in Stalin at Kutuzovsky, believes that her disgust for the United States began with an awareness of the temporary housing. 
Having received the Phd, she gladly screwed her back to her Moscow three-room apartment, where, according to her, when returning home, she can rightfully say that “she is at home”. 
But I, realizing, probably everything that turns her back on, I don’t feel this temporality. More precisely, I do not feel from her negative. In the US, you live on light legs. And at home, respectively, the same. Exactly those that are needed for life here. 
Nn

Houses in America are shit. Everything is built by illegal immigrants (where is their patriotism – pay taxes?) For a month out of thin (slightly thicker than a centimeter) drywall. The cost of the material-penny (~ 1.2×2 meters – $ 6). Insulation – no sound insulation – zero. 
Nobody buys a wallpaper – it’s expensive, they spray a couple of cans of paint for 10 bucks – and already a “design” … 
Windows are always small, narrow, the standard of the last century – but much cheaper than custom ones.

And everywhere devastation, poverty. Everything on snot – just to make it on time … time is money! Even in official places a decent finish is next to misery. About private businesses generally keep quiet – like in a film pavilion: a shiny facade (in restaurants), and in the kitchens and in the back rooms – pulling pulls (in some places rats the size of a cat). 
A million people live in basements – the 21st century in the richest country – eprst …. Nowhere is there any safety technique, instead of winches and cranes – a dozen illegal immigrants raised concrete blocks to the fifth floor … 2 months ago I was surprised in the conversation that more shuttles so rarely break – as looked into the water …

In general, if we take all Americans (and illegal immigrants too) – without 15% of the rich (official data), then they work a lot (forcedly), and they barely make ends meet. And they save every dollar not at all from greed, but to survive. 
Omich, 2 years in New York. I’ve seen everyone …

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