You’ve probably read about Sears housing: In the early 20th century, the company offered mail-order homes that people could construct themselves, with little specialized knowledge.
Boston designer Dennis Michaud believes it’s an idea whose time has come again — and he’s trying to prove it with Homebuilt. Starting later this year, the company will sell easily assembled kits for structures (code-compliant, of course).
DIY zine Make has a great writeup of how Michaud approached the problem of low-cost, easy-to-assemble housing:
He’d use industry standard materials, the kind you can pick up at any lumber or hardware store. … They’re pre certified by the industry and make compliance easier. Also, unlike other kits, the resulting house would look normal and not like a oversized plywood jigsaw puzzle. … Materials would be labelled to make assembly obvious, labeled sequentially and understandably. Shaped mortise and tenon joints would make it almost impossible to assemble incorrectly. Tongue in groove assembly would provide the stability to piece it together allowing for single-person builds. Screws in predrilled holes around mortise would lock in strength.
Is the future of the home DIY? Homebuilt hopes to make a strong case for the idea.