Every industry is evolving. It’s a simple truth borne by the fact that we as humans always lust for more. Some industries however are evolving faster than others and some, like the housing industry, seem reluctant to change.
A great example of evolution comes from the auto industry which used to see cars painstakingly made by hand, but then thanks to Mr. Henry Ford, invented the assembly line to optimize production. Now a car factory looks like something from the future and features giant tracks of cars at various stages of production as automated robotic arms bolt, stamp, and spray the car to it’s final state.
The housing industry unfortunately hasn’t been as quick to adapt as the auto-industry and it has yet to become as efficient as the auto industry because of it.
Let’s take a look at the evolution of housing:
Building teams have gotten us much closer to the “assembly line” style production capabilities which the auto industry pioneered, but there are still a lot of inefficiencies when it comes to moving your tools from one house to another, waiting for other members of the team to finish their job if it takes longer to do, and weather dependant work which could be halted at any time by a storm. We need to evolve to the next phase in housing which is prefabricated homes built in a manner similar to present day cars.
By moving production to factories, house builders can become far more efficient and rely more on specialized (and possibly even automated) equipment to create different components.
This is the next obvious step in the evolution of housing, yet we seem to be failing to pick-up on it. I believe the reason is the “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” mentality. Large home builders have been building homes using outdated practices for so long that they’re happy to stick with the status quo. There’s also a bit of a stigma attached with prefabricated homes as the typical image which jumps into someones mind is normally a small mobile home, which really couldn’t be farther from the truth these days. As prefabricated homes become more elaborate, and more people are able to see how beautiful they really can be, I believe the housing market will finally evolve to the next state of factory manufactured prefabricated housing.