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(Mother Nature Network)   You know those modular classrooms where you had to go for your art and French classes in high school? One company is pimping them out and turning them into stylish and sustainable modular homes   ( mnn.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, modular classrooms, high schools, Montessori school, school library, modular homes, steel frame, American Institute of Architects, art  
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8103 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jun 2012 at 11:43 AM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-06-03 03:31:20 PM  
1 vote:
IIRC, the Province of New Brunswick requires you have a one acre lot (outside of the towns). In any case, most trailers seem to be on separate wooded lots, purchased by the owner of the trailer. Some of the larger double-wides are fairly comfortable, although the cheap light construction gives them negligible re-sale value. It's not unusual for a house to be built over a period of twenty years in New Brunswick. They start it when they have the money and time to pour a basement and put up the basic frame, and continue to work on it as time and money are available.

It's impossible to get insurance or a mortgage in the back woods, even if you are reasonably prosperous, so this is the only way to housing, let alone home ownership. If the builder is a good and industrious carpenter and his wife is handy, they end up with a nice little cottage that is much better built than the common run of commercial ticky-tacky. If the family is lumpenproletariat, they start with a tar-paper shack and it goes downhill from there.

As for portable classrooms, they are like the Black Hole of Calcutta in warm weather (and this is in Canada!) and cold as old one room school houses in the winter. I hope whoever buys these units can afford to pay an exorbitant amount of money for heat and AC.

You can already buy modular houses that are much better than those crap boxes and which can be put together so that you can barely tell them from regular bungalows built on site. A lot of the working class owners build the second half of the house when they get the money, making it into a hybrid bungalow, possibly with a veranda or annexes.

Mind you, building codes aren't as strict on materials and construction in the Southern US as in Canada because the Canadian weather makes better quality staples, glue and pasteboard necessary when building homes or monster homes for the 99%. When I visit towns I knew as a child, I find they are filling up with apartment blocks that look like something from Scandinavia, New England or the better bits of Russia. They are stylish and adapted to the climate despite looking like over-grown wood-frame houses in Georgian or various forms of carpenter's Queen Anne, Gothic, New-Classical, Federalist, or other styles.

I love that multi-story trailer park. It is a magnificent example of red neck never-say-die ingenuity and kitsch. It reminds me of Habitat '67 in Montreal. Makes me smile when I see it.
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