Housing of the future?

What are you talking about? That’s the opposite of the point I’m making. It (generally) takes more training to operate higher-tech machinery than to perform manual labor. John Henry was a steel-drivin’ man - but I don’t believe the legend says anything about him having the technical skill or training to operate and maintain a power drill.

Sometimes using higher-tech machinery is cheaper. Sometimes it’s not. That’s why some aspects of manufacturing are automated, and some are not. That’s why construction sites are filled both with heavy equipment and lots of laborers - backhoes and bobcats and people working with their hands to lay CBS block to make a wall.

This specific piece of tech doesn’t seem like it would materially reduce the cost of homebuilding. The below article talks about a printing company that partnered with Lennar to build a subdivision of homes with square footages and layouts more common to U.S. development. The prices ($475-570K) don’t seem especially low - nor the construction time of about two weeks to print the walls of each house.

1 Like


No John Henry is exactly what you are talking about. An illiterate man who’s job was stolen by technology. It exactly like the illiterate block layer and the guy running a 3D printer. Anyone can run a 3D printer.


1 Like

Are you sure? Could you run a 3D printer of that size without being trained? I know that I could probably be instructed fairly quickly on how to lay CBS blocks on top of one another with a slather of mortar - but I expect it would take me some time to learn how to program a 3D printer at scale. Heck, if you gave me a desktop-sized 3D printer and told me to print a small-scale version of a house, it would take a fair amount of training me before I could: i) figure out how to load all the materials and the software files to print; and more importantly ii) deal with any troubleshooting that needed to come up. And if you gave me that machine running in a language I couldn’t read or understand?

John Henry isn’t a story of how the person running the steam drill didn’t need to be taught how to use the steam drill. It’s about the dignity and worth of unskilled labor - not that there is no difference between manual labor and using a complicated machine.

I designed the house. I contracted out the basement and concrete flat work. I also contracted out the HVAC.

I did all of the following by myself. I did pay my 16 year old son to help when he wasn’t at school or in sports. And my 72 year old dad came over in the afternoons and mostly cleaned up for me and kept me company. I think he was also there in case I got injured.

Set the floor trusses.
Framed and set the walls
Set the roof trusses. I did hire 5 guys from work to help me set these. They were heavy and awkward. Took 2 days.
Sheeted the roof and shingled.
Sheeted the walls and hung the windows, doors and siding. Includes garage doors.
Built staircase.
Rough plumbed, rough wired, insulated.
Hung the drywall and finished the drywall (I did hire 3 of my employees to help on 2 weekends with the finishing and texturing of the drywall.
Installed the finish plumbing, wiring.
Installed interior doors.
Painted walls. Installed cabinets and countertops. The Kitchen and bath cabinets I bought. The entertainment centers and bookcases I made a few years later.
Installed trim after staining and finishing. Doors had to be finished too.
Installed carpeting and laminate flooring.
Built the front porch. 10’ x 22’.

The last house took me almost 11 months to build. Luckily work was slow at that time so I was only working 8 hours a day. My day Monday through Friday was start work at 7 am. Leave by 3:30 pm. Go to house work until 10 or 10:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday be at the house by 6 am and work until 10 pm. I did take a 1/2 day off at Thanksgiving and a full day off at Christmas. On the plus side I lost 40 pounds and slept like a baby each night.


The whole house might disappear in a massive sinkhole. Or be tipped at a fairly sharp angle (one side went down FAR more than the other). What do you do then? New lot? Then what?

Nope. You do NOT take a lot of your expensive toys (and/or tools) to someone who does NOT know how to do the analysis and repair. Why?

1 Like



Admiringly (as i have done about 1/3 of the stuff on your list and so know enough) and with congratulations,

d fb


It’s about how a man’s job was taken over by the march of technology.

Yes very easily. With Youtube and video’s it is very easy to understand how to run a machine these days and do anything. This isn’t the 1980’s where someone needs to read a text book. Many people teach themselves how to operate 3D printers now.


1 Like

Very well done GCR and that sounds like a lot of work. But it also sounds like many man hours.


1 Like

Are you talking about the printed house or the stick built house?


1 Like

The printed house is far heavier, so it will likely sink first (and far more), if either were to sink at all. The ground may be able to support the stick-built house.