Lets say you walked into a car showroom in 1960 to see the latest and greatest automobiles the world had to offer. You would marvel at the refinement these cars showed compared to the earlier cars from the 30’s and 40’s. Granted, they had grown in size for added comfort and had many new technological advancements that made owning them easier; but sticker shock was also there with the average price now around $2,600 or about $2,000 more than in 1930. These cars were more expensive than ever before, but you were now getting a car that had a refined V-8 engine which had ample power to take you and the family to where ever you wanted and also get you back without worry. Gas was still reasonably cheap at around a quarter a gallon so fuel mileage wasn’t too critical. But who cares about fuel efficiency, ’cause you wanted to be able to feel that V-8 kick in the seat of your pants when you mashed the loud pedal!
After dickering with the salesman, he went along with you, your spouse and the kids on a test drive. This car rides like a dream, you’re thinking. With one hand on the steering wheel, the other hand is doing double duty of shifting and holding your cigarette. With no seat belts to get in your way and the AM radio blasting out Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” you know this is THE car for your family. Two tons of American made steel keeping you safe. A built in cigarette lighter. Triple-carbureted, 396 cubic inches of motivation and all wrapped in the best design the US has to offer. How cool was that?
Well, fast forward 50 years and go into a car dealership and compare today’s automotive offerings with those that were top of the line in 1960. Even the worst of cars today are much better than those of 50 years ago when comparing the comfort, reliability, efficiency, and safety of the vehicles. So how does this relate to home building? Well, go back two sentences and replace the word “cars” with “homes” and you will see what I am proposing.
In the future, I will be comparing and contrasting the two industries.
Won’t you come along for the ride?